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QSDS 2016 – My week with Betty Busby

I spent this past week at Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio, taking a class with Betty Busby.  I have long admired her work and jumped on the opportunity to learn how she achieves her amazing designs.  Here is an example of her work:


Home Reef - Betty Busby
Home Reef – Betty Busby


Fractured - Betty Busby

Here is an artist who creates both abstract work and representational landscapes and seascapes.  Her work has a unified look of vivid glow from within and intricate texture.

This was the most productive class I have ever attended.  We painted, drew, learned to use cutting machines, and learned about non woven fibers.

Betty Busby - cut out           Betty Busby cut out

Here is my own original design made into a cut out placed on top of a painted habotai silk:

Betty Busby - Cut out

Barbara Schneider was also taking this class and I often went over to stand in front of her design wall basking in the inspiration:

Betty Busby - Barbara Schneider

Here is Pat Isaman, with whom I spent many hours talking about life and art.   She’s a gem!

Betty Busby Pat-Isaman

Here is my design wall:

Betty Busby Rachel-Derstine

We learned how to create crackled effects with wax:

Betty Busby crackle

and we learned to make Betty’s favored shape, dots!  We used Q-tips to drip thin paints onto silk and then added a drop of alcohol to make it spread.  Never knew something so simple could be so much fun.Betty Busby dots

Betty showed me how to take my designs and scan them so I could manipulate them in photoshop and upload them to Spoonflower to make my own fabrics.  I see many hours of obsessive behavior ahead!

Betty was so generous with information and links to sources.   She has a great sense of humor and I will be forever grateful for having had this opportunity to learn from her!


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1 Comment

  1. Fabulous in all ways — the fun, the inspiration, the techniques, the people, and your work!

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