I'm continuing my "About Weekly Quilts" articles, this time discussing talking classes from other quilt artists and more.
Recently, there was a debate about why you should NOT take classes from other teachers/quilters, so that your style is not unduly influenced by those artists in an effort to strive to find your own. Without going too much into that debate, I think that's tough to do, and I have no reservations about taking classes from other teachers. Besides learning how to be a better teacher myself, unless a visual arts artist is blind, they will see something that will influence their work. In addition, the "masters" all studied from and copied their favorite artists regularly throughout history, so why shouldn't we?
So on this topic, when working weekly, it's a perfect time to try out something new. Whether it's a magazine technique, a class sample that you never finished and cut down, or just "copying" a style of your favorite artist, using inspiration from other artists will definitely help you hone your skills.
Some examples are:
A quilt that was a magazine article that I adapted to a 6 inch size weekly quilt.
A weekly quilt that was part of my classwork in Judy Coates Perez's Fabric Painting class.
A quilt that I used to emulate Kathy York's dimensional work.
Each of these little quilts were done at various points in my weekly quilt career, and I learned from each of them. Another benefit? Weekly and small quilts let you try a technique without a huge committment. My Technique of the Week series last year helped me try so many things without trying to slog through a wall sized piece knowing I hated the technique.
My last installment "About Weekly Quilts" will take us back the the "Back to Basics" concepts of using them to keep your mind creatively sharp so you have fewer creative blocks!