Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the Way to Ruth McDowell Designing from Nature Class

September is fast approaching and my pre-work assignment reached me last week for the class I am taking with Ruth McDowell. The class is on designing quilts from photographs and then executing your design. Ruth McDowell has been one of my favorite art quilters and original inspirations for probably close to 25 years! When I complete this class, I will have taken classes with all of my icons from my quilt beginnings -- Michael James, Nancy Crow, Ann Johnston and finally Ruth McDowell. This is not to say that there have not been numbers of other wonderful teachers along the way but Ruth has always done such wonderful quilts!

A friend from our RAFA art quilt group attended the class last week. I was dying to hear about the class so she called and told me how great it was and how much she liked Ruth!! Yeh! She gave me many wonderful hints as well which I have already put into place today.

Today was spent trying to do my prework which was basically to put together one of the quilts from Ruth's many books. I chose the water lily from the newest piecing book as it had lots of curves and was something I liked besides! I gathered together lots of nice greens and blues and a few yellows to launch forward. First I had to trace the pattern onto freezer paper and then made another copy on tracing paper as my master pattern (probably should have just used the one from the book!). I then started picking out the blues and greens and cutting out the many many freezer paper templates to audition the fabrics I THOUGHT I wanted to use. It is a very useful exercise as I saw that I need more of a value change than I had so will do some substitutions now that I am home. I got mired in that mid range value bind that many of us get caught up in!

It was nice to catch up with Marcia and Priscilla on what they have been doing and what has been going on! I won't see them again until the August Jacket Class that Priscilla is teaching right after I get back from Quilting by the Lake (QBL).

This is the earliest positioning of fabric held up on the master pattern with pins.

This is the freezer paper drawing that will be cut up and used for templates.

This was my preliminary selection of blues and greens. I think the greens are okay but the blues were too much alike so will add some darker blues in for variety.

This was how the piece ended the day. Per a suggestion from friend Jeanne, I used double stick scotch tape (close enough to what she suggested) to tape the pieces on the master pattern. I discovered at that point that I had actually put a blue piece where a green one should be so that was corrected. I have a few more changes to make before I am satisfied even with this far. I do get it and do like the nice bright blues but think I need a couple of dark navy blues as well. The waterlillies will be yellow or pink (depending upon my stash) rather than the white ones that Ruth has in her picture.


divagirl said...

Dear Beth:

If you are feeling really generous and want to free up space in your studio, you could mail those extra dear jane blocks to me so I could make a quilt for my daughter. :0) Just a little hint in case you feel soooper giving. best regards

QuilterB said...

Well, it was a closely guarded secret that I still have 500 Dear Jane blocks that I have not found a home for but now that is out! Beth

divagirl said...

It wasn't a posted it on your blog and I jumped on it like a tick on a puppy... I'm serious..if you're looking for a home, let me know. I'll pay for postage