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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crazy Quilt Mystery Project Classes

I've mentioned it a few times in recent posts but I thought for today, I would go into a bit of detail regarding my Crazy Quilt Mystery Project Classes which will be starting in January of 2013.

Over the past few years, I've had many stitchers email me asking what can they do to get their crazy quilt blocks to look like mine.  I always tell them that they don't want their blocks to look like mine.  They want their blocks to look like their blocks.

I've been thinking about this on and off over the past few months, trying to determine what it is about my CQ work that stitchers are attracted to.  I think I've come up with a few answers.

Color & Composition - I think the biggest concern that stitchers have with Crazy Quilting and any collage work for that matter, is learning how to compose a block and learning how to use color.  Color can make or break a piece.

Certainly, antique crazy quilts had nothing to do with those aspects.  They were about using scraps and showing off needlework skills.  But modern crazy quilting has more of a focus on design elements and embellishments.  The crazy quilting we do now tells a story.  And stitchers who are relatively new to CQ work are at a loss as to "what to put where".

Techniques - Let's face it, there are more options available to us now than ever before!  There is no limits to what can be added to a crazy quilt block.  Any type of needlework and embroidery skill can be used.  There are so many different stitches that can be done.  How does one choose?

Embellishments - And then there's the embellishments!  What to add, what not to add, what works, what doesn't work.  When is enough, enough.  How do you know when you're done.  These are the questions I've been asked repeatedly over the past few years.

Finish It - And then there's "what to do with it when it's done".  Certainly no one wants to put a beautiful stitched piece in a drawer. 

First and foremost, my upcoming mystery projects will be classes.  My #1 focus will be to teach color and composition.  What might surprise you though is that you won't know that you're learning color & composition.  Color and composition is not something you do, it's something you know and feel but you will learn it by doing it based on the specifics that I will give for each mystery project.

Also through doing these projects, you will learn how to do a huge variety of techniques, how to and what to embellish with and how to finish your projects. Yes, some sewing techniques will be included as well.  Each project will be finished into a useable or decorative item.  Nothing will be sitting in a drawer!  And you'll learn how to tell a visual story!

Ongoing Classes - My Crazy Quilt Mystery Project Classes will be an ongoing series of projects and through doing these projects, stitchers will learn basically, how to make their crazy quilt blocks look like mine but, with their own special touches.  Crazy Quilting is an art form and in time, stitchers will develop their own style that will make their pieces unique to them.  But you have to do it to develop your style.

What's The Mystery? - Now that I've told you what you'll be learning through these classes, you're probably wondering what the mystery is.  Each project will be a specific finished item with a theme.  Each project will have several requirements, for example, a certain stitch may have to be used, or a certain handmade embellishment may be required and most of the projects will require certain colors.  That's the mystery.  You won't know what you'll be doing until you do it.  And the more mystery classes you take on, the more you'll learn.

Patterns - All necessary patterns for each project will be included.  All finishing directions will be included and I will show a finished example at some point along the way to help you but please keep in mind, you don't want to copy what I do.  You want to do it your way, but with my guidance.

Class Fee - I'm thinking of a fee of around $10.00 per mystery class.  I want to keep this affordable for everyone.

So does that sound like fun?  My list of projects is already a mile long so there is a lot to learn.  You choose which projects you want to take and which you don't.  Each project will have a "theme" and "learning focus" so you'll know in advance if you're interested.  You just won't know what exactly you'll be making.  Oh, and in some cases, we may be doing some blocks that can later be put together into a wall quilt! 

Flickr - When we get a little closer, I'll set up a Flickr group for everyone to share photos and chat about the projects.

I think this will be a really fun way to learn and a great way for stitchers to get together and discuss the art crazy quilting. And you don't have to be an experienced crazy quilter to do these projects.  Just some knowledge of piecing a block (I use the sew & flip method) and basic embroidery skills are all you need for these classes.  But advanced stitchers will enjoy them too!  And at some point, we will get into some other piecing techniques as well.

Let me know what ya'll think and if you have any questions. 

I'm still working out the technical aspects of presenting the projects.  I'm leaning towards Magcloud publications because I think that may be the easiest option for everyone.  If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.


Magpie's Mumblings said...

hmmmmm - I wonder if maybe I shouldn't be taking your classes BEFORE I teach my workshop? This sounds like a great idea Pam!!

ARLENE said...

Hi, Pam,
I'm going to be completely honest because I'd love to take some of your classes, but the mystery aspect doesn't appeal to me. I may be a "control freak," but I dislike mystery quilts. I like to know what I'm working on and where I'm going--the gestalt of what I'm doing I guess. I think your work is gorgeous and I'm starting my 5th CQ so I'm always looking to learn new things.

Marianne said...

I am just offering this up for what it is worth and not saying that this is a better idea, but just something that I am doing now. I am participating in a mystery doll project and we are doing this through yahoo groups. After you pay the artist gave us a link to the group and she uploads the patterns to the group and everyone can upload their pictures and "converse" and ask questions. Everything is in one place. I don't know anything about Magcloud but looking at it I see it is a HP product. Like I said just mentioning this, not sure if it is better or worse or anything.

margaret said...

sounds a wonderful idea, I have just made 4 8"blocks which I put on my blog but it is the stitching and embellishing I struggle with, how much and where, you are just what I need. The flickr page is good too, like to see what others are achieving

Anonymous said...

The mystery classes sound wonderful! I enjoy the crazy quilt pieces I make, but I don't have formal art training, and I always feel like there's something missing. Learning about color and composition would be great. I also like the idea that I could take some, but not necessarily all the classes, in case life intervened. (Sorry I didn't leave my e-mail, I don't know what "public" means in this context.)

Rita A. said...

Sounds like so much fun!

Gerry Krueger said...

I think the mystery idea is so unique and clever to CQ... It will be fun to see how it all unfolds. Gerry Krueger...

Jojesek said...

Colour is always my biggest stumbling block, which colours and how many should I use? My second is that I'm not a very experienced embroiderer (is that a word?) so my seams tend not to be terribly creative and a little messy and uneven. I'm debating between these classes and your books. Where do you get your waste canvas? I can't find any here in Ottawa, any suggestions?

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