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Translating Inspiration in Quilting

Lesson 4 of 4

From Sketch to Quilt

Cheryl Arkison

Translating Inspiration in Quilting

Cheryl Arkison

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Lesson Info

4. From Sketch to Quilt

Lesson Info

From Sketch to Quilt

In this half of the class, we're going to now take those ideas that we've got and that we've been playing with sketches for and start playing with fabric and turning them into a quilt. We're not going to be making a quilt in the next little while, but we're going to get our plan for making a quilt, and this will get us to the point where we can go, yeah, I want to get my butt in the seat and really so or I think I need a little bit more work or this play was enough to make me go, I need to do more work or I don't want this to be a quilted all, and that sometimes happens and don't be frustrated by that. Sometimes we can have that inspiration, but it isn't something that needs to be a quilt, right? So when I talked about it, being your language, turning things into quilts is our language fundamentally, but then we have almost think of it as like dialects, right? We have I improv is where I go, you may go to have scored triangles in any way that you can do it like I I've got some ideas fo...

r your quilt on that front, right? So think about what you're your language was but don't dismiss the other languages. Right so it may not be a quilt don't get frustrated about that but if you really wanted to be a quilt let's just commit toe one block one block first and get from there so we want to get from that sketch the sketches we did over there to what it might look like if we wanted to do a quote we talked about that a little bit with some of yours but now I want you to really play with it so we're going to play with fabric we're going to still be using our sketch books to get it out we've got design walls here in the studio which will really help us tio if you don't have a design wall at home there's really easy ways to do what you can find tons of instructions on the internet your best bet absolutely is a piece of insulation foam insulation board and wrap batting around it and it could be this big and it can be you know I minds a buy eight in my sewing room it's too full peace is mounted on the wall or it could just be batting taped to the wall right we all have batting scraps and there could be a bed it can be a floor any one of those things if you can have it vertical it's great you want know another little trick those picnic um picnic table cloths the back or flannel backed right so you can just unroll them and then it's there and then you can roll it back up you khun by design walls that have grids on them tons of things but it is I'm all of the really instead indispensable tool to move from that sort of sketch to to quilt they're all we're going to commit tio is a little bit of play maybe one block at this point to see if this is what's cap if it's actually capturing it and if we have time if that block doesn't do it do it again if you're at home by all means keep going until you get to the point where you're totally ready to turn this into a quilt and your play may end up in the quilt and it may not but give yourself a chance to do that so when how do we do this? How do we actually translate it into a quelled first of all don't dismiss very traditional things so I'm going to use because it's the last one we had up here um this one and we talked about different ways where we might do it right is they're crazy applicator on top of it is that this improv sort of cut in insert type of deal or is it this very precision kind of thing to you applicator little cars like isn't just one block is the whole quilt one block is it a number of blocks right, you've got to think about the different ways that you might do this but don't because I go to improv more than anything I was immediately kind of thinking this I was thinking ah whole pieced background with a road on top of it but maybe that's not the right one, right? Maybe it is about these traditional kind of blocks this is just essentially a four patch with sachin, right? And it also conveys the idea of an intersection because when we're driving the intersections air one of this most stressful parts of the whole thing, so is passing right? And so is there a way to do that there's different ways but don't dismiss that sort of traditional sort of idea of things let's go to some of our other ones here we talked about this one a little bit in terms of this is karen's idea and the incarceration mass incarceration right? And orange is clearly a very prominent image with this, so we're going to be thinking about orange fabric, but we talked about is it? You know again my languages improv, so it was all improv with the prison bars on top, right? If you're someone who loves applicator than you are human figures and human representation might be actually more detailed, right or or there might be more to it isn't just heads is it whole bodies right think about the language and the way you go is it about the lines of the prisons you know, a prison block as opposed to the line the bars, right? Those are two very different images which required different construction techniques so look outside of your standard thing they're right we talked about this one again I know for me where I'm thinking in this but I'll give you a couple of different ideas so the years our sketch, right? But there's a couple of things if we go this way and you mentioned turning it right so how do you make these bars? Well to me, I'm just going to grab a purple marker here just for contrast. Now I'm putting the borders of a quilt around this right or the edge of a quote to show how it could be from construction you go ok, well, I have this sketch, but how would I build that right? And you literally scratch your head well, you have to create strips, ignore the curves but that I've done so you have to create strips. So now this is one for me is a different color so you can see the piecing right I've have to build that first strip and then I have to build another one and how do I do that? Well, I so whatever is going to be my background to my feature fabric and I so that but there's different ways to do that, too, right? Do I so, like just one background toe one feature fabric and then hackett? Or do I cut it into strips and then sew it together, right? These air different things that you can think about, and once you start playing with the fabric and thinking about it as a quilter, that's how you sort those sorts of things out, right, same goes if this is one of our ideas that we really like, do you assemble each side individually, or do you assemble it and then slice it in half to get that notion of the scene, right? Because if you do that, what you're going to want to do is shift those a little bit because the seem no matter what will show up. But if you have let's say you had one piece, you are a couple of pieces that went like that and you went across and then just sliced it and so did back together the scene would be there, but you'd still have very much a mirror image type of things you might be better off if you sold you know, those two together and then shifted it down right? So that there's some offsets, so then that seem is going to be even more visible because things aren't lining up right because when we think about quilting even if you're just making basic patchwork as soon as things don't line up you see it right you see your grid lines but when they're not there you also really see it a cz well and so in this case that would be very intentional right and that's what you wanna do and if you're very traditional quilter that's going to be hard because it's going to go against what you're very