Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekly Tip: ABC

My weekly tip is late, but timely.  Have you ever been walking somewhere and seen a dress and thought, "that would make a great quilt" or seen a background design on a pillow, a tablecloth and thought "that would make a great quilting design"?

ABC stands for:  Always Bring a Camera.  The camera will allow you to capture those ideas while they're fresh, even if you don't use them right away.  The world is full of vibrant patterns and textures, just waiting to be worked into one of your creations!  In a class or workshop, teachers or classmates will often allow you to photograph their pieces--not to be copied, mind you, but for inspiration.

The camera can also serve as a layout helper.  If you lay out your pieces/blocks/design on a design wall or table, you can use the viewfinder as a reducing glass, giving you a better perspective (specifically one from a distance).  You can photograph the layout, switch it around, and then compare several layout options simultaneously if you have a computer nearby, or consecutively if you don't, then choose the one you like best, and reconstruct the design by using the photo.

To show that I practice what I preach, here's my tale.  I recently accompanied a friend to an eye surgery appointment.  As I waited, I noticed the really cool texture of the carpet, as well as the groovy design on the chair upholstery. I pulled out my camera and took pictures, ignoring the quizzical looks from the other people in the waiting room.  I will create a Thermofax screen from the carpet photos--I deliberately took one on an angle--and I've already doodled the upholstery design in my sketchbook for FMQ.  (See my earlier post about the importance of doodling). I'll blog some more about the beauty of a Thermofax machine soon!

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