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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chiseled in Cloth

Margaret Bucklew has recently launched a new online classroom targeted for quilters, called Chiseled in Cloth.  I have completed the initial coursework the their "Make Your Own Patterns" class wanted to share insights with you. 

The class that I attended was a Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts class, that helps quilters understand how to use Adobe Photoshop,  Photoshop Elements or Gimp to edit digital photographs for use in quilts.  I found the class videos to be excellent, and the overall pace of the class lessons to be very easy to follow, and inspirational. 

There is also an optional  57 page document that you can purchase, without taking this class (or get a 50% discount if you buy a copy when you sign up for the class).  This document is very well written, with excellent visuals.  It is an excellent source of  providing tips, instructions and inspiration on using tools to edit digital photographs for use in quilts.  It also went several steps further, in sharing insights on how to turn these beautiful photographs into quilts...award winning quilts!  This document alone is worth more than the fee of this class!

My general impression is that Margaret's classes are insightful and well worth the money and investment of time.  They have a fun, old fashioned, Prairie Schoolhouse approach, with the exception that it is modernized to be able to use online video tutorials, forums and more, all in a secured environment.

I got a kick out of how the class sessions were delivered online, via cabinets that made cute noises as  you opened the drawers.

Students receive email noticed as new lessons are posted, where they can pull information to view online and watch class videos.

The class assignments did a great job show techniques and tips for digital photo editing.  I loved how Margaret taught everyone how to remove an item out of a photo, such as the telephone pole in the background of this photo.

To such that the photo would be so much more pleasing in an Art Quilt without the distraction of the pole.

This class was packed full of great insights in each lesson. While this particular class is targeted towards quilters interested in making Portrait Art Quilts, I think this was actually one of the best online classes I've seen for photo editing. Thus, I definitely recommend this particular class for any quilter interested in making beautiful Portrait Art Quilts, but also for those that want to learn more about photo editing tools.   

For my class, I found the videos to be short, typically ~8-10 minutes, yet packed with a lot of information in a format that was easy to follow.  And, the price for this class is extremely reasonable, if not priced well below the value of the class.

Margaret also has a class for making a beautiful Rosebud Appliquilt that has caught my eye.  Spectacular quilt and I'm sure her class structure will provide a great value. 

The only drawback I saw with these classes is that the Chiseled in Cloth site is still new and I expect Margaret will continue to work on enhancing this site in the near future, to provide more obvious links, class schedule info, and ease of finding contact info on her site.  For example, you may not intuitively click on an area on her site to get to a linked page, but if you are patient you will find respective links.   In the meantime, you can email Margaret for more info by clicking here.

Margaret is also available for quilt lectures and workshops for quilt guilds and/or quilt stores.  From what I learned in taking this online class, I would highly recommend any quilt shop or guild to hire Margaret ASAP. 

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that I think Margaret Bucklew is creating a wonderful new online learning program for quilters via her Chiseled in Cloth site.  I just want to encourage everyone to visit, but also check back as this is such a new program I think there are a few online changes that will make it easier to find future classes, register, as well as contact Margaret via her site.   I also hope that we'll soon see more classes offered via Chiseled in Cloth, but the initial class offering is well worth the money and time.  Check it out.  I think you'll like it too! 

The "Make Your Own Patterns" class will be taught again in February, 2011.  I highly recommend it for anyone interested in making Portrait Art Quilts.

Margaret also has a pattern website:  www.patterns2quilt.com


IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Oh wow....sounds like you've been having lots of fun without me :(

Since I'm so visual it sounds perfect for me....how cool. Thanks for sharing the great info!

Guess Who?

Barb said...

Look at Kelly, she thinks it is all about her...it is not...it is about me....HA~~~

That does sound interesting, I liked the pole disappearing. These are things I would love to learn. Thanks!!

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the great review- I've never done an online class before. I loved that disappearing pole trick too.

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

These are the exact kind of quilts that I've always dreamed of making. Thank you so much! I will be begging for that class for my birthday in January!!

jtucker said...

Had a nice time checking out her web site! Thanks for the link. Quite an artist and it is a skill to be able to teach that technique.

Vicki said...

Thanks for the post, this is great. I've been using Photoshop for years and still only have grasped the basics like croping my pictures, and adjusting colour when my camera is off because of lighting. I've never been able to figure out how to make things disappear. I think I will be looking into this class.