Thursday, February 28, 2013

On The Design Wall

Here's the project I began working on last night.
I have a picture of a little quilt saved from some time back, I had even put together a collection of fabrics into a "kit". It has aged enough and now it's time to see if I can make something I like!
 People often ask me how I go about the construction of art quilts, and below is a progression of photos that show a bit of the process. It's like painting a picture with little squares of fabric, I stack them in box tops just like an artists paint palette.
This quilt is quite simple and not very large so it went up on the wall pretty quickly.
Step 1. In the beginning, the bare bones!
This midnight blue is too harsh a contrast up against the gold and red but I really want to use it because it is the perfect midnight sky color, even has a bit of a mottled appearance so it is not "flat" looking. That's hard to see in the photos but it does show in person! And that large plain gold star is really "in my face" on its own so it will need some "help" as I proceed.
In my stash there I find this batik which may buffer the dark blue. It has lots of different colors allowing me to choose the areas that have the most appropriate shading, this is amazing fabric!
I think this might work.
You can see how this new blue is a better transition, more pleasing to the eye. Now what to do about that star, it certainly needs something! First I tried the red square and like the color but the shape is wrong and it would need to be appliqued on......argh.
 So I decide on a red spinning star, then add another spinner up on the left to give more interest and movement and so that the red one will have a "friend". Someone told me once that every fabric needs at least one "friend" for balance in a quilt and I applied that principle to the lonely star!
The yellow in the comet trail looks a bit anemic and the trail needs to be wider at the top. Replacing it with a brighter gold gives more life, then switching out the red flames for a different fabric looks more "fiery". A few HST's make some of the color transitions softer and round off the leading edge of the comet as it speeds through the sky! I am still "tweaking" this, every time I walk by the studio door I look and sometimes rearrange a square!
Hmmm, perhaps that will almost do it! However, I have been known to sew one of these quilts together then decide that there is one little square somewhere in the middle that stands out like it doesn't belong ! In that case I simply must replace it and although I always hope it will not happen this time, there are no guarantees!
These pics give some indication of the thought process as the design develops and I add and subtract portions, and perhaps may encourage anyone who thinks they want to try an art quilt of their own!
I will probably make a yellow stop border, then a blue outer border though I doubt I have enough of that dark blue [it's a wide back batik]. I think I purchased it at 35th. Ave Sew 'N Vac, so perhaps I can get a bit more. It's too far to drive over there for just one small thing so I will wait until I am back to that store for the BOM pick up which is third Saturday.


LynCC said...

Hey, that's a lot of fun!

Kucki68 said...

Thank you for sharing your process with us. I find that sort of post incredibly interesting.

Gari in AL said...

I frequently design that way but it is usually because I have made some kind of mistake and need to redesign to make up for it. ;-) I like what you have on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your process. The design is great!

wendy said...

Holy are a Michelangelo of quilts. (and I probablly spelled his name wrong) It is a creation in the making and I love how you put it together.