April 2007
Challenge Hostess: Cynthia Morgan
Theme: Design Project
Design Element: Shape, line and value

Source: The Quilter’s Book of Design by Ann Johnston
 --- The object of the project is to start with one image and end with another.

Part 1

  • Pick a photo that has distinct lines and/or shapes in it
  • Use a black pen to draw a few of the shapes or lines you like very quickly and simply on small pieces of paper approximately 4” x 4”(or draw 4 boxes on a full size sheet of paper).  Fill the space. 
  • Look at what you have drawn and look again at the photo.  Look for other interesting shapes or lines and draw more. (Remember you are not drawing the picture, you are taking out some of its elements and simplifying them.  Make 8-10 quick drawings (1-3 minutes each).
  •  Try different variations, such as
    • Make the elements repeat with more or less space between them,
    • Move them into a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement,
    • Change the size and orientation of the elements,
    • Take one of the drawn elements and draw a mirror image next to it.
  •  Keep your lines simple and look for elements that interest you or can make interesting combinations

Part 2

  • Pick one of your line drawings and make 4 copies of it
  • Shade the shapes and lines in four completely different value patterns with 3-6 values of gray, including black and white

Part 3     Pick one of your value patterns to use as inspiration for a small art quilt

Betty Donahue
Wethersfield, CT

How Did I Get Here from There?
12-3/4 x 12-1/2”


This was something completely different from anything I had ever done before. The lines were drawn using a picture of a boat.  Don't know what else to say but it was fun to do.

Brenda Jennings
Columbus, Ohio

12"  x 12" 
Batiks; fused applique;

Inspired by a Chihuly installation at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus.

Cherie Brown
Del Mar, California

The Black and White of It

Lame’s; chiffons ;metallic; suede cloth; metallic threads

My "photo" was a postcard from Berlin. After sketching lines and shapes and shading with grays, black and white, I really liked the looks of it that way and had never made a black and white quilt before...so here it is!

Cynthia Ann Morgan
Boulder, CO

Swirling Thoughts
13 x 15”

hand dyed and commercial fabrics, fused applique

As a starting point, I used a photo of an overstuffed chair surrounded by pots of flowers and plants in a family room. Lots of shapes to choose from.  I mainly used the swirl shape on the chair arm and triangular shapes from the back of the chair and the pots. It turned out a bit more whimsical than I usually do...I guess it's the inner child coming out. It was fun and quick, all fused applique and binding, an extra layer of batting trapunto style behind the chair to make it overstuffed, zigzag stitched around the applique, and quilting in a flower, leaf and paisley pattern.


Julie Renee Everett
New Florence, PA

12-1/2" x 10-1/2"
100% Quilters cottons

Inspired by a photograph of the Cloisters of Lacock Abbey


Lisa A. Albanese
Seattle, WA

Driftwood 4
7" x 7"

quilting cottons, wool yarn

This is from a photograph I took at Lincoln Park in Seattle, WA.  I did a bunch of sketches - keeping in mind the composition of the photograph - then I re-read the challenge - more abstract - so I did took another try at it and created Driftwood 4 - Driftwoods - 1, 2, and 3 are also completed.

Linda Cline
San Leandro, CA

9½ x 7”

Cotton, fused

 It was difficult to get away from trying to draw exactly what I saw instead of concentrating on just the shapes. What finally worked for me was concentrating on drawing shadows and negative shapes from a photo, and rotating the drawing paper occasionally.

Wendy Wetzel
Flagstaff AZ

World Windows
14 ¼ "x 16"

Hand dyed cotton, couched silk fiber

My inspiration pictures were all of buildings and as I sketched, I realized that everything that caught my eye was a window. One of my favorite images was a sunset over Anchorage AK, taken last fall. The sun seemed to reflect a myriad of colors on the window panes of the Alaskan city. I layered hand-dyes, and overlaid them with couched silk fiber. I’ve washed it twice to really get the fiber and fabric to fray.

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