A couple of weekends ago I was in Vermilion AB to teach two one day classes. Colour was the topic for Saturday: Colour – Give the Wheel a Spin. Sunday’s topic was the Elements and Principles of Design – A Recipe for Design.
Last August I was contacted by the Program Co-Chairs of the Vermilion Guild to ask if I would consider working with them to find out what their Guild members might be looking for in terms of new learning in the areas of colour and design. Together we designed a questionnaire that was circulated to guild members. The results of the survey indicated that yes there was interest in this area of inquiry. So then Barb and Caroline asked if I would develop two one day courses that would address the interest of their members.
So much of my winter was spent researching colour and design. A search on line and in my (I discovered) considerable library of relevant books led me to believe that an important aspect of any course would be to use a common language. Those of you who know me from my full-time career will remember that I was responsible for a document that brought a common language to working, learning and living skills.
In the end I felt that for quilters the best place was to start with and maintain the order of elements and principles that Anna Hergert described in her document on Elements and Principles of Design for the Canadian Quilters Guild. The document is thorough and provides examples that apply directly to quilting.
You might ask – why a need for common language? Elements and principles are common across the spectrum of human creativity. NOT. Various disciplines use a different combination of elements and principles and call them different names, even quilt books are not on the same page. My research led me to create lists and then cross reference words and definitions until I was satisfied that I had a degree of consistency in organization and terms. So enough of scholarly research and onto class design, curriculum, and hands-on exercises.
The classes consisted of hand-outs and hands-on exercises to illustrate the elements and principles. Each participant was encouraged to add their exercises to a coil bound sketch book so that they could refer back to them and use them as inspiration for upcoming quilts.
Colour was chosen for a day on its own as it is considered the most important element of design. We began with the gray scale as value is the most important aspect of colour. How it is used is what makes a quilt interesting and vibrant and something that the eye returns to again and again in a composition.
The remainder of the elements (individual components of a quilt design) and principles (how a quilt comes together to create a cohesive whole) were dealt with on the second day. Either of these classes could be taken on their own. Together they give one an overview of the subject matter.
There are instructors who teach design classes that are more in-depth and usually lead to a larger finished quilt. These two classes were intended to be a survey, an introduction or a reminder.
A lot of fun was had by all who participated in the classes, including me, the teacher. I so much enjoyed the experience of meeting these women and working with them and seeing what they created. Some of the work is showcased in the slide show.
This coming weekend is the Vermilion Quilters Guild 19th Annual Quilt Show. I understand that they will have over 200 quilts. This is an event worth seeing. They are talented quilters. The show is at the Vermilion Regional Centre. Come into town off the Yellowhead, Hwy 16 and when you see Boston Pizza on your west side turn left at the lights. A little further on Lakeland College is on the left and the Vermilion Regional Centre on the right, 5902 – 47 Ave.. There is lots of free parking and the show is all on one level. Hours are Sat. Apr 30 ,10 – 5 and Sunday May 1, 10 – 4. Lunches will be available. There is a park nearby and a great Quilt store in Lakeland Mall.
I’m going with some friends so perhaps I will see some of you there.