Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Quilt Class in Winterville, GA: Quilting the Modern Way

I've been teaching painting and helping to teach aikido at a very nice community center in Winterville which is part of Athens, GA.
It's been such a pleasure to teach local classes with people coming back once a week and seeing their progress....so when they asked me to teach a quilting class, I thought it would really be a lot of fun and quite different from the major workshops at the big venues, or faraway guilds where I have taught up to now.
But I don't want to teach traditional quilting.
So I'm calling  the class: Quilting the Modern Way.
all very relaxed!!
No tedious measuring and precisions piecing, which (let's face it!) is often a teeny bit boring!! I want the students to be Bold and Free!  But they could also be quite calm and relaxed...above all have fun.

so these images are some of the possibilities........

I had a revolutionary idea!! instead of issuing a supply list and having people go and buy the wrong stuff, or unnecessary stuff - because the Clerk at JoAnns or Hancocks or wherever said they needed it, I'm going to discuss supplies in the first class.
So to the first class, students would only bring pencil and paper...easy!
then I can show them what they need, and we can talk about what kinds of fabric can be used, and how to beg, borrow and steal it!! well perhaps not "steal" exactly!! but....

And I'll also take in several quilts I've made and discuss just how I put them together and what my thoughts were.

 While most of my quilts have been made with hand dyed fabric...these quilt designs work perfectly well with commercial fabric too.... the quilt on the right has quite a few pieces of commercial fabric in it....
and even better with scraps of cotton clothing, old sheets, tablecloths....etc.

I also plan on printing out some of these pictures...and pinning them up around the room for the first class so students can choose what they would like  to do....

I think that will make for a fun first class!
 This one on the left, had a "cross" shape appliquéd over the top...I won't be teaching appliqué for this first class...but if I get keen students...then maybe we can do more with designs that require appliqué in a follow up class next year.

Quilting the Modern Way is eight classes:
once a week Friday mornings....
here are the dates:

September 20 and 27.  October 4,11,18.
 (I”m out of town on the 25th)
November 1,8,and 15.

It's in the morning...first three classes at 10.30, the rest are at 10 am.  and it lasts around 90 minutes.
The classes are $10 per session...so the course is $80.
We're going to keep the class small, so that there will be a great deal of personal help and instruction from me.

The class would also make a great gift for a loved one.
Healthier than going out for dinner!

 The quilt on the left was quite large (around 60" square)...but it would be perfectly possible for someone to make something this big....or even bigger!
Students can make one quilt or many quilts...small, medium or large!
While most of the quilt above are square within a square designs...a kind of simple Log Cabin....students could  also make something like  one of these four designs....which are much more modern ...clean, simple and elegant.

That's the beauty of quilting, there's a "look" for everyone!!!
I do hope I have a nice full class, much more fun and laughter....if you're anywhere local to me (Athens, Ga) think about it!!!!

And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!!  
and if you have any questions or comments...please do comment! Whether you're local or not!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Letting Go

The Cove

A student made the comment that it was hard for her to let go of "the rules" .....
....and yet to be creative, it's pretty much a requirement.
so how do you do that?

Perhaps, it should be done inadvertently!
If you think about it creativity is outside the rules, even though it may include some rules.

Accept that idea and then you can see that there is a place for creativity and you have the capacity to go there.

Once you know that's possible, then even though you might be following  the rules always in the back of your mind you could be looking for more interesting, exciting , more attractive, colorful..ways of expressing the same idea...
In the quilts on the left, I allowed the image to disintegrate to express the sense of the elements charging along outside of the safe place of the cove...I could have just shown the cove itself, but I wanted to convey the idea of "cove" being a safe place, therefore I wanted to show the danger....

Compare the piece above with the one below - which one is more exciting?
  Which one "breaks the rules" more?

Look at these three quilts all about homes in "green places"....which one is very prosaic, spelling out the shapes of houses and trees...which one merely suggests the idea and leaves you too figure out the answer?  Which do you like best???

Okay: here's my answer...I cut the first one up!!!!

so...tell me...what do you think about "breaking the rules" - is that a way to creativity? or just a way to chaos?  and how might you avoid chaos?  I'd love to hear from you.....

