Art + Quilt Design Principles and Creativity Exercises

Master quilter Lyric Kinard shares her secrets of success through a variety of techniques, exercises, and insider tips to get you inspired to make art.

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Let your inner artist blossom!

You don’t have to be a professional to create stunning art quilts. All you need is a little refresher on art and design basics, plus a few tips and tricks from master quilter and creativity coach Lyric Kinard.

Learn to understand, appreciate, and create works of art one step at a time with Art + Quilt: Design Principles and Creativity Exercises. Brush up on the basic elements of art, and then learn the principles of design that will strengthen your artwork. Work through homework assignments and field trips that harness your inspiration, then direct that creative energy into your work.

Here are a few short exercises from Art + Quilt that will get you primed to play and make art. 

One of Lyric's sketchbooksWouldn’t it be lovely if you could find 45 minutes every day for your art? Turn off the TV for an hour. Take a 15-minute break during lunch or after work to imagine and be inspired. Wake up 30 minutes early or stay up half an hour late to play with some art and experiment. Once a month take yourself, and perhaps a collaborator, to anywhere that interests you and seek inspiration.

Five minutes to imagine

Find a quiet place, shove the laundry list out of your mind, and spend a few minutes with your eyes closed. Daydream. Begin with your wishful desires, think of your goals, and let your creative mind wander. Write your dreams in a sketchbook or journal without fear or self-criticism! You never need show or tell these thoughts to anyone unless you wish to.

Field Trips

Frenetically stitched lines become a sketch in threadSet a date, bring your sketchbook, camera, and perhaps a friend. Go to a museum, park, gallery, grocery store, downtown, or anywhere interesting, and contemplate your surroundings with an artists’s eyes. Be inspired. Look for exquisite compositions, well-balanced forms, and distinctive color combinations. Be inspired by a beautiful flower and the flotsam in the gutter. Sketch it, write about it, photograph it. Write down what inspires you and why. When people see your sketchbook and come to look, tell them “I’m an artist!”

Do you say “I wish I had more time to be creative?” Then this book is for you! Whether you create quilts as a hobby or as a professional artist, Art + Quilt will help you clarify your goals and take your craft to the next level through design and composition.

SKU: 09QM03

Author/Speaker/Editor: Lyric Kinard

Format: Paperback

ISBN 13: 9781596681064

Number Of Pages: 136

Table of Contents

Just as everyone can learn to read, everyone can learn the basic elements of design and open the door to being an artist. You can learn to appreciate and create art if you are taught a step at a time.


OPEN YOUR HEART AND MIND- Why do you say "I can't" Did someone some time say you couldn't draw? Are you comparing your talent to a professional who has spent thousands of hours learning and practicing their art? You have to change "I can't" to "I'm willing to try!" I'll be your cheerleader, shouting and encouraging and cheering you on every step of the way. You need to give yourself permission to learn one step at a time. Guest essay - Overcoming Fear (Janine leBlanc)


Introduction to the Elements of Design: We'll begin by learning the alphabet of art. The basic elements of design are the letters that artists use to create words, paragraphs, stories and poetry. We'll start at the beginning and work up from the sounds and shapes of letters, to the combinations that make words and sentences. We'll give you the tools for your belt and show you how to use them.


Next comes putting the basic design elements we have learned about together. We've learned what the letters are and now we can put them together to create some sort of basic meanings... the beginning of words. Learn to use your creative tools from Chapter 2 to create beautiful compositions.


Student gallery examples for the following creativity exercises. Kids go to school every day and do (seemingly endless) grammar exercises and write countless essays. They learn through practice to not only appreciate great writing but begin to write themselves. A few with the fire in their heart or language go on to write novels and poetry. If you have the fire in your heart for art you need to spend your time practicing. You also need to practice a new way of thinking. Even if you can't bring yourself to say it just take as long a time as you can spare each day and "pretend" you are an artist. It's always been amazing to me how children will live up to our expectations of them. Set your expectations for yourself high!


Now What!? Shakespeare didn't write Romeo and Juliet when he was six years old! He probably progressed just like the rest of us by writing a lot of awkward verses and rambling essays and letters. He practiced until he developed the skills necessary to become one of the great writers in the English language. Now it's your turn.

About the Author

Lyric Kinard creates award-winning wall quilts and wearable works of arts. She has studied with many well known textile artists around the country and continues to expand her skills in the area of surface design. Her articles have appeared in Quilting Arts magazine and she recently completed her first video, Quilting Arts Workshop: Surface Design. She lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband and five children. Author web site:

"This is an excellent resources for quilters who wish to bring their work up a notch and come to a greater understand of the basics of art.” – Machine Quilting Unlimited
"This is one of the best books to read in order to learn about design principles and how they can improve your art quilts.  If you want to get serious about your art, get this book." —  Fiber Art New

SKU: 09QM03

Author/Speaker/Editor: Lyric Kinard

Format: Paperback

ISBN 13: 9781596681064

Number Of Pages: 136

Customer Reviews

Art and Quilt:Design Principles and Creativity Exercises Review by Jay Dodds

I purchased this book not just for myself to use, but I am librarian of Trinity Valley Quilters' Guild, Fort Worth, Texas and I chose it for our library. The main reason I got it is because of the increased interest in art quilts. Many of our members interested in art quilts have no experience or education in design and this book really fills the bill. One of the ladies came up to me and said this was the best book on the topic of design she had ever read and that it was most helpful her as she had no previous art education, just the desire!! I am a retired art teacher so those were the words I wanted to hear!! I think the book is just perfect for anyone wanting to know more about combining art and quilting...regardless of the experience level. It is full of inspiration and education of design in a very fun and attractive way!

(Posted on 11/10/2011)

(Posted on 11/10/2011)