Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A serendipitous little landscape

I start teaching a new landscape class at the end of the month so I am trying something a little different this time. There is no particular sample done for people to use as inspiration. Normally, I teach the techniques using a set pattern I have drawn and had enlarged. Because I usually have at least ONE very timid student, there WILL be a little basic pattern, should I not be able to encourage someone to at least TRY to make her own pattern. BUT, I am also going to talk in general terms about what makes a good landscape picture- centre of interest, point of view, Rule of Thirds etc. With this info, I HOPE I can encourage some people to just start from scratch. Also, I want to present the idea of serendipity in making landscape quilts. You may remember my recent "If Monet Grew Hydrangeas"? It began as a piece of my own hand dyed fabric that screamed "Look at the hydrangeas in here!!" the end result- the aforementioned Hydrangea quilt( to date, unquilted as I am not sure it is finished just yet!)

Well, I was looking at my commercial fabric stash and found an ombré stripe which shouted  "Landscape" at me ( my world is VERY noisy!) I saw sky and foreground in the lovely, subtle stripes. It made me think of a misty morning- or evening- on a still, cloudy seashore with waves just lapping onto a deserted beach  and dry sandy dunes in the foreground with a derelict slat fence, tufts of sere and wispy grasses and a scatter of rounded, bleached beach pebbles.  Here is what I have so far...
Not spectacular but promising, I think.
Now, the trick here is that you need a base fabric that has a story to tell. This is where the serendipity comes in. It depends on the quilt shop and on the eye of the beholder. I WANT to give the students a little time to shop the shelves and see if there IS any "talking fabric" . Otherwise, we shall proceed to step two and work on some gentle arm twisting to get them to try to design something themselves. I am torn because there are two techniques I want to teach them- turned edge and fused appliqué. Maybe I will start by demo-ing those, THEN let them loose to shop the shelves. I think that has just made up my mind- teach technique first, serendipity next! We are nothing , if not adaptable:-)

As it is Wednesday evening already, I will send this off to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com and hope you will check out other postings there.

9 comments:

  1. I love your background fabric, and what you've done with it! Why not teach them both turned edge AND fused appliqué - fused for background elements and turned edge for foreground elements.

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  2. It sounds fun! The nice thing is that they will all be different. Good luck.! I look forward to seeing them.

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  3. Your world may be noisy, but it's also beautiful! I think learning techniques so you can find your own way is a great strategy. Sounds like you've thought of some of the possible pitfalls along the way. Enjoy teaching!

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  4. That's a lovely view. I think I've been to that beach!

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  5. Great fabric and a great plan that you just talked, well, wrote yourself into!!!

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  6. great little landscape - definitely says Beach to me! I like your idea of teaching and then letting loose - wish i was in your neck of the woods to take part!

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  7. It comes down to "seeing" doesn't it? You might introduce 'view-finders' (ways they can isolate bits of fabric -- using 'L' shapes from mats cut at the corners, or something -- they can take these to the shelves and put them up to a bolt of fabric (or to a fat quarter) and see what they can see. Have fun! ;-)

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  8. This sounds so good and interesting and I will follow you from afar ---- and pick up this idea of a landscape and make my own ----- would you mind?

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  9. That is both spectacular and promising! Good luck with your curriculum planning, I ought to be doing that too, but since I will be teaching to complete quilt novices I think I have still a bit time.....

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