like not matching scenes not lining it up where we're going but it'll be okay it'll be okay um in there and let's do this final one pier one right so there's our initial image on we talked about this one as well what are some of the ways that you could do it together and this one's going to be a little bit harder because there's different things that you could dio along the way when we had talked about this example of doing all our inserts and then trying to do the horizon line in it well then that horizon line would just be that single blue line right not a bad thing but does that capture the inspiration as you want it right and so in this case because you also talked about the waves crashing on the shore is there then another blue one that goes here ran if those air over the piers maybe it's that overlay idea right? Like you put a sheer overlay so that you can see the element of them being under the water we talked about this where you would have, you know, ah blue background and then this gray background and they would piece him and then you would insert it, but you're then missing your angles, which you can add in afterwards are you comfortable with having why seems right? Because if you just did, I'm going to do pick read only because it'll contrast rate right, you can insert this triangle piece as one piece on there, but you have to be comfortable with that, or at least in this idea of fabric sketching and making one block that's your chance to try it right and you may think you absolutely need that notion of perspective, but as soon as you do it it you're like yeah, it's not really calling to me or is it two blocks right? Is there you making two halves of the same thing? Because then you get your perspective this way as well, right? So this is why sketching first and trying to think about how to turn that sketch into a quilt is so important because if I had just gone willy nilly with my first idea, I'd have a lot of really cool strips and then I would have gotten their men oh, well, now what do I do? Right? Not a problem, right? But it's not capturing the inspiration as what we did. Or maybe I though yeah, I didn't capture the inspiration, but it's still really like it. So let's continue on with that and that inspiration gets parked for some another sort of project, right? There's different ways don't ever feel like you're wasting your time or that you're wasting your fabric it's all important. Okay, this is all part of the process, right? Remember in that dissect distinction between the process, the product and the recipient this is your part, right? Take advantage of it enjoy every step of it even when it's painful and frustrating it's worth going through and when you get to this point of experimenting let's say he did this and what awful that's when you get a ziploc or a basket or something and it's in your studio and writing on it is orphan blocks, right and you put it in there and it just goes to the side and then one day you have to make a project for something else and you pull all the orphan block so it can go on the back of the quilt you need to make a quick placemat you need the fabric from that so you take it apart and you use it it doesn't mean you have to throw it out and it's completely wasted right? Every step in the process is part of the process and the process is important so don't ever feel like you're wasting your time it can be frustrating absolutely but don't ever feel like you're wasting because that process is what's getting you to the finished product that you love okay, so I'm going to show you a couple of examples I'm gonna go back to my inspiration images here and I'll show you what I've done as I'm doing this sketching out into it so my initial thought because my first language is improv I keep saying that I feel like a broken record excuse me so my first language was improv so I immediately went I had my sketch of this right I was talking about this how can I get those crosses in there? So I cut myself strips of fabric um I actually measured these but I don't always measure and just started laying them on my design well, what can I d'oh right? How will I get there? Does it give me this sort of cross effect that I like? You know that yeah that's not bad I kind of flows with the sketch that I was doing let me try to sew it up so I went from that to this sorry um I'll say for you that's a hotness I don't like that I I haven't squared it up, obviously, right? But I was just playing with it. I was like that does not read that to me at all. I don't see it it's not capturing what I wanted, teo, I know part of the problem is that my angles aren't the same, so it's different and this was improv. This was like, ok, I cut here, cut here I wasn't measuring in that sort of thing, and then I knew that if I cut this, you know, and get this bar, which I'm going to show you, I'm going to do that right now we're going to cut this square this off, you move, that one doesn't need the bigger one, so I'm going to look for that's just to be able to give the straightest line I can turn it around now I'm gonna have to go quite narrow because of where I am here to make that square an actual straight line, then have to cut there now it looks like that. That is not that, you know, I didn't need it to be a literal translation, but these air still so far apart and my this is red x red crosses that's it, I don't like this somebody else maybe like you may go and go yeah, but see, that was my instinct was to go improv how could I play with this? Where could I go with this? S o I didn't like it, so I tried something different and I took more of my red strips and I went the precision route of piecing things you mean to seconds to lay this out? And I started to get that ex design the crosses that I liked and it felt more in proportion, and I started to calm down and think all was not lost on that I could indeed turn this into something that I liked, so I've only gotten this far in making things, but suddenly I see my access right? And I see that I can make this something very linear in there. And so it wasn't until I made the mistake and played that I went ok, well, then I needed to change my language, right? Improv didn't work, I had to go to something more traditional ah, and do this this way, right? The fabric I chose for my background has a direction to it. Is that going to bother me, right? I just grabbed the crow the look of that light gray on the top didn't even think about the direction, but it has a direction if it bothers me I would go ok well there's my lesson pick a different fabric right? I have some gray fabrics over here you know, I've got a dot right here this dog has no direction right? So I could use that I could pick something that looks a little bit more like a solid right or something very architectural but in blue because you know there's depending on the light that you see this thing would look very blue right? So I can play around with that but it wasn't until I got to that point that I could see it this is what I mean by sketching with fabric and playing and everything so what I want you guys here today to do and you at home to do is to start playing with translating your sketch now into quilt into the fabric ok does that make sense? I went in doubt improv your way out of it right what I said but it didn't work for me but if your stock and your translations not working think about how it might be improv to it so let's sticks and time to sketch it out in your book I'm going to keep talking over you so for the four of you here in the studio keep going to that there and doing that so we kind of talked about this stuff already is what if the translation can't be found? What if you have this grade idea and you're really really struggling to get it onto paper there's a couple of things that you need to