COMPOSITION: SPARE FIGURE/GROUND

• Length: 5 days
• Level: Very advanced (must be excellent machine piecer, must be practiced at cutting freehand, must know how to engineer complex structure using machine-piecing, must be ready for intense study)
• Sewing machine used


DESCRIPTION
This workshop will concentrate on LARGER BACKGROUNDS & MULTIPLE GROUNDS with a much sparer use of FIGURES, both primary and secondary. Students will become more sensitive to the placement of figures on such grounds. The INTENT is to strengthen one’s eye to evermore beautiful spacing which is that “allusive tension” that makes any composition so much stronger. Composition will be explored using the principles of figure/ground. Figure/ground is loosely defined as positive/negative or the relationship of figure or motif or subject matter or configuration(s) on a background or ground.

All compositions will be done using solid colors (commercial or hand-dyed), direct freehand cutting, and machine-piecing. It will be vitally important that each student come prepared with an excellent choice of colors and values (light to dark of those colors and flat and glowing) as most exercises will be dependent on value usage.

IMPORTANT:
• Please bring LOTS of IDEAS FOR FIGURES AND CONFIGURATIONS. These may be in the form of your drawings, sewn-together black and white configurations or POSTCARDS / PHOTOS / MAGAZINE PAGES of MOTIFS / PATTERNING / PAINTINGS ... any SUBJECT MATTER that EXPRESSES WHAT YOU LOVE and CARE ABOUT IN YOUR WORK. *** Some compositions may reference to these ideas that you bring along!

• Students need to bring (2 if possible) the LARGEST OLFA CUTTING MAT (24” x 36”)

• It will be assumed that anyone taking this class will be ready to abide by “time constraints” imposed on individual design exercises and that each will do their best to keep up with the work. Since the parts of each composition will be pinned to work walls, it is essential that students bring multiple boxes of excellent pins (namely CLOVER BRAND BALL-HEAD PINS - silk pins and regular ball-head pins).


Presentation:
Optional but important: Each student should come prepared with a digital presentation/laptop or 3-6 actual quilts and be prepared to make a short (3-5 minutes maximum) but articulate presentation about their work including future goals. The Crow Timber Frame Barn provides use of a digital projector connected to a laptop.




SUPPLIES
Water Spray Bottle
Sewing Machine
Swing-Arm Lamp
Digital Camera and Printer
Multiple Outlet Power Strip/Adaptors
Glue to Adhere Snapshots into Sketchbook
Iron/Iron Cleaner
Heavy Duty Extension Cords
4’ x 8' Batting/Flannel (white) on which to pin work
Ball-Head Pins (very fine and regular size)
24” x 36” Cutting Mat/Extra Large Rotary Cutter and Blades
Scissors/Needles/Thread/Rulers
Sketchbook and Pens
Other Supplies you want
Packing Tape if shipping boxes


Optional Books:
> CROSSROADS
, 2007, Breckling Press (new catalog from one of Nancy’s exhibitions) - available at Crow Barn
> NANCY CROW, 2006, Breckling Press (new book covering Nancy's work from 1989-2005) - available at Crow Barn


Unfortunately, the following titles are out of print, but your local library may have them or order on Amazon.com.
GRADATIONS: FROM THE STUDIO OF NANCY CROW, Quilt House Publishing
NANCY CROW: WORK IN TRANSITION, American Quilters’ Society
NANCY CROW: QUILTS AND INFLUENCES, American Quilters’ Society
NANCY CROW: IMPROVISATIONAL QUILTS, C&T Publishing


Fabrics:
6 yards each of:
SOLID BLACK and SOLID WHITE (Pimatex by Robert Kaufman is wonderful quality)

At least 1 yard of each color:
• SOLID COLORS (commercial or hand-dyed) the widest range you can afford to bring & be sure to include both flat & glowing colors - 80 to 100 different colors (1 yard or more of each color)
• BRIGHTS are essential for this workshop and they are defined as bright lime, acid yellow, red, orange, turquoise, hot pink, blue, apple green (bring 2 yards of each)
• OFF-WHITES tans, warm white, cool white, creams (1 yard or more of each color)
• GRAYS 5 to 9 in light, medium, and dark (1 yard or more of each color)

• BE SURE TO WASH AND SHRINK ALL FABRICS BEFORE CLASS IF POSSIBLE
• We will use everything listed above so do not decide to leave anything out!
• Do NOT bring fat quarters. We will work selvage to selvage most of the time.
• Do NOT bring prints.
• We will use a lot of solid colors so bring a good range that includes darks, medium and light values of Browns, Blues, Greens, Reds, Golds, Yellows, Oranges, Purples, Violets, etc.




NOTES REGARDING FABRIC SUPPLY LIST
Yes, the rumor is true!!! Yes, I do ask that each student bring lots of fabrics. My personal theory embraces the belief that one will be freer to be creative if one has many fabric choices available in class. After 30+ years of teaching, I consider each class I teach to be on a graduate level and therefore I expect students to arrive prepared with all necessary supplies. In that regard, I have outlined those fabrics we will use in this class. For some students, my fabric supply list will seem overwhelming in quantity and variety, while for other students, the selection they bring will never be large enough or good enough.

About solid colors - the more shades you have to work with, the more you will learn about how to work with color. Color is Joyous!!! Color does not cause pain!!! Take DELIGHT in color!!!

Working in color does not mean only using BOLD colors or HOT colors; working in color means learning to be versatile in all types of colors.

I caution you not to bring mostly middle value solids, rather you must bring a wide variety, including:
• Light values
• Medium light values
• Medium values
• Medium dark values
• Dark values

• Please bring the glowing version… AND… the dull/flat version of as many colors as possible.

• Remember that ANY COLOR… AND… ANY VALUE of ANY COLOR can be glowing or dull/flat.

Many students arrive with their own hand-dyed solids or stacks they have purchased from other
dyers. By all means, bring hand-dyed if you want.

But solids (dyed commercially) are equally acceptable.

I usually work with my own subtly dyed solid colors. My own palette includes approximately 500+ shades.

Regarding fabrics: I recommend 1 yard cuts or larger because I feel happier with a minimum of 1 yard cuts (actually 2 yard cuts), but please feel free to come with 1/2 yard cuts if this will facilitate your having a much broader range of values. But please do not blame me if you run out of any color as I have no way of knowing which colors you will use up.


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Nancy Crow workshops/classes