• Length: 5 days
• Level: Intermediate to Advanced
• Prerequisite: Free-hand cutting skills/very good machine-sewing skills
• Sewing machine used
Please Note: The design exercises in Sets and Variables I & II are different from those in Sets and Variables III. It is advised that students take both classes in sequence if possible.
Sets and Variables III is based on exploring the use of a LINEAR motif and its compound version in compositions. A MOTIF is defined as being a simple figure (a theme) that is repeated in some manner. COMPOUND MOTIF: The compound version of a simple motif is simply the opening up of spaces in the simple motif so the ground shows through in those spaces.
It is the responsibility of each student to think about which lines & combinations of lines could become new fresh motifs, to draw up many, many ideas in their sketchbook, and then, to actually cut out and sew together as many black/white simple motifs as possible. After making samples of simple motifs, compound versions of each of the simple motifs should also be made. Making both these simple and compound motifs out of fabric will enlighten the student as to which motifs are both visually effective and which are easy to sew together. The size of the motif samples can be approximately 8” x 8” up to 12” x 12”. Keep black figure on white ground on the first round; make the reverse of each also with white figure on black ground.
On the morning of the first day of class each student is to have all of their motif ideas pinned to their work wall, with simple and compound versions side-by-side. At some point, the student will be expected to choose one of their motif ideas and love this chosen motif enough to work with it throughout all given design exercises during the week. The chosen motif will become the set; then variables will be added as part of each timed exercise. Figure/ground composition, value and color usage will be emphasized at all times, so each student must come prepared with the very best assortment of values, in solids, (commercial or hand-dyed) in as many color families as possible. It is important that the range of values includes very light colors, medium lights, mediums, medium darks, and darks. This class requires very individual thinking and total concentration, and is meant to be challenging! The method of working will be a journey about discovery and will require an attitude of risk-taking! The design exercises will stimulate thinking and hopefully help to develop more individual work.
• Students must come prepared with motif ideas!
Note: All design exercises will be done in solid colored fabric using machine-piecing techniques. Each exercise will result in a composition. Keeping a sketchbook with excellent notations will be vitally important throughout the workshop; therefore, it is required that students bring a digital camera and a small digital printer (such as the Canon Selphy printer) to use as a tool for keeping track of “works-in-progress.” Since students will be pining work as it progresses onto the wall, they should bring at least 2 boxes of fine but short ball-head pins.
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.
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
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
3 yards or more each of:
• SOLID BLACK and SOLID WHITE (Pimatex by Robert Kaufman is wonderful quality)
• SOLID COLORS (wide range in light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark values) so you can be free to work – Reds, Pinks, Blues,Teals, Greens, Limes, Violets, Browns, Yellows, Golds, Oranges, Purples, Maroons, Turquoises, Rusts, etc.)
• GRAYS (wide range in light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark)
• TANS (wide range in light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark)
• OFF-WHITES (warm white, cold white, cream)
***Bring BOTH the GLOWING and the FLAT versions of as many of these colors as possible.
• We will use everything listed above so do not decide to leave anything out.
• Please wash and shrink all fabrics! No need to iron though if you fold at end of drying cycle!
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.