Tag Archives: modern-traditional

An Improv Start and More Sketches

An online class sure keeps me busy, but busy in a fun way. (Meanwhile I have 8 days for the Paint Brush Studio project. Plenty of time–a day to make the back, two to quilt, and another to bind.)

Lesson 2 of Mod Meet Improv involved improv stitching instead of sketching. So I did.

L2 design 2

Elizabeth gave some very general instructions which could produce quite a variety of quilts. Mine is sewn in strips, but I’m still adjusting exactly where I’ll be sewing them together. First I move one to the left, then another to the right. Etc. I’m waiting for Elizabeth’s comments before stitching any more. Once I decide where each strip goes and attach them, I’ll add unbleached muslin for enough border to get to 36-inch square. (Those slightly curved seams really shrink the final measurement.)

Then I combined homework for the quilt-design group meeting tomorrow with a project for Lesson 3. Last month we talked about Jacob Lawrence’s work. (I had associated the Harlem Renaissance with literature–was intrigued to learn it extended to art also.) One month the group talks about an artist and the next month sketches a design or makes a quilt related to that artist’s works. I’d been most fascinated by one piece in his series, The Great Migration: Panel 18, “The Migration Gained in Momentum” (here scroll down to get to it) . What intrigued me most was the composition showing the goal off canvas and the motion toward it.  Since I don’t do people, I wasn’t sure how to proceed.

The current lesson involved varying a traditional block.  So I started sketching possibilities using that idea. First I tried Ohio Star.

L3 Riff sketch 1

This sketch didn’t fill the bill. I felt like I should show the traditional block before I pulled out a part to vary. With the star in the upper corner, the goal was no longer off “canvas.” And the variations on the QSTs (Quarter Square Triangles) were too stable. (It reminds me of Christmas cards that say, Wise Men Still Follow the Star–without the “following”motion. Or chess pieces.)

So I shifted to Flying Geese.

L3 Riff sketch 2

A little bit better: Motion and off the “canvas.” But leading the eye off the quilt isn’t a good thing, and that is what this one does. Also the blocks are moving to the side not up.

Well, as you might imagine, there is no way to tip a Flying Goose block to the right and have it point up and right. At some point you have to let go of the inspiration and deal with the new design. I think this is that point. So here is the third try.

L3 riff sketch 3

I rather like this one. I think I avoided leading the eye off the design. We’ll see. It hasn’t had time to get comments yet. I suppose if I were to make it, I’d call it “Flying Geese Migrate.” One trouble with liking to work abstractly is that it is difficult to keep social meaning in the piece.


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