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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Workshop Review

This month's visiting teacher to our guild was Wendy Butler-Berns. I knew from early last year that I wanted to take one of Wendy's classes, and I was able to be the guild hostess for the Saturday class, a block design workshop. I also attended Wendy's lecture on Thursday night and she was really friendly, entertaining, and down to earth. Wendy shared a preview of the class during the lecture and covered a few high level elements of design. She also showed some great quilts. 
On Saturday, I picked her up in the morning and helped her get set up - it was really fun to lay so many of her quilts out across the tables and have a chance to look at them up close. We started the day with lecture that included examples of each of the design principles and elements that she talked about. Then, we dipped our toe into the design waters and started by drawing lines on a piece of paper - straight or curvy - from one to "as many as you want." After that exercise, we moved on to block design. She gave us graph paper and we use lines again to create a block from a one inch square. I experimented with 2 and 3 lines per block and a mix of straight and curvy lines. Once we decided on a design we liked, then we repeated that one several times and played with the possible color variations (using just light, medium, and dark). Once again, we chose our favorite, and then enlarged it to two inches. At that size, we created templates and selected and cut fabric to glue onto the grid. I decided to go with a monochromatic design and picked several greens to work with in light, med, and dark. 

After gluing all the fabrics down, I cut apart the blocks and started playing with direction. The design I liked best was a tessellating design and this is how I will sew them together. 
Here is a picture of what Janet, who did programs with me a couple years ago, came up with. She had enough of her fabrics to use the same of each throughout and her orange color is all one piece of fabric.  
I should have taken more pictures of the other designs, but I guess I was busy between packing up my own stuff and helping Wendy. I did get a picture of Wendy's class samples though - you can tell she's been doing this a little longer - don't you love the ones with the curvy edges? 
Overall, I was really pleased with the class. I hope it will help push me into doing a little of my own designing, even if just on a really small scale. If you are intrigued by what I showed, you can take the same class or another one by her on Craftsy. If you link to it from her website, I think you can get a discounted class fee too. 

Hope you enjoyed this short review - I will try to continue to share when I have the chance to attend a workshop. 

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