SETS AND VARIABLES III: Using a Simple Linear Motif and a Compound Linear Motif

• Length: 5 days
• Level: Intermediate to Advanced
• Prerequisite: Free-hand cutting skills
• Sewing machine used

Please Note: The design exercises in Sets and Variables III are different from those in Sets and Variables I & Sets and Variables II. Therefore, students can take classes in sequence or take only one class.

Sets and Variables III is based on exploring the use of both a linear motif and a compound linear motif in a composition. A motif, whether simple or compound is defined as being a configuration that is repeated in some manner. A compound linear motif is a motif made up of two or more parts.

It is the responsibility of each student to think about how lines can be used in effective motifs, to draw up many, many ideas in their sketchbook, and then, to actually cut out and sew together as many black/white linear motifs and then compound linear motifs as possible. Making these sample motifs will enlighten the student as to which motifs are both visually effective and which are easy to sew together. These motif samples can be approximately 8”x8” up to 12”x12”. Keep the ground white and the figure black on the first round; if there is time, make the reverse: white linear figures on black ground.

On the first day of class each student will choose one of their motif ideas: students must love their chosen motif enough to work with it throughout all given design exercises. This motif will become the set. The variables will be added as part of each timed exercise.

Composition, value and color usage will be emphasized at all times, so each student must come prepared with the very best assortment of values, particularly 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.

Note: All design exercises will be done in 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. It is recommended that students bring a digital camera & printer to use as a tool for keeping track of “works-in-progress.”

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.

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
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

Optional Books:
, 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
NANCY CROW: WORK IN TRANSITION, American Quilters’ Society

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

1 yard or more each of:
SOLID COLORS (wide range in light, medium, dark values so you can be free to work – Reds, Blues, Teals, Greens, Violets, Browns, Golds, Oranges, Purples, Maroons, Turquoises, Rusts, Etc.)
GRAYS (wide range in light, medium, dark)
TANS (wide range in light, medium, dark)
OFF-WHITES (warm white, cold white, cream)

We will use everything listed above so do not decide to leave anything out. Whatever suits you!!!

• Please wash and shrink all fabrics!

es, 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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