I was so excited to be asked to take and review a Craft University class. My choice. Any class. Um, is it my birthday? It was difficult to choose just one, and I will definitely have to find time to take another one...or two... or three...
So which one, which one.
I chose to take the Understanding Value in Quilt Design from Grace Errea of Amazing Quilts by Grace. I've always wanted to learn more about color/hue/value/contrast and everything else that has to do with making a good quilt, great. I don't know about you, but I've had a quilt or two that I was so excited about, only to have it be ho hum, or dare I say, even ugly. How disappointing is that?! All of that hard work and it's just not the stunning masterpiece you thought it would be. Sometimes, you can't even explain why. I think that's where this class will be helpful.
|Getting close ups of those gorgeous quilts is a huge added bonus.|
There are a couple of useful tools for you to choose from. You can either buy Grace's Value Matching Tool, or you can download her Periodic Table of Value in Color. While I didn't buy the Value Matching tool (I wanted to get going on this class), I did write it down on my Christmas wish list. Let's hope hubby reads it, because after taking the class I realize I need all the help I can get! I did download and print the Periodic Table of Value in Color and I found it extremely helpful.
Lesson 1 goes into what Value is and how to organize your tone on tone fabrics. (Which, by the way, I don't have a lot of. Apparently I like prints. Who knew!) Each color, or hue, has a value. Grace introduces you to the difference, shows off some amazing quilts and goes into detail about value. Then she does a crazy thing. She assigns homework. *GULP* Organizing. Your. Stash. It's a blessing and a curse to know what is in your stash. I thought I was really good about getting rid of scraps. Turns out, I was wrong.
Actually, this was one of my favorite things to do in the class. I think I need to go though and touch and organize my fabrics more often. I have some really pretty pieces that I forgot I had. I tend to buy only what I need for a project, so those extras that I find and purchase get left in the bottom of the bucket. Awww, poor fabrics.
Though I found I had a ginormous (for me) pile of greens, I stuck with her suggestion to value-ize my reds. It's not as easy as it sounds, for me anyway, but it is worth it!
I think I did pretty well.
In Session 2, Working With Value to Create a Focal Point, we got an assignment with a little added bonus. Did you know you can make your drawings into posters...for free!!! I tried out the website Grace shares, and it is as easy as she says. I didn't use this size for my project, just printed it out as a test. Yay for poster sized goodness!
|So big, I had to stand on a chair, see!|
When you are looking at quilts, your eye is drawn to certain areas. Have you ever wondered why? I bet you have discussed it with your quilting buddies at shows or in the shops. How do you make your quilt come to life? How do you give it movement? It all has to do with value choices.
Here is my version of our homework assignment from Session 2.
It's ok, but I could use some work in the value department. As I look at this picture I realize I forgot the little piece of highlight to really make it 3D. Whoops! C+ for effort?
When we get to my Periodic Table of Value in Color you will see how I am missing some values. In the case of the apple, I improvised by "skillfully" placing a piece between the white. That darker part on the apple, that's the backside of a fabric. Improvisation, baby.
Session 3, Create a High Value Block and a Low Value Block, is harder then it seems. At least it was for me. If I learned anything from this class, I am not good with value. Ha! I think part of my issue was lighting. In MN it really is dark at 5 pm, which makes a difference in what you see. At least it did for me. The other issue is, it's a new skill for me. One I definitely have not worked on before, but this class was a great starting point.
Here are my versions of our homework assignment. As you can see, I need a little work. :)
The last session, Portable Periodic Table of Value in Color, was a wee bit eye opening. As in, I apparently don't like the lighter values...in anything. I have to say, it's a surprise! I thought I drifted towards lighter things, but apparently I have a dark side. Who knew. Well, probably my hubby, which means it's pretty much guaranteed that I will be getting the Value Matching Tool for Christmas. Bwaahaahaahaa!
A stop at the LQS, Fabrics Plus, was needed to fill in those empties, especially those greens. Remember, I said I had a ginormous pile? I guess I don't like green greens, though, because it was mostly yellowy greens.
I think this will be a good tool for me. There are still some spaces to fill, but I didn't want to force anything. Besides, this way, I'll have to go back to the quilt shop and play with more fabric. Bummer!
|Who knew orange would be so hard?!|
While it was a little different, and felt a little slow, I enjoyed the class. This is quite possibly because it is the first online quilting class I have taken. You see, I have always liked to talk in class, much to the dismay of my teachers. I was lonely. Plus my instructor Grace didn't laugh at my jokes. I learned something (that is so important) about value and hue, and the lack of it in my stash, and I get to continue practicing what I learned (even more important). If you are hoping to have a good understanding of how value works in your quilting, I recommend this class. I am looking forward to going through it again, because it will definitely be worth the time to have Grace teach me again. Even if she doesn't laugh at me jokes.
**No affiliation to any of the links shared. The opinions, and jokes, are all mine.**