Saturday, November 10, 2012

Designing Modern Quilts by Weeks Ringle

As an affiliate for Craftsy I was recently contacted by them to register for one of their online courses for free and blog about my impressions on the course. They have a great course selection to choose from and I settled on Designing Modern Quilts by Weeks Ringle.

Recently I have been looking to learn more about original quilt design, how to draw inspiration from everyday elements around you and incorporate them in the quilts. I have especially been keen on color play and this course seemed to cover all the elements I was looking for. Weeks Ringle in association with her husband Bill Kerr have always inspired me by their take on modern quilts. Their recent book Transparency Quilts: 10 Modern Projects: Keys for Success in Fabric Selection: From the Funquilts Studio particularly caught my attention and their Infinity quilt is an all time favorite of mine. The Tankini quilt is unlike anything I have seen before.

As suggested in the beginning of the course, I started to go through the course material with an open mind and was surprised at the valuable insight I gained along the way. This is definitely not a course to listen to while doing laundry or watching TV. To get the most out of it you have to clear your mind and follow along with Weeks especially the explorations. You can share your thoughts and ideas on the platform and even ask questions which Weeks answers very promptly. Just reading questions posted by other students is very insightful and makes it a very fun and interactive class.

Online Quilting Class

The course is over 4.5 hours long divided into 10 sections. It covers a lot of ground starting with color theory basics, use of color, designing with prints and solids, color composition and color distribution. She talks about drawing inspiration from everyday things and steps through the process on how to put your ideas into execution. 

During the course, Weeks uses her own quilts as examples to walk you through the design process and use of color. As she talks about her quilts and the creative thought behind them, you learn to appreciate the minor subtlities that make or break a quilt. She also covers elements of modern design such as asymmetry, controlled chaos among others and introduces the concept of creating a "Maquette" which will help you experiment with the design. She covers the construction details of a quilt which basically helps convert your ideas to reality. She demystifies the design process and by the end of the course you are left with the confidence of being able to come up with your own original quilt designs.

I would highly recommend this class for novices and experts alike. It provides a very fresh perspective on design and as she says the possiblities are endless. You never know what "Big Idea" lurks around the corner. It is also a great resource for traditional quilters who would like to transition to modern quilt making.

I viewed this course on my iPad using the Craftsy app and it was a really great experience. You can make video notes, go back to the lessons and post questions. It made the power outage during hurricane Sandy more bearable and a thumbs up to the neighborhood Panera Bread for keeping my devices charged:)

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