Drawing Exercises for Quilters

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It seems that learning to become a certified quilt judge starts with . . . FRUIT.

Who knew I'd have to raid the fridge for this endeavor!

Okay, fruit is not the point, but it makes a handy drawing subject. It will sit for long periods without complaint, plus it makes a tasty snack in the end.

The point is to work through a series of exercises to show that I'm serious about the judging program, and to prove that I understand basic artistic principles.

First up: Blind Contour Drawing.

Eyes on the fruit, pencil on the paper, shield the page so there is no peeking, and DRAW! 

Follow the edges of the fruit, and theoretically the pencil moves with your eyes to capture what you see. Theoretically. ;-)

Blind contour drawing.
The timer was set for 25 minutes, and the instructions were to repeat the exercise until it rang. I could tell the repetition was worthwhile. The more I drew, the more relaxed I became, and the drawings reflected that.

Next, Semi-Blind Contour Drawing.

Semi-Blind Contour Drawing.

Set the timer again.
Same rules as for blind contour, except that I could peek and reposition the pencil on the page when I changed fruits. After that, each fruit was drawn blind.

At first I treated the grapes as a single piece of fruit, but on my fifth (and final) attempt I started peeking for each grape. They each count as a piece of fruit, right? Ha!

And, finally, a simple Contour Drawing where you glance at the paper as needed (no shield), but are encouraged to look at the fruit most of the time.

Contour Drawing.
Not an exact replica, but I'm not a camera, so that's okay! If I took the fruit away and just showed the drawing, it would be recognizable.

I'm looking forward to moving along. I've done exercises like these before, which makes them less intimidating, but also less exciting. I recognize their value, but am glad to have these ones checked off the list!

All work and no play? NO WAY!!! 

Amy and her friend, Adrienne, decided they'd like to learn how to make a circle quilt. They brought fabric and wine, and we dove right in.

All the pieces are cut and ready to sew into blocks, but we are saving that for another day.

Cutting circles leaves weird scraps . . . and, did I mention the wine???


No post would be complete without a bit of

Quilty Goodness, Fresh off the Frame

Client quilt - Wrought Iron pantograph

Quilt of Valour that came to me as a stack of blocks gathered from across Canada.
Feels great to be almost finished!


Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Free Motion Mavericks @ Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing

Try, Learn, Grow!
Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Thanks for visiting!


  1. What a fun the drawing and working together. Hope the wine did not influence your cutting shapes!
    I love the first client quilt and your quilting!!
    Have fun!!!

  2. Love the wrought iron panto. Thanks for the tips on drawing as well.

  3. Cool to see how you progressed as you 'loosened up'. . . maybe a glass of wine would have helped with that exercise as well ;) haha But seriously, so interesting to see what you have to do to be a judge.

    Can't wait to see those circle quilts come together! Looks like a fun time :)

  4. what a cool exercise! love your quilting
    Happy weekend

  5. Love that still life. Very pretty and looks like you had a great time!

  6. figures a vet would make animal ears! LOL

  7. Your progress on certification is so interesting. And your quilt of valor is looking amazing! I love how you have grouped the blocks and quilted it.

  8. What cool progression in the drawing exercises! Yay for good friends, quilting, and silliness!,

  9. Hello Carole,

    Gorgeous picture of the fruit. The drawing looks like a great lark - almost like drawing with your eyes shut. I have tried writing with my eyes shut before now. It came out complete rubbish.

    Love, Muv

  10. Fascinating to see the back to back drawing exercises. I'm wondering what would happen if you did them in reverse order. Might just need to test that myself.

    That wrought iron pantograph is stunning.

  11. What a fun post! So interesting. The quilts are great.

  12. Looking forward to seeing more of your judging exercises, and definitely more of that circle quilt too.


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