do, maybe you go to the design wall and just start putting strips of fabric on it, right? And that's, what I did when I started with just my read strips is, how can I go back to that? That curved image, right? Did I didn't need to be folded at the top. I'm just playing with fabric here, um, to get different ways. They're right that's kind of fun. Do I get it? If I go the other way? Even just folding the fabric for me gets that notion of the curve that's on the bridge there, but it's different, so if you're having trouble, just take some fabric to your design wall and do it if you're not confident in your drawing skills, that's another way to do it, but if you can't draw what you're looking for, like we said before, you're going to need to do it this way. So and then sometimes it might not be meant to be a quilt, right? If you can't draw, you can't play with it in fabric, it might not meant be meant team make it into quote, form, maybe it's supposed to be a painting, a photograph? A drawing or something that lives in your heart or on your hard drive a something that's really very exciting for you there thea other thing is that you may not have the skills to do what you want video I've I felt that personally and I've had lots of students and friends who say I know what I want to do but I don't know howto application and I don't know how tio so this way but I know it can be done I just I don't know how to do it well what's the first thing you should do is find some classes right look online look for local classes ask a friend to teach you because the skills khun b they're so improve your skills and really try to get to the point where you're doing it so we were talking about this one here for example michelle's design we're a concept on dh why seems right if you're not comfortable with wise scenes you confined tutorials you confined a friend who's willing to show you how to do it to get it there or you do exactly what we did what will stay you know let's skip the highs same and make that two blocks right because if you don't have the skills you either can improve them or you adapt the design to the skill level that you have now but I really think it's important in quilting in that if you don't have the skills there that you be willing to learn right? Learning and trying new things is so important to growing as a creative person growing is an individual and if you're at the point where you really are feeling like you are a quilt artist I'm not at that point yet but ah lot of people will that that any kind of improvement and learning that you do is going tio make your quotes better it's going to make you more confident and that will translate into your quilt fundamentally so how are we doing here in the class there's some really interesting sketching going on here I like it I like it a lot on do you spend making a sketcher? I know you said you know try to do it fast you try not to think about it but you in particular how long do you take? Great question I think it really varies because sometimes the idea is they're like it's it's absolutely there and it takes like five minutes to put it on paper the sewing machine quilters agreed example of that it took me a couple of minutes to figure out the order of how things to be sewn it like drew no that doesn't work prosit it move on, move on, move on on dh then I got the order of it and I went straight to the machine I grab scraps so I didn't have to think about what fabric I was just like yeah I just need to contrast in fabrics there's enough and made the first block and it was there other times I have sat on things for months right because I just don't know what I'm going to dio I mean to show you guys a couple of quilts while you guys were working on this but for you guys at home I'm going to show you some quotes and this is a good example of one that I've sat on for months I think I'll just lay it on the table here what's perfectly good idea just move that's about it can be seen so this is a quilt um that I made and the inspiration from it came basically from a hike with my family we were hiking in the mountains I live very close to the mountains in calgary and so we wrote on a weekend afternoon in the summer and you're in like a mountain meadow right and so there's green everywhere and little flowers blooming and the wild flowers in the mountains don't grow like they do in gardens where it's this mass clumping it's like there's purple there's pink there's a few purples over here there's some yellow over here and you don't know what half the flowers are s oh they're just interspersed and the greens it's not a solid green at all it's different colors everywhere so this quill was inspired by that I came I took pictures that day I came home and I remember thinking as I was taking the pictures I'm like, oh, this is going to be this could be such a cool quote and I sketched it out and then I went huh? I don't have any of fabric and I think I need solids and I don't really have solid, so I don't know if I want to work with solids and I kind of went that way there, so I kind of just put it down like all I tried to do was just captured the idea in my sketchbook and I just put it away to the side then it just sat in the back of my head percolating the whole time and then a couple months later is like, no, I think I really want to do this so I just put the call haute on my blog's saying, you know, I don't I can't I just need scraps of green solids does anyone have green solids they're willing to share with me? And I got, you know, from a little, you know, little envelope with like two pieces in it all the way up to like yardage practically, but that was their scraps and they were willing to share collected all the fabrics and then made a couple of blocks to test out the idea and then it's sad for like a year year and a half um and you know, it needed to go hiking in the mountains again and the motivation came back I was on another hike and we were driving and I could see all the flowers like uh I got to get back to sewing that quilt and so then I went and I did it and and so it sometimes the inspiration comes in comes and goes right you can get it but that one it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do because when I went home and sketched it and then took out all my green fabric it didn't work and so then I had to collect those two do it so it sounds like it's ok to kind of bounce back from you know, one quotes another cross yes, a full confession I have counted the quotes I have under construction and I am in the forties yeah yeah her palpitations for some people that stresses some people out look, I know people they hit like five or six and I'm like, oh my god, I have to get quote, not me I am totally fine with that and inspiration is part of the thing on dh I'm not counting and they're the ones that I've just played with, so for instance I won't count the peace bridge quilt as a quote under construction cause I haven't figured out how to make that quilt yet I'm still figuring that out but quotes under construction for me or ones that I've started just haven't finished yet and they may be from the okay I've got the plan I know where I'm going here's the fabric put aside all the way teo I just need to put binding on it so there's there's different stages in that entirely but people get really hung up on their number it's kind of like the number of partners you've have pitch right we don't always like to admit it in life but and it makes some people feeling their best are but it doesn't for me I'm totally fine with that s o and my number four quilts under construction I'll be clear is in the forties so karen what have you come up with there? I noticed you're done with your first one um yeah sure okay why don't I do that? It's just I'm trying to come up with a generic outline