One of the most important things I learned from my 2014 master class with EB is the value of sketching before making a quilt. I have never been a wing it kind of girl so using sketches in this class was not the first time I sketched out an idea before beginning a quilt. Although in the past the sketches were mainly outlines of the pieces with no thoughts to adding in values. The class changed that. Now I make my sketches including the values.
Some artists have an idea in their head and just pull out fabrics and start the quilt without sketching anything. I have to have a plan and really enjoy the sketching phase. I think if I tried to just throw things together I would end up wasting more fabric than I do now.
April’s “Spiritual Sanctuary” is a good example of using sketches with values. I had done 3 value sketches and decided to go with the light ceiling and dark and medium supports.
But even before I did the 3 value studies I edited my original outline sketch in Photoshop. I love how you can crop your sketch as well as changing the proportions. I have often exaggerated the vertical dimension by elongating the height and keeping the width the same as it was.
So now to pick fabrics. I have discovered Electric Quilt (EQ) software to be useful in helping me decide on fabrics before I even cut anything. In fact before I even open the closet with my fabric stash. I trace my sketch in the EQ software and then try out different fabrics and color schemes. I tried out several ideas and settled on the blue and green one.
EQ only gives you an idea of what to do. There usually are modifications that are still needed for the final quilt. But at least you don’t have to pull out every fabric in your stash to figure out what works!
The final quilt. You can see that it is a good match to the sketch and to the one that I did in EQ. So editing in Photoshop, sketching with values, and trying out fabrics in EQ have been the tools that I used last year and will continue to use this year.
Do you do value sketches? Have you ever used EQ to plan your quilt?
Thanks for reading.