Next week, I'll do another blog on creativity...it's such an interesting subjects....

And, if you have been, thanks for reading.  Elizabeth

Monday, August 19, 2019

Quilts take so much time to make!!!

I don't know about you but I find it practically impossible to fit in all the fun things I want to do!
every day I see a new inspiration for a quilt, or a painting....and there's no time to do them all!

I certainly envy those quilters who make the quilt tops and then have them sandwiched and quilting and finished by someone else...but I think for most people that's not very affordable.

My answer to that has been to make several tops - maybe a half dozen or so, or even ten...and then select only the one or two best to actually quilt.

so these were the best of a whole series of "window" quilts that I made:

it began with the one above....but then I got into more color and less realism...abstracting the idea of the window frame...sometimes with the horizontal bar across the middle ...sometimes without...

 So why did I select the ones I did to finish them?  Well I chose the ones with the most impact, the ones that looked the freshest and most interesting after weeks of them hanging around in the studio.
I'm sure you all have bought some art work and then found after a week or two you're tired of it and it fades into the background and you don't even see it any more....
well quilt tops like that are the ones you don't finish!!!

I still like most of  these...looking back at them...
well the first one is pretty boring!!! but often the starting point is prosaic and boring...

I was just talking to a friend last night about how that happens with writing...you begin in quite a pedestrian way to tell the story...and then as you get into it the excitement takes over (or should if you're working it!!)...and then you discard the nondescript beginning!!

so please do write and tell me how you cope with the shortage of time...and the need to make lots of work!!!   it's so great to hear from you.

And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!!   Elizabeth

Monday, August 12, 2019

Abstract design quilt class

Like a lot of quilt makers, when I go to an art museum I'm usually fascinated by the abstract paintings...
because I start to visualize them as quilts!!
or at least certain sections of them....
Although I seem to be "known" for my quilts about old houses and streets, in fact I've made just as many abstract ones..

......and am fortunate enough to have two of them recently purchased for one of the public libraries in Atlanta!!   (see below!)   Great stuff!  Just when I was needing some cash too!!


I look at a lot of abstract art, particularly that by women painters...I feel more connection to them...I never copy directly of course...but look and look and think about what I like.
One of the things that always strikes me is the sense of movement...
so the quilt above was really about moving forward, yes sometimes getting a bit mixed up...but always a constant forward motion...

My Abstract Art for Quiltmakers class  starts again this Friday by the way...and this particular class is totally focussed on women abstract painters.  Just five lessons and very affordable!  And you have me at your elbow to help evaluate designs....or not! if you prefer to work on your own.
They said ten thousand hours AND a good coach is the way to gain mastery in an art form - or music or sport....

so I hear you asking ...and the other quilt that they chose?

well here it is:

This idea is "abstracted" rather  than purely non-representational...what's the difference?  Well I go over definitions in the class...but basically abstract is really anything short of realism...and you can get more and more and more abstract as you move further away from the physical characteristics of the subject.  yes!! fascinating!

So, if you have been, thanks for reading...yet again!  And do please comment, or ask me any questions you wish.  I'm here!   Elizabeth

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Quilt design ideas

I get inspirations and ideas for designs for quilts from a lot of places and things....of course every idea has to be carefully evaluated and honed and worked with.
I've found that making a quilt based directly and literally on a photograph never works out quite as well as I hoped.

Instead I try to figure out just what it was about the original image that really intrigued me....and it's rarely the whole thing.

so this quilt:

which hangs in the stairwell of my nearest public library (Athens Regional Library on Baxter St for locals!)    was actually inspired by a chair...looking at the woven rattan or cane seat and looking through the little holes created by the loose weaving just really fascinated me.
I actually did not need a photo.  As you can see I copied the color of the cane/rattan (whatever!) pretty directly....but was a bit more inventive with the backgrounds...I like the sense that these are all little windows onto different worlds.

This morning I was inspired by the light over the pond:

I may just take the colors...or that patch of light and shade...maybe it will be a quilt, or maybe a painting....WATER color of course!!

but the image below...taken last week sitting out an outdoor cafe ..would work both as a quilt or as an acrylic painting...

