Monday, July 11, 2016

Working in a Series - Buoys

I recently completed an online course taught by Elizabeth Barton called Working in a Series.  The course is offered through the Academy of Quilting.  The course is excellent and I've never experienced an on-line quilting teacher as thorough or as encouraging as Elizabeth.  This is the third class I've taken from her. Previous classes were Inspired to Design (I took this one twice), Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers, and Abstract Art for Quiltermakers (I audited this).  All her courses are excellent.

Back to Working in a Series.  This class involves selecting a single theme and making a series of quilts on that theme.  My theme was buoys.  I am interested in the various shapes, angles, patterning that one might find when buoys are all piled up in a jumble. I had made a piece featuring buoys in the Inspired to Design class and wanted to explore it more.

First we made sketches.

Then I rendered some of my sketches in water color  and some in acrylics before I even selected fabric.  I found doing so helped me quickly determine where value problems might occur . (Yes, I have done value studies with light, medium, and dark pencils and those work well. But I found that often when working with color, one doesn't realize how tricky values and temperature can be.)  The color sketches also made "trouble shooting" easy.  I could post my piece on the classroom forum and Elizabeth was able to critique it and make suggestions. Thus corrections or changes were easily incorporated without the struggle of having to take apart a fabric piece.
Here is an example:
acrylic sketch with chalk marks

After seeing this sketch (without the chalk marks), Elizabeth pointed out that the orange buoy in the middle is too large and also the wrong color.  The warmer orange pushes forward against the light yellows.  I had wanted that buoy to be in the back ground. She also suggested that the background space needed to be a bit more obvious.

I drew possible changes with chalk on the painting and after a couple more discussions with Elizabeth via the forum I came up with a solution that worked and I made up with fabric. (see below)

Buoys #1 (approximately 18"x18")
The stripes on the large buoy were made by sewing a lot of small pieces of fabric together to get the shading and variations of color, which is not as apparent in the other four buoys.  By selecting cooler colors and aligning the buoys in different angles I was able to get the back buoys to recede .  The pieces are all raw-edge appliqued with a small blanket stitch, sewn on to a muslin foundation.

The next two of the series are presented below-  sketch first, then the fabric rendition.
sketch Buoys 2

Buoys #2  (18" x 24")

sketch Buoys #3

Buoys #3 (17" x17")

I hope in the course of the year I will complete the next three of the series AND quilt all six of them.  But, don't hold your breath!  I have a wedding quilt to make in the meantime!


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