My new class idea: Modern Quilt Designing

I have been mulling over a new idea for a class. As you know, I am really enjoying the designing process for making my own quilts. I really want to share that with people. I would love your feedback – so bear with me as I walk you through my idea.

So, the class is about using things around you for inspiration when designing modern quilts – “Every Day Inspiration for Designing Modern Quilts”. I think have a structure, and some of the content decided….

___________________________________CLASS CONTENT__________________________________________

Sources of Inspiration

  • Art History: I think it is important that we understand what has been done before us not only in quilting but also in art using other mediums. I have a focus for Abstract art, with examples of different artists that influence my design aesthetic. Where to look and find resources.
    QDAD_Balcony_DustyBlue24JUL2014  IMG_2228
  • Your environment: How can you use things around you to inspire a design? What should you look for? Photographic examples are used to illustrate how to identify design elements.

Designing

  • Initial Design: This covers how do you take these concepts/ideas to create an initial design?
    BooneHallPlantation_Flower1_palette
  • Color Palettes: How do use a given color palette and does placement of colors make a difference to the design? Does not cover detailed color theory but elements are discussed and can be provided.
  • Fine-tuning of the design: Experimenting with size and placement of the design elements can make a difference to the overall design.

Additional Information/Class Wrap-up: What tools are out there for designing? Where/What can you do to continue learning?

Student hands on activities for the class: I think it takes practice to be able to find your aesthetic and start to fine tune your skills in what you see around you (something I learned participating in quilt design a day). So my goal for the hands on exercises/activities is to start that process, and practice.

Students come with:

  • 3 photos that either provide inspiration from a color palette or, contains subject matter they are inspired by or, has geometric design elements.
  • Design tool of choice (paper/makers or pencils; computer with software

Exercise 1: Same subject matter, different perspectives

  • Based on an instructor provided photo, draw an initial design in 20 mins.
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements)
  • Individuals will be selected to share with the class your design explain why your inspiration

Exercise 2: Small Group Selection

  • Everyone brings their photos and the group selects one photo that they will use to draw an initial design in 20 minutes
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements)
  • Individuals will be selected to  share with the class your design explain why your inspiration

Exercise 3: Different subject matter

  • Take one of your 3 photos draw an initial design in 20 mins
  • With 10 more minutes what changes would you make (play with color placement or design elements
  • Individuals will be selected to share with the class your design explain your inspiration.

Exercise 4: Abstract artist (if time permits)

  • Repeat Exercise 3 with another photo but use an abstract artist we covered in class to inspire your initial design (20 minutes).

___________________________________________ END_______________________________________________

Ok. So I would love some feedback about what you guys think about this class. Here are some questions I have and if you think of anything else – I would love to hear about it.

  • Is this something you would like to do?
  • Is there anything missing in the class that you would like to see?
  • What to you think about the above Student Hands-on Activities?
  • Do you think most people will bring paper as the design tool and should this be the default? NOTE: I will not be able to offer assistance to those who bring software
  • Do you think this can be a full-day class or 1/2 day class? What would you prefer?
  • Do you think folks would like an exercise, in which, they take their cell phones and take a photo in the class/environment around them to use this for a design? Will everyone have a phone?

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “My new class idea: Modern Quilt Designing

  1. Quilt Musings

    I think it sounds like an interesting class. I would think it might be useful at the beginning of the class to have an introduction to the basic characteristics of what are generally considered ‘modern quilts’, with examples. Though many students may be familiar with modern quilts, I would think you would get some who are less familiar, and even those who have been attracted to modern quilts may not have the design vocabulary or may be fuzzy about what makes them modern. As far as design tools, I would think that if you make clear you can only help with pen and paper but people are free to bring whatever they are comfortable with, that would be fine.

    Reply
  2. quiltingjetgirl

    I would not have a phone capable of doing that (personally) and I would bring paper and pencils. If you allow computers with software, be very clear in the notes that you will not be able to be software support. My fear is that the time would be too compressed for someone new to the software, and even for those used to the software it is a new skill that might be best for paper and pencils. Might be best to have some on hand just in case, too… I would say the exercises sound great, and I would personally be intimidated by optional exercise 4, although I am sure I could do it. 😉 In terms of length of class, it could easily take 1 hour for each exercise by the time the transitions are done and you are able to refocus on what next. I would say that makes a full day class. I would need a mental break between each exercise, so a bit of teaching, an exercise (break), etc. would be awesome for me. I hope that helps!

    Reply
    1. mlwilkie Post author

      Thank you, definitely helps. The software is what worried me too but I wasn’t sure if folks would feel restricted only able to use paper. I was thinking it would be a day so thanks for the confirmation!!

