I’ve been wanting to go to the local modern quilt guild for ages. I almost went in March, but then we had an unexpected ice storm. I was distracted through April and May, with C coming home from college, and the two older boys getting their wisdom teeth removed. Finally remembered to call a few days ago, and learned that the upcoming meeting was this week.
So I went. It was great! A very small group, very friendly and welcoming. It was quite a different experience to be sitting around the table with about a dozen other people, after attending a guild of over 250 people. What was really nice was, with so small a group, the program could be very hands-on and interactive.
Led by another member, Marilyn, we worked on a couple of exercises from the book Art + Quilt, by Lyric Kinard. (Ironically, I’d just been looking at that book online recently, and trying to decide if it would be worth ordering.)
In an exercise exploring shapes, we learned that straight horizontal and vertical shapes convey ideas of solidness, while wavy, curvy and organic lines convey movement. Then Marilyn asked us to cut out some shapes that we thought conveyed movement, and glue them on a page. Most people, I think, cut swirly or flowery shapes, and that’s the first thing that occurred to me, too. But I like to buck a trend, so I moved on to a different idea: I tried to cut “drops”, then added puddles for them to drop into with a splash, and then a curvy cave wall, to make my drops into stalactites (that’s the upper one, right?). Okay, maybe not as vibrantly moving as swirls — perhaps I should have gone for ocean waves? But we only had a few minutes to think about it. Does it at least saying “dripping” to you?
In an exercise exploring lines, Marilyn spoke about how a quilting line can become a fundamental aspect of the quilt, if it is planned from the beginning and not added as an afterthought. For example, if your quilt has a theme, what kind of quilting line would reflect that theme? How could that be integrated into the design, right from the start?
As first exercise, she asked us to draw “whoosh”. I think most of us drew some sort of wavy lines. Next, she gave us a list of words to choose from, and asked us to draw lines that reflected that word. Can you guess my word? It was “popcorn”.
While I already have plenty of projects on the go, I’m now tempted to follow up these exercises with some small quilts that illustrate the concepts discussed. In fact, I’ve already jotted a few ideas down in my sketchbook…