Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The development of a quilt design

People are often interested in how I get to my quilt designs, so I thought I'd share the process I usually go through. It's a bit more 'technical' than normal, so feel free to skip through! I always start by general sketching of anything that relates to the theme or idea I want to explore. I call this 'just drawing' - drawing without a particular purpose in mind, but just to familiarise myself with the subject matter. Very quickly, an idea (or fifty) starts to take shape in my mind, and I will draw up quick mud-map type sketch to settle on the very rough layout/concept of the quilt.
This is played with a little, and fleshed out a bit...
...and then I can sketch with a bit more purpose. This is when I work on the actual images that will be portrayed on the quilt.
Often this takes several attempts, with much fine tuning.
These images then need to be translated into quilt pieces. At this point the quilt drawing shows all the seams that will need to be stitched, and can actually look quite ugly.
When I am happy with the drawing it is traced onto a clean sheet of paper, with a fineliner. This image is enlarged to the final quilt size, to form my quilt pattern. Previously this involved much mucking around and wasted paper at the photocopier, so Phil devised a better method for me last week:We took a photo of the drawing and printing it out to the required size (across sixty or so A4 papers). Definitely way easier! I love it when we can refine the process, even a little bit! The photo is also traced into Illustrator (a drawing program) so that I can easily make a colour plan. At this point most of the brainwork is done, and the rest of the process can more easily be undertaken amongst the goings on of four children.

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