I recently had the opportunity to review a new DVD by the talented Carrie of Such Designs called Art Techniques for Quilt Design. I jumped at the chance to learn from Carrie, as I’ve been wanting to add more of my own voice to the the quilts I make. Lucky for me, Carrie does too and she teaches this in her new DVD.
Carrie was trained as a fine artist and brought her fine art skills to her quilt and fabric designs. Carrie describes herself as a creativity enabler, and that is such a good description of herself and how this class is designed. Rather than teach you how to sew, she teaches you basic fundamentals of art and drawing that you can apply to your sewing projects.
The first half of the class focuses on arming you with basic drawing skills. In this portion, she has you explore line drawings, gesture, and composition. She encourages you to find the spirit of the form of whatever you are drawing and helps you learn to see what is actually there rather than your mind naturally thinks is there – ie what an apple actually looks like versus what you think an apple should look like. In her discussion of composition, she uses several quilts to discuss the different types of composition and how to apply them to quilts.
All of the basic drawing skills that Carrie teaches in the first half of the class are useful in the next portion, where she teaches her popular nest quilt design. In real time, she describes how to draw the nest, how to cut the fabric, and how to sew the nest design. It is so fun to watch her build the nest, piece by piece, all while giving great encouragement. At one point she says that if nothing else, she wants you to trust your creativity and know that you are good enough just as you are. I love that.
There is also a small portion at the end of the class that goes over turning children’s art into quilt designs. I do wish this segment had been longer, but it did get my brain spinning with ideas of how to turn my own daughter’s artwork into a quilt design to treasure forever.
Carrie teaches so much in this DVD that I think it’s important to discuss what you will NOT learn by watching this DVD. This is not a how-to-quilt class. She does not go over basic sewing skills or piecing instructions. What she does do in this class is teach you to draw and create composition while helping you build up your confidence so that you trust your own creative process. I’ve already taken what I’ve learned from her class and applied it to the next project I am working on – a raw applique storybook design – which I’ll leave a sneak peak of here.
Thank you to Carrie and Interweave for the chance to review this DVD. Note that I did receive a free copy in exchange for this review, but all views and opinions are my own!