Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book review: Inspired to Design


Are you afraid to get started designing your own art quilt?  Then this is the book you need.  Not everyone is going to love Elizabeth Barton's methods, especially those people who like to work "intuitively", but if you are a planner and don't know how to plan one of these masterpieces, you are going to LOVE this book!

Even if you think planning isn't for you, I challenge you to give this a try.  The full title of the book is Inspired to Design: Seven steps to successful art quilts.  Elizabeth Barton takes you through these steps, from gathering up your ideas and inspirations, to making the basic decisions about composition by chosing the structure, focal point(s), colors and values, evaluating those choices, and putting them all together.  Exercises feature prominently throughout the book.  More time spent on thinking through design choices will make the time spent on construction more worthwhile!

I have become convinced by Elizabeth about the importance of a design wall and an inspiration notebook.  Now if I only had a wall available...  But here's what she has to say about the notebook; doesn't this sound wonderful?


"As you enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine, with your feet up, look at your inspirational pictures one by one and write down what it is about this photo, sketch, or painting that really impresses and fascinates you....There are so many possibilities. Each one is personal, but it is also often fleeting, and that’s why it’s important to note it down.(p 8)


Elizabeth's output is prodigious, and as I looked through this new C&T Publishing book and also at her website, I decided that this is definitely a woman I can learn a thing or two (or three or four...) from.

Battersea

Red Morning






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2 comments:

SpinningDownUnder said...

Anyone who can feature the Battersea Power Station in a quilt has to be fantastically talented! I've always worked intuitively; I don't audition colours or textures, and assume the magic ingredients will tell me what they want to be. I have often wondered if a design wall would be limiting. Sounds like I really, really, need to read this book!
Then I'd have to move house to get the space for a design wall, lol!

Cyndi L said...

Yeah, no kidding about Battersea! I don't know that this approach will necessarily work for you, because it is very plan-oriented, but since I fall about half way between total planning and total intuition, it really gave me a lot to think about.

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