in the cell and then I would imagine it probably application a different people with different simplify bodies I'm not I'm not sure how to do the whole body or the half body but I just sort of thought of don't worry about that but just that every block would be the same in terms of the um the bars and yet the bars and then the people would be different I would apple keya simple keep hearing not keep hearing exactly but a simplistic body yes in different shaped perhaps sitting down standing up but always kind of like a living away from the viewer would you put faces on them? I don't know you don't know and because the face is different and then the skin color right well this is implying the racist society we live in so yeah that's what? I don't get a lot of white people ok? So then from a quote perspective I'm looking at your sketch here and so the applicator there so from a construction point of view you need to do this background with the applicator on top, right? And then how are you going to do the bars? I was thinking the bars will be cut three quarter inch strips and I can cut into the application and then it will line up fine, so you'll application then slice that like an insert in certain that I won't lose the actual image he won't, but it will change the proportions right? Because you'll lose your seem allowance. I was thinking that I could do that without losing with singalongs yeah, I'm not sure how to do that, but but this is exactly what we need to write code right t point because that was where I went tio like do the application and then slice and insert but every time you like let's say here we've got to two bars that are going over the actual person you will lose if I did it exactly right I could have it so the bar actually goes right through the body figure and it matches yeah, you can just certainly line things up but you're seem allowance will still get lost right? Because as soon as you will just use my fabric here is an example right? So you have this right here live only used two different ones so we can see but you have to fabrics when we saw them together we now get it like that I've done an exaggerated seem allowance right? But so it would be like that and then if you cut through that and then sew it together again you lose that little bits, right? But if I put a strip on top of an existing thing and make it, I cut the apple k right down here and then the strip matches exactly what I'm over over I can't explain it so if the if I have a strip that in yeah a strip that's an inch quarters loss underneath the application and then a half is on top of a half inch strip going right through here and so what I lose under the body is covered exactly right and so it'll match but what you need to do is is is cover because as soon as you get proper I'm covering your covering so then that's application your strip on top not if you cut because your body you'll lose the half inch within the same allowances well but I can because I understand what you mean about like if you cut like this is an inch and a half right but I'm going to lose a quarter quarter and warner race so that's what my it's going to come down to looking like this right but what I've cut underneath also loses the quarter inch along this line right and this line so that's your let's say your head you're in your body right also lose that quarter is because they do that which isn't a problem but as long as you know that that's happening and maybe you make your figure a little bit wider so that when it gets narrows it's still easy to match up where it would be like here I'm going to draw right on my family and I'm not convinced I would lose I would just cover him I won't lose him I mean a drop my little person okay, yeah this is another way we can turn it into that and our head right? So they're really very simple we've got our guy here and we want to insert that on top first well well it's just going to cut a smaller piece off of this this randomly there and I'm going to make this narrower because it's way too wide right? So I'm gonna cut this is an inch and a half let's cut that down to an end inch smaller rulers I'm not in the way there so now we're going way want tio let's just say insert it straight down the middle right? So we need to cut that one in half in order to insert it and then I'm actually going to sew so now we have that right that's what it looks like cut in half let's go here I will quickly so this together really equivalent to right jim crow and slavery and how we're just translating kind of write the message the message and so I said it's sort of that was an important so I've done the first scene, right? And you were talking about wanting to match up yeah here um I have a crude drawing so it's going to matter that much, but if you were doing it the way to do this is you can line up by the bottom, but as long as this is the cut you made a straight and this is this is strike, then you can do that if you've improvised it all you're going to wantto do some work toe line this up even better on dh that'll be by pickings say we'll use the head is a defining feature, and you'll get it so that it's lined up there and then I don't have any pins here, but I'm just going to use this pen is an example that I would put a pin right here, so I knew where that line had to be. Flip it over, and then what I would do is instead of pinning it, we're used to put penning perpendicular early, I would pennant parallel, right on what would be the same allowance and then fold it back open to make sure that I could see that it was line up and keep doing that adjustment until necessary, but because just for this crude sake, we'll do this and I will. So this other scene you can see where my seem line there. I don't know if you can see it on there, but I'll just open this up so you can see how that's the idea, right? So it still looks like a figure and and everything in there, but if you look on the back, there is seem allowance for what was applicator. Does that make sense? Yeah, but you're ok with that. Perfect, then that's, what counts, right, it's your quote, so you have to be okay with that. I think that's a great idea I think that's a really interesting way because one of the things that I like about doing where's your image doing the bar's over top is that this is quoting his textural it's not flat right? And so by inserting the bar's over top of the application you will really get the notion that the person is behind the bars particularly if you press then so that like you can see how here I haven't pressed it towards the person I've pressed it towards the bar so then the bar will pop up even more right? And then this becomes just another piece that you so on again again press it towards that so that person will always look behind bars right? So I think that could work out really quite well so we've worked out how that might end up being ah block for you way go nicky how are you doing? I'm ready to start cutting fabric yeah so what have we done for our drawing so here I'll hold it up they're gonna talk about it so started just creating a panel of burying shapes and I use the blue colored pencils because there was the most of those I wanted a lot of colleges umb so I just did strips and the yellow is the background fabric and you've even peace your strips right? It's not one single string yeah, their background right so yes so some of them are one strip with yellow with background and all of them are multiple size strips with with background can um and then I played with the idea of cutting it in half and then maybe the bottom right corner is then taking those sections that are cut in half and turning them so that becomes the block yeah so I've got a four patch exactly so you've already moved beyond this whole thing quilt right it's it's it's she's made a