      Reply
  3. sfredett

    So to start – I think this is a brilliant idea, and if my guild had budget for it, I would have you up here to teach it to us in a heartbeat (alas, we have a very tiny budget). I know with my group of people, this would be a very, very long class, as they are a chatty group, and anything involving discussion would take easily twice as long as you planned. 😀 I would also maybe suggest you bringing several stock photos, on the off chance that the photos the students bring with them they find unsuitable/uninspiring after the instruction/lecture. It might also be fun, as an alternative to exercise 4 to swap photos around. Sort of a ‘see what inspiration you can find in others photos’ kind of thing.

    Also, is there a reason you’re limiting it to abstract artists? Just a familiarity thing perhaps? Casey York’s lecture at QuiltCon used a lot of different examples from several different time periods, including Egyptian jewelry and Andean tapestries. (I’m just curious because I have several members who turn up their nose at certain things, and I wouldn’t want your teachings to get lost because someone dislikes Josef Albers, for example. But maybe I just have overly particular and judgemental guild members… :D)

    I think this is going to turn out to be a great class!!! And I’m very jealous of anyone who gets to take it. 😀

    Reply
    1. mlwilkie Post author

      Thank you for the feedback. I love the idea about the extra photos; i will definitely explain that artist from all movements can influence you but i will probably highlight ones that inspire me to be able to explain how i use this. Which guild are you with?

      Reply
  4. Cassandra

    This sounds like a great and really well thought out class that I think could be very popular! You may want to consider discussing the elements of design (line, shape, texture, color, and space) before delving into the class exercises. By understanding these elements, the students in your class may be able to more easily identify what about a photograph inspires them. Most people tend to be very attracted to color (I know I am!), but in creating a composition we need to think about the other elements of design. Perhaps students could use a black and white photo to identify lines, shapes, and use of space to create a quilt composition. You could then use a color photo (either of the same image or something completely different) to create a color palette for the composition. Temporarily removing the color “distraction” can help us focus on other parts of the design.

    I like the idea of having students bring their own photos to class. It is interesting to start finding patterns in what attracts us to certain imagery. This could easily be a full day class, or perhaps two half day workshops depending on the class arrangement. If you were doing two sessions, members of the class could go out and collect images between meetings. I don’t see a problem with not including software in an intro design class. There is a tendency for people to start limiting their designs to what they know how to execute easily, and my experience has been this is sometimes magnified by the use of an unfamiliar computer program. Some paper, pencils, a ruler, some color media, and maybe a circle template sounds like a great place to start.

    I hope you move forward with this class- I’m sure there are a lot of people who would really appreciate this opportunity!

    Reply
  5. Renee

    I think this sounds like such a fun class! A good mix of discussion, looking at photos in different ways, and coloring (my design method of choice). I guess one question I would have, especially if I was fairly new to quilting, would be how do I turn the designs I’ve learned how to make from the class into an actual quilt (assuming I don’t have software to tell me how)? How to you translate a drawing into workable quilt patterns, estimate yardage needed, figure out block/quilt size, etc? If that’s something you DO want to teach in the class you’d probably need a full day, or maybe two separate classes. I think if I took the class as a new quilter and didn’t get that information I’d come home with all these great designs and ideas and be like…oh…now what??

    Reply
  6. Judy

    Well, I would definitively join the class, designing is so much fun and looking at the Projects with the other participants just is bringing so much creativity into the Topic!

    Reply
  7. Suzanne Montgomery

    Is this something you would like to do? Absolutely! I am the program VP for the Dallas MQG and this would be an awesome lecture/workshop for us. Please let me know when you get ready.
    Is there anything missing in the class that you would like to see? Maybe to make a block or section from their design.
    What to you think about the above Student Hands-on Activities? Great idea!
    Do you think most people will bring paper as the design tool and should this be the default? It depends. I use paper/pencils because I haven’t taken the time to figure out EQ7. NOTE: I will not be able to offer assistance to those who bring software
    Do you think this can be a full-day class or 1/2 day class? What would you prefer? I would think full day would be more beneficial.
    Do you think folks would like an exercise, in which, they take their cell phones and take a photo in the class/environment around them to use this for a design? YES! Will everyone have a phone? Maybe not but they can always use someone else’s phone for the pic. Then just hope they are sitting next to each other to share. Depending on where the workshop is held, it might be possible to print their pic so they wouldn’t have to share the other person’s phone.
    I LOVE this idea and am seriously interested in booking you as soon as you are ready. My email is suzanne.montgomery @ sbcglobal .net

    Reply

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