I would crop out or blur a lot of the detail...but I love the light/shade and the cream against the midnight blue sky....
hmm!!! I must away to my studio!!

And if you have been...thanks for reading!!  And do please write in the Comments and tell me how you get inspired.....


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Getting Inspired...

Nolde watercolor at the Georgia Museum of Art

There are many ways to get inspired.....I love to visit our local small art museum...it's on the University of Georgia campus...it's free...and if you pick your time right, parking is free...and there are no crowds ...no people to stand in front of you blocking your way to see a picture, you can take photos....there are little folding stools available so you can sit and contemplate, or just sit and be!!!  
This little painting - it's only a quarter sheet - is so evocative...I just love it...Nolde usually painted big loose lush flowers...to this (at least to me) was an unusual piece.
And it reminded me of my own version of  rain and wind and how it affects us:
Rainy Rainy Night, quilted wall hanging

Nolde focusses on the effect of wind and rain on the person ...he uses the diagonals very dramatically to create a sense of being buffeted by the elements...I was thinking more about how lovely it is to be in a cozy house at night with the rain and wind howling around outside...somehow the contrast adds to the coziness.
By the way this quilt will be hanging in the Quiet Gallery of the Athens Regional Public Library until next Monday morning when we'll be taking the show down.  9 quilts and 15 watercolors....

Sliding glass circles create multiple shifts in color - currently at the GMOA
Looking at the art work above....I started thinking about a current project I'm working on...which involves a lot of piecing...tiny little diagonals...this will be a new online class...but not till January!  I don't like to put up more than one new class a year...
We're videoing this quilt step by step so it should make for a very nice clear instructional sets of lessons....I'm getting some help with the videos which is a great boon.  When I tried doing it alone, I managed to chop off my head much of the time!!!

I'm also very much inspired by the nature I see around me...

  this lovely crepe myrtle spotted in a neighbor's yard early this morning...is so graceful...just look at the grace in those undulating trunks....they look like a slow uplifting dance....maybe a slow Latin dance with two dancers...and they end up all entwined together and produce beautiful flowers - what a metaphor for love!!!

And this field of daisies - this was a little earlier in the year...i'm still contemplating how to create an artwork based on this - I have to figure out the mood it creates in me...what fascinates me about the image and the memory of the scene

when I look at these photos also from my neighborhood, I love the sense of light..

.there is always light somewhere in our lives, always a sense of hope...and the frisson inside caused by a glimpse of a loved one....

These two images will be translated into watercolor almost certainly...but the daisies...well they might be a quilt!!

Below: this was a watercolor based on a local photo...not exactly sure where it was now...somewhere in Winterville I think...this painting is in the OCAF Members Show up now (School St, Watkinsville)...what really fascinated me here was the dappled light on the house....
don't you just love the shadows that trees make??? Especially when they are dancing lightly in a breeze...alas my little painting is not kinetic!! but i did try to convey a sense of movement...

And so, inspiration is everywhere!!!  Do write and tell me some of the places you have discovered it....personal experience is always best of course.....
And, if you have been, thanks for reading!!

www.elizabethbarton.com          www.elizabethbarton.knitscode.com

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Inspirations for green quilts from a hot day in GA....

Anna Ruby falls
So what d'you do on a hot day in Georgia?
you go up into the mountains!!! and visit one of  the many beautiful waterfalls we have...

The falls are located just a little bit north of Helen, GA.

Of course you need to get there early!!!

They are very popular in the summer....but we were lucky and were the first ones into the Park..

..The path upto the falls is very easy..

.and it's all in a beautiful green shade.....

I have made several green quilts...
used to avoid them before digital photography as the color green was so hard to capture with the red-biased film I used...

but now!!!

o my...

we can have all the green we want...

and with these record breaking temperatures,

the color green feels so good....

see the quilts!

Let me know if you want to know any more about any of these quilts...one is sold, two won prizes, two were given to a daughter, one was cut into small pieces which were then sold!!

ANd, if you have been...thanks for reading!   Elizabeth....