quote block inspired by this and that's the thing is the translation doesn't have to be literal right if we wanted to go really literal with this there's a lot of wood green fabric out there right right we could make a creative live set inspired quilt with wood grain fabric on you know blue gate blue gray background and have it that way but you've taken it further well and then the other the picture on the left is taking that idea that corner intersection and doing a bias cut on then binding it up straight to my sections yet that were the yellow in the background on so you won't know what you really want to do until you make a few of these strips sets and then you can start playing yeah yeah I think this is just cutting fabric yeah and yeah and then you can start go for it I think that's great I think that's great I'm going to give tracy you more time to sow because she's already sewing so I'm gonna go over to can I hold this as her okay so we've got michele sketch here so I've already started making a grid yet but it's not square actually it's actually graduated so I'm trying to figure out my head how do I do that so the way I do that I have to do strips of yeah so I'm kind of I'm already thinking ahead of bahama almost like a bar jell o sort of idea because of how you write change it up that right? Yeah so I've got the new blocks and then I have a little bit of either brown or purple for the post yeah, well and what you also have is the perspective that did become very important to you. So how can you do this with the perspective in there and I like that you've done it without doing that sort of slicing and having it off you've got still flat tops there which I think again from a quote construction point of view is easier right? And this goes back to I don't know what your skill level is in terms of doing that, but but my I'm inefficient quilter not a lazy quilter I will always look for the easier way to do that and I think that still gives you that strong impact of design in a much easier way to build right because you khun b these strips eds! I actually really like you said you don't know about purple or brown were both right and again that's something that you won't know until you kind of mock it up and see what it is. So before you figure out the pattern and how it should be, you might want to go are those the right colors? And and is that it's? So maybe this is the time where you go to a design wall with with some of those colors. I don't think we have much in the way of brown here, but you can play around with it and and and go from there, and then you've got the blue backgrounds as well right to distinguish sky versus versus see yeah, because depending on the day they kind of look the same while I'm depending on whether I make it into a sunset oh yeah, yeah and so adding radiations of colors see, now now this is getting fun. I'm going take this back right? Because then it really becomes about vertical versus horizontal, right? Because all this that makes up the low apartment, you could even have grady ations of the blue here going into pales for the sand, right and then your sky you can have that sort of you know, depending on where your sunset is, right? Is it a san francisco sunset or caribbean sunset or write the sky looks different and was it a cloudy day or a clear day? And and and all those things make a difference in terms of viewing aspect of why am I doing this exactly? Exactly? It becomes not just about the physical image and the lines that you saw, but the feeling that comes with it, teo. And so you could changing up your fabrics entirely could turn change that, right? Making this a block versus a quilt changes that entirely is well, right? If they're different feelings different times of the day, could you change the fabrics based on the different times the day? Right? And so then you have a quilt that looks like different times of day, right? I don't know if you want to go twenty four hours, one for each hour, but you know what I mean? Like, if you wanted, instead of thinking this barge l away, how could I make this is just one block, right? And maybe that's a really interesting things and then done in real pete, this is where the people who can work in illustrator or some of those different programs can build a block and then do it in repeat and see where it goes from there. So what I think I'd like to see you do right now is either some fabric sketching or make a block instead of doing the quilt math, play with it and make sure the design itself works before you get to the math part. Okay, all right, so I'm going to take yours, okay? Here's that way my walking, working and I'm just working on the block actually, this one over death, that one, they're ok, but I can see already screwed it up but I figured it's improvisational so I'll just you make it where he buys it. Yeah, improv is all about making it work, right? There's will learn this in the improv class, but don't use the seam ripper it's you got like, yeah, so it's all about cutting. So can you explain what you've done with your sketch here basically bunch of intersections and I think that circle there's a rotary or something out here somewhere and just I heard the word road arena scares me because usually people just go around yes, the european vacation, right? Right, then parliament so that that rectangle you know, perry a little girl, and what is that called a many sure with the shape of that is in the middle is the haram boyd yeah that's what this that's what that is and I just a bunch of intersections and I didn't want to do because I really I wouldn't like this cold I don't want not like it runs really stressed me out just working on it so yeah actuals blue but you chosen but you've chosen to me colors that actually really evoke the city because even though you get a lot of houses that are painted really interesting colors that stone putty like those neutral colors are very predominant on the buildings and so on and then roadway eyes right? So I like that I think that's really neat because you have some blocks that go beyond and and some that don't and so what will be interesting? It will be whether you need to match those up or if you're okay and that air scale well, but but whether you're ok if they don't match up to which I think could be like if they're just off a little bit it could be really, really interesting and this is definitely because you've gone the improv wrote about the process, okay, right it's a really hard thing to do that yeah and get you it's outside of the box really? So you've started with the easiest one yeah wages just anyone next to it actually that this one yeah, yeah, I'm not ready to slice it slicing it answered so here can I bring that up here so we see it why don't you do it for me capo all right, let me move on my stuff out of the way okay, so I brought the sketch here tio so she's talking about doing this sorry this block right here and so she's done we've got the blue and that now I'm going to ask you a question in here do you want it so that this is pressed towards because I'm assuming this is roadway sort of idea what is the blue? So is that on top of what's underneath or below what's underneath of our answer whatever you wanted to pay its problems or if you are someone if you're someone toward the dark yes on dh some people press open in which case you won't have that emphasis but it goes back to what we were talking about with karen where the person would be behind the bars that makes the difference right and so it's a design question entirely. You know I always wondered that too, if you press your seems open I was kind of feel like that stresses of seymour in my opinion with modern sewing does so much it was very much a convention when we hands so ok was that you pressed towards the dark because that