Monday, October 18, 2010

Pat Pauly Class

This past Friday and Saturday, I took Pat Pauly's two-day design class, "Four-Square Workshop - Using Photographs to Jump-Start Composition," that I mentioned in my first blog post of October.  What an experience! It was intense, inspiring, instructive, and enjoyable.

We really did use the photos that we brought to class, cutting them pieces till you would never recognize them. That was fine. What we began learning were design elements that could lead to a successful art quilt. Pat demonstrated on her own photos how to focus in on portions of a photograph and then showed how that translated into a finished piece.

There were about ten of us in the class. The first day we spent creating our unique designs and then selecting fabrics to use in our pieces. I don't think that any of us got to sewing the first day. Not a problem - it wasn't the purpose of the class. Here is the design I came up with.

The second day we began cutting and sewing. Pat had great suggestions on how to piece our designs. She worked patiently with all of us. By the end of the day, it was clear that some wonderful pieces were going to come out of our work.

Pat demonstrating some amazing tricks for achieving effects.

What happened to me? Well, by mid-day on the second day, I realized that I was never going to finish my peice with the colors I had chosen. I decided to practice some of the techniques that Pat was teaching - I can be slow to pick up some ideas and I could see those same techniques could be valuable in my work. By the end of the afternoon, I was comfortably enough with some ideas that I had the start on an art quilt that I had thought of over the weekend.

My piece in process
All in all, it was a great class. Pat's sense of humor and patience as a teacher held us together as we all ventured into highly uncharted territory. As I watched Pat use her 'eye' to critque our designs and suggest possible (and always) improvements, it became clear why one of her quilts has been accepted into Quilt Nationals for the second straight year.  Congratulations, Pat! And, thank you for a great class.

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