Consider the rectangle...

Busy weekend teaching at the South Florida MQG -- two very different days. Saturday was Rectangle Day -- working with darks, mediums, and lights, we made rectangles that looked like this and worked with them to make a small piece that worked as a composition. The class was full and everybody's color choices were different. nobody's work looked the same as anyone else's.

This is really a two-day class, but since we only had one day, I don't have finished pieces to show you. Nevertheless, some wonderful things were happening on the design wall. Here are a few that will give you an idea of the diversity. Remember: same starting point!

This class is really a design challenge because there is no template, no pattern, and other than the starting point of a certain number of rectangles like the ones at the top of the page, the rest is improv: how you cut the rectangle, where you cut it, and how you put the pieces together before (or as) you sew them into larger units.

We start out working in three values: dark/medium/light. When you are picking values, the only way to truly tell is to look at the fabrics through your black and white setting on your smart phone's photo app. Color isn't as important as value, and two fabrics that look like different values to the naked eye may actually have the same value and will mush together once you use them next to one another.

Surprise! There's very little value difference between the red and the gray.

There's not too much thinking required when you cut: you just go for it - preferably freehand. The thinking comes when you have sewn the pieces into larger units, have thrown them at the wall, and have to move them around until the composition works.

That's when I work individually with everyone as I go around the room. Some people have an intuitive sense of design; others aren't as confident and ask whether if they should move a piece down/over/up/around, add another element or color, etc. etc. I tell them to trust their intuition and their eyes. I hope you trust yours! Do you??

 all text & images ©rayna gillman 2019