What’s a “Good” Composition?

Hi Everyone! A big welcome to all the new readers!


Last week I asked you what your biggest challenges are.  This week I want to help you with another one of those challenges: composition.  This is a huge subject, but so important.

Why is it important, you ask?

Because if your work is not a strong composition, it will not draw the viewer in to take a look at it.  This may seem so basic, but I think it’s often overlooked.  For example, you are making a landscape.  You have worked hard on constructing it, picking out the colors and the quilting designs.  And yet, when you look at it, it doesn’t look like the exciting idea you had in your head.

Ever have this happen to you?


This problem happens because the ideas in your head are in a different language than the visual language.

So you may think you have emphasized your focal point, but not in the visual way that others can see it.  So how do you do that?  By learning the visual language of art, i.e. the way we see things.

Here’s an obvious example:  say you want to depict a forest with lots of depth.  The artist who thinks they are creating depth will scatter trees all over the place.  The artist who knows something about the way our eyes actually see will place some trees near others, overlapping some, making some smaller than others.  Using depth and space is just one of the ways to make your quilt composition strong.

Now please enjoy some of my crude Sharpie sketches!

Random trees
Random trees
Trees with depth
Trees with depth


This artist has mastered the illusion of depth visually, not the idea of depth.  Does this make sense?

Good composition takes learning and practice. It will not come overnight!

To get even more practice with good composition here are some books I have used and can recommend, if you are a book person:

Color and Composition for the Creative Quilter, Katie Pasquini Masopust & Brett Barker

Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter, Katie Pasquini Masopust

The Quilter’s Book of Design, Ann Johnston

art & quilt, Lyric Kinard

Inspired to Design 7 Steps to Successful Art Quilts, Elizabeth Barton

After all, with all the time, materials and effort you put into your quilting, you owe it to yourself to make it wonderful as you imagined it!

If you find yourself needing further assistance, please email me to find out more about my Private Coaching  for Art Quilters.


In case you missed it last week here is the:

Making the Rio quilt


Hopefully, it will jumpstart one of the ideas swirling in your head!  And don’t forget to comment below!


Come see my work in person!  Every piece is for sale.  Why not take one home to beautify your home or office?


Fine Arts League of Cary show at Searstone Retirement Community, 

17001 Searstone Dr, Cary, NC 27513
(877) 841-2758

This show will be up from June 4-Aug. 4.



Also, a quick reminder….

Some of you expressed interest in learning online how to make a 3-D Textile painting like I taught on Quilting Arts TV.



Here is the link to sign up for that class:


New 6 month Private Coaching Masterclass!
 I have extended my private coaching program, from 3 months to 6 months.  I believe the transformation my students are looking for must take place over a longer period of time to have a lasting impact.

I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 17+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top.



Don’t forget to get yours:  Quilting Arts TV has the new 1500 Series available for download-  YES this is the one I am in (squee!!) Click HERE to get yours.


Susan and I on set

My Pinterest: You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.

About RoxaneRoxane-Web-Images-007

Roxane is a full time studio textile artist, teacher, and author, with two girls, who are both growing up too fast!  She recently appeared on Quilting Arts TV, and has been accepted to teach in Houston.  She is also a BERNINA ambassador. Her work is in several private collections and she loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to http://roxanelessa.com.

Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)


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