Monday, December 22, 2014

Masterclass for quiltmakers, an online class with Elizabeth Barton

I have admired Elizabeth Barton and her quilts for many years. I have attended two of her classes at the former Quilt University and when her books "Inspired to design. Seven Steps to Successful Art Quilts" and "Visual Guide to WORKING IN A SERIES"  were published, I was not late to buy them.
When she announced that she was going to start an online Master class for Art Quilters, I immediately signed up.
The class started in January this year and now in December it is going to finish. 
Every month there was a new exercise to work with.
For example one exercise was about "Lost and Found edges". This was about to create the illusion of a place or a person, an object etc. in a limited two dimensional space. One of the most magical illusions is that of lost edges. It is magical really!
 The planning for the work was the same for every month.
1 to the 10th of the month we were asked to make a lot of sketches and then choose the 3 best.
11th  to the 20th of the month.
When Elizabeth had received all the designs she put them together into a blog with a critique for each design. She numbered them and did not use our names, so we were just Student 1, Student 2 etc. So we could feel free to be wild.
We had then ten days to block out the design we had chosen i.e. cut out the pieces in fabric and pin them together so that she clearly could see how the piece looked, but that alterations were possible.
When she had received the images she put them on a blog with critique for each one. No names.
21st to the last day of the month.
The finished quilts were published on the blog with a short evaluation, basically her overall impression and some things for everyone of us to ponder for the next piece, which was published on the first of the next month, on her blog, where she described the next exercise.
Elizabeth writes "Don´t worry if you can´t manage to do this (or any other exercise) - as long as most of you do it, we´ll have plenty of designs to look at and critique.
Reading her critiques for all the students sketches, block outs and the finished quilts have been very instructive and useful. There were lots of valuable things to learn about how to think when you make a design.
Below are two of my sketches inspired by the Swedish painter Philip von Schantz (I just made two sketches this month)

After some critique from Elizabeth I made a lot of changes and below you can se my blocked out design after Elizabeth´s valuable and honest critique.

                                         The blocked out design where you can see how the piece looked and  
                                         alterations were possible.


                                         The finished piece.

                                          Close up

The background fabric is sunprinted with different paper shapes of bottles, which acts as masks, then outlined with machine stitching with a variegated thread. On top of the background fabric a piece of white organza  is placed. 
The foreground shapes of bottles are made of organza, schrims and Lutradur  backed with fusible web and fused on top of of the two layers (background sunprinted fabric and the layer of organza). Some of the bottle shapes are then mashine quilted round their perimeter. 
Measurement 16 x 10,5 inch
This was a fabulous class and I´ve come away from it feeling much more capable and confident in my work
The Master Class blog is private but Elizabeth has a public blog and a website if you wish to check her out further.


  1. Hi Ann-Marie, wow this seems like a very good class, it has been interesting to see how your work developed over the year in the group quilts, did you combine the two as you were working on the ideas for Latitude?

    1. Yes I did for three of them. "Stone Love", "Under the Surface" and " Spaced Bottles".