We have another student who has kindly volunteered to document her learning journey with us. Anne Hartland is studying Patchwork & Quilting and she will be documenting her entire progress throughout the course as she works through the modules.
Name: Anne Hartland
Previous Experience: “I came to quilting only a few years ago; I have a degree in ceramic design and have always enjoyed trying different crafts at home. I always seemed to gravitate towards textiles, and my mum taught me to knit and embroider when I was little.”
By the end of the course students will have produced a unique portfolio of work completed to a professional standard.
Download the brochure for more information.
Hello everyone, and welcome to my first ever blog! I am currently sitting at the window of the flat I have just moved in to, watching the birds come and go from my neighbour’s admirable collection of bird feeder and coconuts. Today I have seen goldfinches, blue tits, a pair of turtle doves, blackbirds, a robin, and a rare stonechat. This is the first place I have lived in with my own outside area; I am looking forward to seeing what plants come up in the spring (not long to go now!!), and I wonder if the birds and the garden will inspire a new piece of work one day.
I have spent some time looking out of the window and thinking about how to begin my blog. I am delighted at having been invited to share my experiences. Sometimes, though, the first step into something new can also be the most difficult. I have found myself thinking – or overthinking – a new project for weeks before making a start, only to find that the work takes me in a completely different direction anyway!
When I began the Level 3 Patchwork and Quilting three years ago, I wasn’t sure how well I would manage an online craft course. I wondered whether not being able to meet with a regular class would affect my learning experience, or my ability to understand any difficult techniques. Would I miss being able to share my work with other students, and see what other people were doing? How would I send all my work to the college? And, most importantly, would I be able to find the discipline and organizational skills to complete the course!
As it turned out, I did not need to be worried about any of those things. The college provided just the right amount support for me to feel motivated and still independent as a learner, along with well-laid out resources and constructive feedback. There is a great online community where ideas and experiences can be shared, and I found that there are plenty of benefits of studying online too. Having the flexibility to work when you can or want to can be a real positive, and I now understand the huge benefits of planning out a work schedule! I also really like that we can “drop in” to other courses and see people’s work in the online gallery.
I can spend hours looking at other people’s wonderful creations in different disciplines to my own. I find it fascinating to see how other people might have interpreted a brief, and to hear about why they chose a particular course. I love to see the intense colours of the felting work, and the beautiful detail of machine and hand embroidery. Before I came to the college, I did not know what Stump work was, but what a discovery! There is so much I want to try, and, in my experience, the C&G courses provide ample opportunities to explore both traditional techniques and experimental work.
Studying Patchwork & Quilting
I came to quilting only a few years ago; I have a degree in ceramic design and have always enjoyed trying different crafts at home. I always seemed to gravitate towards textiles, and my mum taught me to knit and embroider when I was little. She had a blue pin tin with orange flowers on it that everyone’s mum seemed to have, and an oval shaped metal tin with a cameo on the front, that was for buttons.
I was fascinated by that tin for some reason, and spent happy hours sorting all the odd buttons. I was properly introduced to patchwork and quilting sort of by accident, after a trip to New York several years back. I had been on my way to the Museum of Modern Art which happened to be closed that day; however, I came across the American Folk-Art Museum as I was wandering around. Inside I discovered something that really blew my mind – an exhibition of original quilts made by some of the original settlers of the Americas. I couldn’t stop looking at them, at the old fabric scraps and the intricate blocks and patterns, the imagery. I wanted to make one! I spent a long time at the exhibition, and I learnt how quiltmaking brings people together something that would later become very important to me.
A few years ago, I had to finish work due to ill health, and I began to teach myself how to make some basic quilts. My first was actually a cushion cover made of simple strips, and then I made a double quilt using the same technique. I made five or six quilts – all hand-stitched because I couldn’t afford a sewing machine at that point! – and then I decided that I would really benefit from some professional help, especially when it came to finding inspiration and my own style. I had taken a couple of shorter C&G courses previously in drawing and painting and had been impressed by the level of work expected and the strong foundations in each discipline the courses fostered.
The level 3 course goes right back to design basics – how to take an idea from a range of source material into design development, sampling and creating a finished piece, all done step by step. I am three months into the Level 4 course, and I am amazed by how comfortable I feel with the design process – that is a great feeling! My studies have also helped me immeasurably over this difficult year we have had, providing structure and motivation after being at home for so long. I think creativity can be so important for our wellbeing, it really can help us through challenging times.
I am just about to complete my first module, and I am looking forward to sharing more about that in my next blog. I hope that everyone is staying safe and thank you for reading.