Lines and Circles

January's project

January’s project, 9 x 14

First I read Elizabeth Barton’s Inspired to Design, which led me to follow her blog. And her blog announced a year-long, online Master Class on art quilt design. The time was right: I needed to add doing and receiving commentary to reading about design.

January’s project focused on value but started with a photograph. I started with this photograph of the land boat in the Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Land boat

See the heron?

The quilt viewer does not need to know that the quilt started with this photo; therefore the quilt is not named “Land Boat” but “Lines and Circles” (unless I think of something more creative–any suggestions?). Meanwhile, readers interested in process might want to know. We sketched major value blocks and drew shapes, then abandoned the photo and adjusted values and shapes into a design we could quilt. We could be representative or not.

Between cropping the photo, adjusting the slant, and moving the pomegranates, I thought I had gotten free of the photo. But when Elizabeth suggested bright colors, I realized I was stuck in the browns and greens of the photograph–my only planned color change had been to brighten the pomegranates to a more burnt orange than the brown of the photo.

I began to think differently and after considering a couple bright combinations, decided on primary colors–red, blue and yellow. It was a challenge to work with various values of yellow and red; blue came easily. I made the background and quilted it, and then I added the circles. That consruction allowed me to fix a problem Elizabeth noted in my submitted final. Three of the circles ended up in a horizontal line. By making two into pairs, one addition up and one down, I hope I’ve fixed that a little. I can still see the straight row, but it no longer glares.

Elizabeth’s most recent blog entry  on color and value was a fitting conclusion to the January segment of the workshop. I am eager to hear what our starter will be for February.

You can see another from the Masterclass at Off the Wall Friday plus peek at other art quilts. Then there is NewFO to browse and more buttons to the right.



Filed under design, quilting

16 responses to “Lines and Circles

  1. ohhh I love knowing a little more about someone in class! I get why we keep it anonymous but I love finding out the back story! I love watching this piece develop!

  2. Very visual eye catching design… the bold colors!

  3. dezertsuz

    Very interesting from the photograph to the quilt. Maybe you’re an art quilter after all!

  4. Great job on the quilt ….love that you used bright photos. I am following a similar process for a friend quilt! She gave me a photo of the colours she like! Very inspiring reading your post!

  5. This is really neat! I love naming quilts. Since the viewer doesn’t necessarily need to know what the exact inspiration was, you could go with something like “Bubbles and Beams.”

    Thank you so much for linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday!

    🙂 Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  6. Great color choices. I love your art quilt.

  7. Great job, and a clever use of the technique.

  8. My first thought was that the dots were buoy like. So maybe name it something like “A drift”? Love the colors you chose. Sounds like a really interesting course.

  9. I struggle with naming my own quilts (I have a big book from the 1920s of all the popular quotations/aphorisms at that time, and delve into that one often), so I’ll let you go to town on that one.

    What I have to say is that I applaud your “jump” from the photograph to the quilt. Often that is my biggest struggle–being too wedded to the image. We were at the LA County Museum of Art yesterday, seeing the James Turrell, and a couple of his comments in the videos that accompanied the exhibition talked about the power of image, but also how it can get in the way. And then I was looking at the Cubists in one of the galleries–how they looked at the elements of a moment/image, and tried to juggle and rejuggle them into a different image, while still keeping them visible. A challenge, but I thought about art quilts when looking at those paintings.

    Excellent job!

  10. Very nice piece. I love the way you interpreted your photo!

  11. Great post and really interesting to read about the design process. Good luck with the course.
    Hilary florence

  12. I like the idea of starting with a photo as inspiration and jumping from there. What parts of the photo would you say you kept? Love the colors and I think it has a nice sense of balance. I don’t think you will get tired of looking at it.

    • The main thing I kept was the idea of reflection, though I didn’t keep it exact. One of the value things I could have done was to reverse bottom values in the top repetition; if I had done that I’d have lost the darker being the water and the lighter being the actual. so I kept the lines of the fence, though more angled and the shading, though modified a little (the actual is lightest spot on the quilt, not in the photo). (Was that remaining too close to the original, not to keep modifying the value? Like my original color scheme? I don’t know.) I kept the idea of persimmons (wrongly called pomegranates in my post) clinging to the tree, though I moved them and added more of them and let them drift instead of cling to the tree.

  13. Thank you for following me.

  14. What fun to take a design master class! Your quilt turned out beautifully. Thanks so much for linking up with Sew Solid Sunday!

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