Friday, December 12, 2014

This year’s master class

This has been a busy and productive year in my master class. We had to do a self evaluation of skills that we improved this year or acquired for the first time as well as our main weakness as an art quilter.

New skills

· Learned to face a quilt.

· Made a series with 4 of the quilts.

· Got better at composition by not creating a photo exactly, rearranging the elements better, and editing out what is not needed. I saw this as the year progressed. Back in January and February EB hated all of my sketches. By the time I got to March things had improved and she no longer hated my sketches. Also I was looking at my 10 quilts and they look pretty good. Yes I made 10 quilts this year. That alone is an accomplishment!

Improving old skills

· Improved my problem solving skills. A good example of that would be when I created the bagpiper in the fog in May. I had to figure out how to accomplish that in fabric. Or how to create the fabrics for the tumbling blocks quilt in November.

· Got better at picking a color scheme and getting the values right. I saw this as the year went along and EB no longer had me changing anything after the quilt was blocked out.

Biggest Weakness

Lack of self confidence. This manifests itself in several areas.

· First, I am not sure I am doing anything unique or making great compositions. This really hits home when no one comments about your work. This happened back in June in this class and also on my blog. These are things that I should not let bother me, but sometimes they do.

· Second, I still struggle with fabric choices. I have gotten better during this class, but just when I thought I finally put this issue to rest I had a major meltdown with my birds on a wire quilt back in July.

· Third is the frustration I feel when I finish a quilt and I see the little things technically that I should have done better. This would be things like not seeing that one of the trees should have been a little straighter in the fog quilt. Just little things…. frustrated because I should have seen these things sooner and fixed them. Of course none of these issues will stop me from continuing to make quilts and there was improvement during this class.

So here are the quilts starting with the most recent.

“Nothing is Ever as it Seems” (November) showing the back with the label.




“Blown Opportunity” (October)








 “It’s Rigged” (September)








“A New Dawn?” (August)









“Gossip Central” (July)









“Spiritual Sanctuary” (May)










“Misty Morning Piper” (April)











“Between the Shadows” (March)










“Gathering Storm” (February)










“Paris Rooftops” (January)






Thanks for reading and commenting. My next blog will be my evaluation of the master class itself.

Linking to Off the Wall Friday.



  1. Ah, yes! Lack of self confidence about your creation. I like to think it is where you let go of your mind, and feel it in your gut. You look at something...and say yes! You don't let your (scientific) mind say... but...what about?...what if?.... You keep playing until you hear the "yes". Every artist since the cave dwellers has experienced it. You study and learn the fundamentals from great teachers....then you take off in your own direction. How can something you create be "wrong"? You created it! It is you!
    I so appreciate all you have shared this year. Your quilts are beautiful.

  2. Nancy, thanks for your thoughtful comments and your support all year. And yes you are right about my scientific mind getting in the way some times. On the other hand that part of my mind has made me who I am and made me create what I do. So you have to take the good with the bad.

  3. You have a strong body of work at the end of the year, some really beautiful quilts. I think you are right about the scientific mind: if it's a part of who you are then it's just about working out the right balance and incorporating it in your work. It will be part of what makes your quilts great.

  4. As I recall, EB posted on her blog recently that this was a common element among members of the class this past year. Certainly, going into the class for 2015, I am hoping it will increase my self-confidence by next December, but have no illusions about struggling with it through the journey.

    Interestingly, Sara Genn's newsletter this morning talked about critiques and confidence etc. -- and she wrote thus:

    "There isn't an artist alive or dead who hasn't tasted disappointment at the hands of someone else's negative evaluation. A special kind of risk is involved in making things, and this is what separates artists from other people. It's fair consolation -- I swear this on a formidable stack of my own rejections."

    You've had a great year, your newest body of work is indeed strong -- and all of what/who you are will continue to play out in your work. Best wishes for the future!

  5. Have enjoyed following your blog very much and have tried to comment before. Am not a "green fan" but like your quilts very much. My fave is Misty Morning. Would like very much to learn the technique you used in this piece as I have a piece with fog that was not successful and would like to try again. Ruth

  6. Ruth, thanks for your comments. Maybe I will have to post a blog about how I did the fog fabric. Look for a post in January. Of course that is assuming that I remember exactly what I did!

  7. Lack of confidence is what we all have. And we all see little things in our finished pieces that we wish we could redo. And we all wish for more comments on our blogposts and wonder on some posts why we don't get any. In the end we have to realize we make the art for ourselves. I think your pieces are quite strong. I hope you are a member of SAQA and try to enter some of SAQA's calls for entry. Keep on creating and don't let those internal negative voices hold you back.

  8. Looks like an incredibly productive year! And a great assessment of where you've been and where you're going.


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