Thursday, December 26, 2013

New online class with Academy of Quilting starts Jan 2.....

As many of you know, Quilt University came to an end last year with the sudden and very sad death of Carol Miller, who had had the brilliant idea of affordable online classes many years ago. Over the years she built up a terrific roster of classes (to say nothing of the teachers!) and a very loyal and talented following of students.

One of the teachers, Ruth Arbee, decided to take over Quilt University and she has added many of the QU teachers and classes to her ongoing Academy of Quilting.  I opted to transfer my three QU classes to Ruth's website as I feel her goals are very similar to those of Carol Miller.

 The three classes are: Dyeing to Design, Inspired to Design and Working in Series.  Ruth will run one of these pretty much every month of the year - the first one up is Dyeing to Design.   This is an interesting class, I think, because it covers a lot of ground.  Working from the basic elements of value, color, texture, shape and line I show how each one of these in turn can be created on fabric.  Then I discuss the pros and cons of designing with that particular element as the focus.  Each week, therefore, you learn how to create a particular type of surface design, and then how to use that element to make a small quilt.

If you've never dyed fabric before, never done arashi (tie-dye) or screen printed with dye, this is a marvelous introductory survey of these techniques.  I make sure that everything is Very Safe, Very Simple and as low-tech as possible.  So, if you're interested, please check out the Academy of Quilting website before Jan 2!  And I'm happy to answer any questions - there's an email link at the top right of the page...just under my picture.

I still have a few copies of my new book: Working in a Series available if you're interested in a personally dedicated signed copy!!  I can do a check ($35) or Paypal ($36) (ask me to send you a request for $), and will ship immediately USPS priority mail - which is Very Quick!!  alas the shipping costs outside of the USA are prohibitive.

Let's hope for an amazingly creative New Year for us all!!!  And Plenty of Time in which to be creative!  Oh how I wish they had time for sale!!!
So, if you have been, thanks for reading!!!  Elizabeth

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My new book is almost here....

scroll down to the end for a chance at a free copy.....

I just learned that several copies of my new book, Working in a Series, are on their way to me  and should be here any day.  One book published in a year is pretty exciting - two is truly amazing!
When C and T asked me to send them a proposal I wasn't sure which idea to present, so I offered them two different ideas and was very surprised when they accepted both of them.

My earlier book, Inspired to Design, came out in the Spring and is a step by step guide on how to make an art quilt: from being inspired by a photograph or a painting or an idea, through sketching and designing, critiquing the design, blocking out the quilt and constructing and finishing it.

The second book goes much further and covers three main areas: developing a series, coming up with designs in many different ways and gaining a fuller and more useful understanding of the principles of good design.

  My aim was to help the reader focus in on one idea, one stream of thought that could lead to a whole series of quilts, a body of work.  So many people have said to me that they're tired of learning a technique, making one quilt in that technique, then going to another workshop, learning a different technique and making one quilt like that.   They feel they have no voice - or perhaps too many voices!!   Furthermore all the pundits talk about developing one's own particular style, one having a "body of work" but they don't really tell you just how to do that.

I think that when you've taken many different workshops and learned a lot of different techniques, you are more than ready to develop your own style.  Some people are lucky and seem to fall into a particular style right from the start - I think it's often because they did discover that working a series of quilts was they way to do it.  In this book, I explain just how and when to decide what kind of series is right for you. There are also lots of examples of quilt series both from myself and from a number of well known, well respected artists.

In the second part of the book, I look at the many ways you can come up with designs - all the different tools you can use and methods for seeing, grasping and working from inspiration.

The third part of the book addresses something that seems to be lacking in many quilt books and magazines and that is a thoughtful look at design considerations.  Many books just rattle off a short list of Es and Ps and consider the task done.  Rote learning of a few labels just won't cut it though!!  You really need to know why, what, when and how!!     Some of the topics I address are:  achieving the illusion of depth, evaluating your designs, choosing strong color schemes and the use of simultaneous contrast,  using rhythms and repetition to make a piece more interesting, the use of value patterns (chiaroscuro, or Notan), and landscape composition rules.  I also discuss the problems in working directly from photographs, how to bring energy into your work, the use of positive and negative space and visual pathways.  I have tried, however, not to be didactic and boring - but rather to take a look at some of these ideas in a way that is helpful to the quiltmaker in particular.

As before if you're interested in purchasing a copy of the book - you can order one directly from me - please email me   for details.  I'd be happy to put one in Priority Mail for you - and sign it!!
Or you can support your local quilt shop by asking them to order it.  Amazon will have it in January.

