• Length: 2 weeks (10 days)
• Level: Intermediate to Advanced
• Sewing machine used
This class, considered to be the foundation of all techniques used in improvisational composition as done by free--hand cutting and machine-piecing, is an IN-DEPTH version of the one-week (5 day) long Improvisations: Let's Experiment! workshop. It will explore more carefully and thoroughly the following: distinct types of compositions, value and color usage, improvisational techniques, and learning to cut free-hand.
Students will not only create many small compositions, but will also end the two weeks working on a large composition based on the approach of their choice. All work done in this two week class will result in major, major stretching for the individual, mentally, physically and emotionally. It will be a joyous reawakening of possibilities!
A sewing machine and LOTS OF FABRICS will be used in this very fast-paced and intense workshop designed for students who no-longer need "hand-holding." Students will be expected to work fast, experimentally and intuitively with nontraditional quiltmaking techniques. They must be ready to free-up and explore design exercises that promote improvisational approaches without benefit of "pre-planning" and "intellectualization."
New design exercises will be introduced each day of class and each exercise will result in a small to medium composition. A large composition (quilt top) will be assigned for the final exercise. Students will learn to work more effectively from "instincts" and "intuition" and to trust themselves.
Some of the exercises will be done in solid colors, commercial or hand-dyed, while others will use stripes, plaids, or prints. Please bring the fabrics requested!
Remember: New timed design exercises will be introduced each day of class, and each exercise will result in a small to medium size composition. A large composition (quilt top) will be assigned for the final exercise.
Come with an open mind and no agendas, ready for growth and for risk-taking!
Each student should bring 10-12 slides or your own laptop with a digital presentation or 3-6 quilts and be prepared to make a short (3 minutes maximum) articulate presentation about their work and be ready to discuss and explain their goals. The Crow Timber Frame Barn provides use of a slide projector and a digital projector, but cannot provide a laptop or desktop computer. Participants may be able to share another participant's computer for digital presentations.
Digital Camera and Printer
Multiple Outlet Power Strip/Adaptors
Glue to Adhere Snapshots into Sketchbook
Heavy Duty Extension Cords
Small Spray Bottle
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/Pens/Other Supplies You Want
Packing Tape if shipping boxes
> 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
Do NOT bring fat quarters. We will work selvage to selvage most of the time.
4 yards each of:
• SOLID BLACK and SOLID WHITE (Pimatex by Robert Kaufman is wonderful quality)
1 yard of each color:
• SOLID COLORS the widest range you can afford to bring and be sure to include both warm and cool colors - 60 to 100 different colors (1 yard of each color)
• OFF-WHITES...warm white, cold white, cream (1 yard of each color)
• GRAYS 5 to 9 in light, medium, and dark (1 yard of each color)
• TANS (1 yard of each color)
• PLAIDS 5 to 7 different ones (3/4 to 1 yard of each)
• STRIPES 5 to 7 different ones (3/4 to 1 yard of each)
• GRAPHIC PRINTS (high contrast), GEOMETRIC PRINTS, BATIKS (3/4 to 1 yard of each)
• We will use everything listed above so do not decide to leave anything out.
• We will use a lot of solid colors so bring a good range that includes darks, medium and light values - Browns, Blues, Greens, Reds, Golds, Yellows, Oranges, Purples, Violets
• Please wash and shrink all fabrics!
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 25+ 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 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.
Overall during the class, we will use more solid colors than prints but still...bring the requested prints. When choosing solid colors to bring to class, be sure to bring both warm and cool tones.
I caution you to not bring mostly middle value solids, rather bring a wide variety, including:
• Light values
• Medium light values
• Medium values
• Medium dark values
• Dark values
Any color can be warm or cold.
Warm tones: Any colors that are mixed with yellow and which have a glow coming off the surface.
Cold tones: Any colors that are mixed with black and which have a dullness and subdued nature.
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 flat solids (dyed commercially) are equally acceptable.
I usually work with flat colors or my own subtly dyed flat colors. My own palette includes approximately 500 shades.
I cannot specifically tell you to bring only 1 yard cuts of each color because I know we will be using at least a yard of some to many colors depending on each student’s color preferences. If you bring a yard of each – say 5 blues, 5 reds, 5 yellows, 5 greens, etc. but one each in light values, medium light values, medium values, medium dark values, & dark values, that would be better than not having enough. So bring 1 yard of as many colors as you can afford and shorter lengths for the rest. Remember, we will be working selvage to selvage.