gave the same a little bit extra strength when you were hand sewing because even with small stitches there were gaps, right? But with machine sewing it's really a matter of personal preference? You may hear people argue one way or the other, but I really do think it's a person apartments I am oppressed to the side person I am teo yes like to nasa exactly and that's the reason I do it too because when I go to put blocks together, I like casting but I will press open if the bloc is there's too many scenes straight and we're talking about half square triangles when you get to that you can get too many and so I will press open for that and I will press open when I don't want that seem to be accentuated. So that's why I was asking because how you press I don't know if you can can see it down there, right? But this one here you finger pressed it right? So this one is finger pressed tio to the light and this is finger pressed to the dark and it just creates a different emphasis and a final texture in the things. So I'm going to press that you said you tend to press to the dark, so I'm going tio just do that as well ok, so we're doing that I'm going to because I'm working backwards and in this case, so this is improv, but we've got to do a little bit of planning care, right? So in this case, you we can go all the way to the end over here because you're not going to continue this line. If you were continuing this line, it would be different, but we can maximize what you've got, okay for your block and given an angle right like that? Okay, so you have that piece, this piece, maybe use it in a different block, right? Right on dh. Then now you're going to insert, you want? Yeah, sure that you're doing their work, not all of it's, not all of it. So you're going to insert that they're right, and then you have this other section to do as well. So you've got to insert another piece. I'm going to just take this little scrap, right? Agent? This isn't what you'll dio right, but it's the idea, right? Because you're going to want to straight thing, but this is giving you the notion of that angle is you'll have to create this is what I do, so I'm going to show this block up here case right here just to show it live, and this is where sketching also comes. In handy because you're looking because I know you're going to insert that piece that I told you to this one right here we may have to cut women's with that and you're going now what do I do? How do I get that shade there? So I'm just gonna draw this block that you have here in a draught and black might so you've got that you've got that and you've got it coming up like that and I'm drawing it the way you have more or less um where we don't see any seem lines so that's more or less the block correct, right? Ok, but now we have to think about well, how does this turn into a quote? Ok, so now we have to think about how it is so this was the scene range and this was the same um if you've ever paper pieced and you've looked to the paper piecing pattern, they number things right? One, two, three, four like that even if we're improvising, but if we're doing kind of a weird shape like this, that same concept applies, right? So then we did this range that became something that we did now we've got the other strip, which means this is the next thing that rain that was that strip, but we have to now figure out how to do this section here right, so we've got that so this was well say this was one, two, three then this was four, but this is key, right? Right now, this piece, we've got that once we so it on. So how do we do this we need to do is insert this piece to it. So what you're going to do this is going to become a separate section, and you've got five and six, which you will then so on. So now we've got just, like, in paper piecing, when you have multiple sections, this becomes a this don't worry about squaring that off right now becomes b and then you'll. So this strip on here, which is peace number seven, so you've got seven, and we'll call it see, does that make sense to you? Yes, next week I'm gonna do is is another one of my you're going to cut basically a triangle, so another piece of your blue doesn't have to do the triangle kind of just you can't just be peace. So now and then I cut it to a triangle after I put on like how you don't have to have it be exactly what she wanted to be here, but what it will likely be, you know, if you want to do it like that, right, and then you just so a strip to it just knowing that you're going to cut that right off but you have angles in this you'll use it again yes somewhere the other thing to keep in mind is that this will be a bias edge, right? Right. Okay, well, it's absolutely ok, just remember that it's a bias edge so that you're not pulling and stretching the block, right? Whereas if you cut this so that you cut a square and then sliced it and inserted that piece there you don't have as much bias edge right right there right there sorry it would end up being you know you did this and then you sliced it there because that's where it was being inserted, right? So there's different ways onda geun bias it there's no, nothing wrong with it it's about remembering that you have it so you don't pull the block out and stretch it he's starts, you're you do you like some people really starts their blocks? Yes crush him and okay, so I do not pre wash my fabric, ok? Unless it's a red or a batik or a hand I something that I'm worried we'll run otherwise they don't pre wash it s oh there's! Some fabrics have a natural not natural, but from the manufacturer sizing to it that makes it stiffer some don't in there you can use starch there's a recipe for homemade starch in sunday morning quotes but you can also there's brands of starch that you can buy as well there are also I really love there's a pressing spray that you can get out now that's not starch base but I find that that with steam gets you the flattest block so it doesn't have the stiffness of start but it gets things nice and flat on dso you khun work with anyone of those products I think that is a personal preference okay more than anything in there and I'm personally not a fan of start but I love that pressing spray but otherwise I am esteem person I press with seem right so then you'll you'll put that piece on and then you'll just have to insert a white section there now the thing that I'm going to caution you biased doesn't matter direction in your print okay may I say may because everything that we do is a design decision right? If there's a directional print and it's going to go and all sorts of different ways if you don't care then go ahead and use it I'm not going to say don't use a directional print because it's going to go in different ways because if you doesn't excuse me if that doesn't bother you go ahead and use it but if it's going to bother you this design that you've done is way too complex to get bothered by using a directional printed so it will bother you don't use the directional grant it's a simple is that just like with mine right this doesn't bother me I like to see that from far away yeah you can but the if it did I would have to pick a different background to that but again it doesn't bother me I'm fine with that I think that's visually more interesting so ok thank you and your piece is going to be great because you can keep thes and there may be blocks when you have it the end that aren't on your scabby of course but it's the idea that you're getting from your sketch right yeah thank you you're welcome so I just don't want to mess up the order for you I have order here don't think ideo right way doing over here building away yeah so then I take some of these and put him on the design long unit still them together more I was trying to figure out how to sew them together but we can