So, if you have been, thanks for reading!  And thank you to everyone who signed up for my 2014 master class (or to be on the 2015 waiting list) (see last blog)!!  I'm looking forward to getting started with this new idea!    Elizabeth

PS if the embedded link above doesn't work (it looks a bit funky on my screen) - then there's a link just below my picture on the top right, and also one from my website:

ALSO C&T are Giving Away an e copy of the book on their blog:

check it out!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Master Class for Art Quilters…

  I recently gave a very successful and enjoyable workshop to a lovely group of ladies
  who asked me if I'd come up with some way that they could continue to work with me online.
  With their help, I put together the following idea.  I'm throwing this private online class open to all because I
  think it will be a lot more interesting to have a good mix of folks!         So, let me know
  if you would be interested in joining us.   Start date will be January 1st! 
  Please email me to if you have any questions.

 Limited Access: This year long class would be on a private paid subscription email/blog limited to 10 minimum, 15 maximum. Beyond 15 there would be a wait list. On signing up, I’ll give you the blog address and allow  access from your email address.  I will send you the exercises as an email attachment, and you will send me your images as email attachments, I will upload and critique those images on the private blog.

Description: The aim of the class is to help you strengthen your art quilt skills and it builds on my other online and actual workshops. We won’t be addressing construction methods, it’s assumed you are already comfortable with a method that works well for you.  Around the first of each month, I’ll describe an “exploration” or directed exercise – nothing as limited as a specific project, but rather a set of instructions for a design (or designs), each month exploring a different concept, issue, topic or idea. You can make a quilt any size.  I won’t restrict your imagination!  But it will be important to address the main issue to which the exercise relates.

Images: All should be jpegs, between  6” and  8” on the longest side, 72 dpi. Sent as an attachment to this dedicated address:

Focus issue or exploration (me): 1st of the month sent directly to you as an email attachment.
Designs (you): 10th of the month. Send me up to 3 designs, choose your best!
When I receive all the designs, I’ll put them together into a blog with a critique for each design. I’ll number them and won’t use names! So feel free to be wild!
Blocked out Quilt (you) 20th of the month: You’ll have ten days to block out the design you choose i.e. cut out the pieces and pin them together so that I can clearly see how the piece looks, but that alterations are possible.   When I receive the images, I’ll put them into a blog with a critique for each one.  No namesagain.
Finished Quilt(you) last day of the month: An image of the finished quilt will be due at the end of the month, and I’ll publish them on the blog and a short evaluation – not as long as the first two critiques…basically my overall impression and some things for you to ponder for your next piece.  And…on the first of the next month, my blog will describe the next exercise.

Some dates may vary a little due to my travels! And I do understand that life could get in the way of you working on an exploration some  months!!  So, it’s no problem if you can’t complete an exercise. If I don’t get an image from you by the specified date, I’ll assume it was one of  “those” months! 

Your Comments: Comments are great – and so helpful to everyone else. At any time you can go to the blog, view the images and comment!  You’re welcome to comment about a design, a quilt, my critique or anything!!  I’ll number the images so that reference will be easy.

Cost: $250…if not satisfied after first month…then I’ll return 90% to you.
After 30 days, though, no returns..I’m sorry but I could have had another person in your place…
Payable by check – email me and I’ll send you my address.  Outside the USA only, we can use Paypal. Please indicate your level of expertise…beginner, intermediate, advanced.

Commitment: I’m asking you to commit to a year. At the end of the year, if I decide to continue with the class for a second year, you would have the first opportunity to sign up.

Topics: Some of the topics I plan to cover in the explorations are: important areas in design, various art movements, guided designing, developing designs from photographs, how to look at and assess the design, strengths and weaknesses, finding and solving problems, tweaking the design at the blocked out stage, developing your own voice, creating from the inside, working with the elements of design, discovering ways of doing this, time management and goal development. In each lesson I plan to include a little art history or theory, and some suggested research, and guidelines for self critique.

If you have been, thanks for reading!  And don't forget to get in touch with any questions....Elizabeth 
PS re the photo:  no, it's not the Tardis! but it is a starting point...

WOW! the class is full already.....I'm happy to put you onto a waiting list for 2015 however, if you want to get in touch - thank you to everyone who wrote straight away!   
Please send me your actual email - if you just write in the comments, I don't get your email address!
click this   for my email address!  Thank you!!