Dottie: I was one of the original Spiromanics. We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, in RaNae’s first book, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts, is my first spiral quilt. I am ready and willing to get spiraling again!
Dottie 6-8-09: Okay, here is what I have been playing with. Still not where I want it but I wanted your input. (I want it to be more off center, less wedges) Will it work?
[Click on image for a larger view] I was wanting to get away from all the sameness that everyone else was experiencine. My thought process: Wanted it off centered; something spikey; easy to sew (less spirals); incorporate baravelle with nesting spiral; unusual wedge shape; unusual outside shape. I also want to try an uneven number of wedges, maybe 5 for a 5 pointed star. 7 looked kinda cool but the nesting spiral was all wrong. I started from the inside out with the baravelle but soon got frustrated because of controling the center of the nesting background spiral (how it met the baravelle in already in the center). Should I continue along this line or move on? Dottie
RaNae: [I spoke with Dottie on the phone this morning, and this is a summary of what we discussed.] Dottie, the drawing above is problematic because the background spiral (black and white) doesn’t use the concept of a wedge that gets repeated to create a kaleidoscopic design for the mandala. I understand that you want something different for the center of your mandala, and that you want an outside shape that isn’t the typical circle that most of the mandalas have. Just remember that the quilts we are making for the book need to demonstrate the specific processes and procedures that the book is discussing. The most basic of those processes and procedures is to work with wedges that join into a circle. Symmetry — the repetition of the wedge — is also critical to the specific design process of the book. That said, this second sketch without the background spiral has potential, because it does still have wedges.
My suggestion to you would be to treat the white triangles in this sketch as your wedges. Each is a triangle, even though the triangles have different proportions. I would divide each of these triangle/wedges into the same configuration of shapes, adjusted for the different proportion of each triangle/wedge. Then set the spirals in the same positions and color them the same way in each wedge. This way, you will have the symmetry of a repeated design in each wedge while still having the different proportions.
In order to make the wedges more unified, set the spirals at the adjoining edges so that they create what appear to be flow forms passing under the colored spikes coming from the spiral in the center.
I really like the idea of using black and white in the wedges, like you did with the background spiral in the first sketch. If you decide to stick with black and white, you might want to consider using gradations of grey to give dimension to the black and white flow forms.
Dottie 6-9-09: I have been playing today. Redrew the baravelle to 5 sides, then drew the spikes, controled their length this time, the eight sided star some of the wedges were too small to spiral on a 8×10 page. 1st is the skeleton with the wedges highlighted in red, the wedge divisions in blue. I divided each wedge the same but only once. (this time) 2nd pic shows the spirals drawn in, 3rd is first coloring and 4th is 2nd coloring. If this will not work for you, I will move on to another concept.
RaNae: Dottie, this is terrific. What’s really remarkable about it is how simple it is (only two spirals per wedge, and one in the middle!), and yet still so striking. Definitely go with this — your 2nd coloration. And work in those gradations in the black and white. You’re on your way.
Dottie: Susan and I had a good “What if ….? session yesterday afternoon we mostly worked on her design. The design she had when I left had promise. And she had mirrors, in fact 2 sets so she loaned me a pair. They made a huge difference. We loved it!!! She drew several (tons actually) wedge designs using the mirrors in less than 2 hours.
Dottie 12-14-09: Well it is almost completed. Just waiting on amethyst bugle beads to arrive in the mail. Finding the right color for the purple has been a real challenge. I even looked all over Kansas City and found close but not good enough match. So came home and searched the net. After looking in KC I knew what colors to avoid and what to look for. Found them on Ebay but it is taking forever! ugh Maybe seems like forever cause I needed them yesterday. It took me at least 20 to 24 hours of playing with the crystals before I was happy with the placement. I love the tacky mylar. Hotfix Queen sells it by the running foot which worked out great for this project. I was able to arrange and change each motif and audition it on the quilt without having to worry about those little buggers going everywhere. I highly recommend using them if you use hotfix crystals. RaNae, I am hoping to get this finished up next weekend, if the cyrstals get here by then. Do you think I should wait until after Christmas to mail this or go ahead and mail it when it is finished? I have never mailed anything at this time of year before. hmmmmmmm Merry Christmas ladies. Dottie