put them up okay I'm gonna go over to one of these design walls over here actually here I'll just use we don't need my stuff up here anymore makes it easier for the crew here I didn't play literally right so we're playing with things like this do you have one more there? Thank you so very clearly to me responds to our inspiration right is you look a little perplexed is there something that's coming at you yeah ok so the second one down I would want to move it to the last two match not nationally match it up but fill in yeah and you highlighted something for me that I was going to point out to you is that when I lined them up on this way because I was thinking of our line right oh no all our backgrounds are different lengths right and so how do we manage that right and it can be there's a couple of ways we can do exactly what you suggested is move this over and you had already talked about piecing thes sections so then just piecing and other sections and a section onto that right so let's line it all up with our backgrounds now I'm gonna put that one there because it's the same like yeah ok so now it's lined up so that were lined up on this end right as well and so you can see where you need to either fill in we're hackett right but yeah but you don't have as much variation yeah I went on here I just cut a background strip yeah but now I want o alternate those sizes but that suit but this is why we play yeah right because you've got you've only made four strips and you go oh so I can't just cut a random background strip and use it for all of them because I have I'm gonna have this problem so then your solution is go ok let's cut a bigger background strip right or have some in different sizes so that you could be picking from things or if you are a precision type of person as opposed to more of an improv type of person you go ok well I'm going to want to finish size of four feet let's just use that example writes the size of the design well here I want to finish size of four feet I'm going to cut some twelve inch some eighteen some twenty four inch and you actually can imagine that way so that you get some variety in things as well and the other question I would ask you is did you cut your background strip like this way when you were cutting in because they look pretty similar and I cut it and then I took my other strips and just so them like he's just he's actually yeah and that I was going to stagger it more maybe flip from yeah okay so you can continue to do that okay but again but the other option when we had it lined up here yeah is if you are we talked about piecing the's strips you can piece these as well right? You could add more to the background to varying your fabrics made maybe as well but if you see we need just four strips that's all we've done and we've come up with a whole whole whole host of not problems to solve but challenges that we need to look at when it comes to constructing this is a quilt right and and there's different solutions to it. So then the other question is is there enough? Am I giving enough variance in the blues or is that too similar? I think you're fine because even though like these two blues are almost identical, the print is so different on them that they read differently and if we go back to our original inspiration it's still all wood yeah right there's different tones some are a little warmer summer dark I'm a bigger not some the grain is more showing but we're still all in the same family so I absolutely think this is totally fine yeah what you've done here as well but then this is also the point to go ok, am I making it for a block or am I making it for something larger? Right? So when you're in this you're drawing I'm gonna bring this up here you're drawing right? There was this way of doing it and then slicing it, but then you kind of went into the smaller yaks and we can see where we would go with the block here right we can play with some things right right this is where you know four strips can give us some different sort of ideas for doing this I honestly if this for me but you're not me but if this for me instead of cutting the strip this way and then sewing the background strip on and then sewing all your pieces to it I would cut long strips of the background just is you're cutting long strips of this and sew them together here and they may be different wits but you khun straighten that out because what that does is it gives you more freedom to play with how long these would be ok does that make sense yes and so I was cutting the strips of the ruler do I want to just cut them yeah well I better are stealing either or I think because of this because it's easy ones we have strips to get kind of wonky with things that's totally fine but when it comes to squaring we still have to get to a point of squaring enough so I think you could cut with the ruler but maybe not measured got it right that gives you a straight line but you're not worried about whether this is two and a half inches and this is three inches and everything like that give yourselves variety but having the ruler to give you a straight line will be good yeah, if you remember, we were talking about the long strips of you, stack your background fabric with your blue fabric and cut them at the same time those strips will automatically be the same way for those no map, no math article and then and then it really doesn't matter that what size they are because you're doing it that way. Okay, yeah, thanks. You're welcome, I think the blue because when I was doing the drawing with the colored pencils, the colors where there was the most colored pencils was blue, and it turns out on the table the most colors of the gray or the blue. So it's, just because and I think that's important to know it's a great question than us because we talked about the translation not having to be literal before and in terms of colors, right? Sometimes the color is what the inspiration is on. Sometimes the shape or the line is what the inspiration is, and we're still fundamentally making a quilt, and so it has to be what you love. You may not like honey, warm tone, you know, even orange and yellows and stuff like that, you may not like the wood garrett grain fabrics if you wanted to go that literal, but if it was the shape that got you in the lines and that unevenness then it doesn't matter about the color do a color you know, if you're making a baby quote for someone well then do the colors that are in the nursery relic so you can play with it things don't have to be literal when we're doing this stuff. So how are we doing, michelle you're making strip sets. I see I am definitely making strip sets. Um are you working on the sunset part or you know, I think it's it's uh sunrise kind of pig yep into right you're adding now I'm looking at ways to cut it up and make things smaller and make things figure so so you're meaning your narrower my narrow your narrow portions and then getting larger but we can already see it can I throw this simon and I'll give you yours back, nicky you may want those back there you go. So this is what michelle is talking about on the strip set there and on her drawing she's got they start skinnier and get thicker because that's perspective right? The closer they are, the bigger they look. So you're playing now with how do we have it move out to thicker all use one of mine because it's in the middle I like that, so that gives you an idea of kind of how it's coming out I like this idea sunrise because you've chosen the fabrics quite right like this looks like stars in the sky and yeah, it works clayton quite need yeah trying to figure out what color the water would actually be and because you've done these air a set with that you've done yeah, but I might just slice through the middle of one and twirl around before I