This week I'd like to share my favorite design book, Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design. The Amazon link lets you "look inside" the book, which I highly recommend.
The book discusses principles that easily apply to modern quilting - the relationship between negative and positive space, symmetry, movement and tension. The exercises and examples in the book helped me look at negative space and quilt backgrounds differently - they can (and should be) interesting. The book has many examples on symmetry and tips to achieve the asymmetrical balance that is present in many modern quilts.
It takes me a long time to arrange a quilt with asymmetrical balance. Here are some tips I picked up from the book:
- each piece of the quilt should be interesting by itself
- avoid arranging pieces on axis or in a line
- there should be tension between the pieces - if they are too far apart or too close together they are not as visually interesting
- when laying out a quilt, pay attention to where your eye is drawn. It shouldn't be so busy that your eyes never rest, but you shouldn't immediately be drawn to one element of the quilt.