put the orange in okay because what I was going to suggest for your pillars if they become something that you slice and insert in there these being a consistent size is a good thing good because then it means when you go to so the piece back on lining up get very easy right? Because if it's not a consistent size and you'll get the problem I had with these oh right, right right where they don't mind up yeah you khun do it toe lineup I worked harder on some of the other ones but then it just becomes harder to line up with this that's why and I think I think you were designed personally benefits from staying very precise and angular with it because when you see it like that pier those would be measured distances when it was a bit because it's a construction that way and so then keeping these gives you the band they don't all have to be the same with you could have some that are skinnier but have them be cadres to all those tow wonky yeah exactly but I think you can already see where is that piece that felt you know the effect but you're gonna have yeah right yeah, I like it exactly and another from a construction point of view looking at this right? If you get to the point where you're planning it out, you may go ok, well, this is only going to be you know, up to there and so you piece this section insert this and then he add another strip in kind of thing on so this could be the matter of but I've already piece that I don't want to read you the work right slice it, do little seam ripping insert that it right? So the right there's ways to play with that does that make sense so and on so there you go well, but I'm sewing is part of the process to it just depends on how we're doing it that way one of my strengths are we doing your I'm gonna let you finish that because your clothes can I screwed up but I'm gonna call it I improvised so okay I'm gonna put this up with animal you're going tell me how you screwed up and we'll tell you if it's actually a mistake so you can see now where she's done this insert which was this one right here. Okay so where's your mistake well my uh my original plan was to have that strip go all the way up toe top strip visit diane here go up said yeah and it's off so it's wonky right so you have options right you can un so and slide it back up yeah I could do that right but I can tell you this when you do that you will probably be a ce far down rise this that's why you go well that's the way it is for me one of your backgrounds one of my life recently called this was all the bigger one can take that one um just to give you an idea of what things will look like right and this is where designed well comes in handy because when you're staring out and right there right now you're getting an idea and we're gonna use my ruler right then we are looking at squaring that off right but that's still that's still the idea of what I had drawn yeah right that's the fun part about improv that's why I that's why I go to that default because I don't go I made a mistake and get stressed out and stuff like don't put me well everyone knows now tio your nose now everyone watching at home you know tio all right thank you so I think that was your last seen there karen do you want to press that no, no, I didn't I I don't have the it's not perfect so don't worry about it but that's ok but we're going to put it up there for the idea yeah a bit ok, so here is a test for our idea for karen's idea for her incarceration, right? I actually like the fabric all the way yeah, I think he's a separate fate I might do something very because if you did a whole bunch of different oranges that gives you the notion of diversity right but it's easy yeah, right but you still get any that's still very clearly to me a human figure yeah, right on dh then the bar inserted ed there now what didn't work for you within? So I'm not using my own machine so the accuracy of trying to figure out how to make a turn and be exactly so it'll turn out perfectly I think it's actually a war but I'm not gonna worry about it there you go but but you're happy with this idea yeah doing it this way I can alter the person the height and hide the width and maybe the arms you keep it very kind of simple exactly and I think by changing the fabric you get that and I personally again it's not my quilt but personally I do like this idea of the entire body and head being of the fabric because for what you were talking about, it doesn't give them a face or a name, which is part of the problem, right? Right? Is that that these people that are incarcerated, these people that sounds horrible, but people workers that they lose their identity, you write in that? And so this kind of does that for them. Ok, so I think the students here in class, how do you guys all feel like you feel like he worked through some of the ideas? Lots of it. So I'm really happy that you were able to join me for that. One last thought I wanted to leave you with is that, you know, we talk about inspiration and we talk about all these ideas and it can be swirling around but there are times when it's not there when it's hard and we're stuck and I would call it a slump more than anything that's okay it's absolutely ok for two reasons one it's exhausting to always be inspired and it can be overwhelming in that but it's also we have spent that time remember cataloging, capturing our inspiration, keeping it all in one place so that we can go back to it when those times happen, right? I myself was in a big slump last year I had finished the book that's coming out this spring and I was just there was a lot of stress and I was burnt out and I was tired and I really did not feel like sewing. Nothing was getting me going and do you know what broke me out of that slump was that sewing machine quote, right? It was having my students get excited about an idea that they were working on on their own and that got me excited and I came home and I got my butt in the seat and I was sewing, and it was so exciting for me, so don't worry when those slums happen. They happen to the best of us, but because we spend the time cataloging things, capturing things and keeping them for ourselves and even playing, maybe you get to the point where you worked on this, but you haven't. You asked vanessa, like, what if it just sits there? Sometimes it sits there and the inspiration comes back and you get that. But don't worry about it because you will always get inspired again

Class Description

Inspiration for quilt patterns is everywhere, but converting those ideas into quilts can be intimidating. In Translating Inspiration in Quilting, you’ll learn how to take an image, a floor, a pattern, or a stack of fabric and turn it into a beautiful quilt.

In this class, Cheryl Arkison will teach you how to take something that inspires you – a shape, color or line – and turn it into workable quilting elements. You'll learn about both literal translations (copying shape, color, line) and how to use influences of what you love from an image to enhance your quilts. Cheryl will teach you how to effectively capture ideas so you can refer to them in the future and she’ll show you some sketchbook basics for making notes by hand.

This class will give you the tools to bring your imaginative ideas to fruition and equip you to make truly inspired quilts.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Cheryl Arkison - Translating Inspiration -Tools.pdf

Cheryl Arkison - Translating Inspiration.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I have taken all three of Cheryl's classes and she is an excellent instructor. Amazing. She is clear, engaging, non-judgmental, informative and has a ton of quality suggestions. Can't say enough about her! I hope that she does more courses in the future. Thanks very much, Cheryl and Creative Live. Very inspiring.