Holly, 3-12-09: I was doodling a lot today and not really getting anywhere. Finally I had to go back to square one and draw more spirals. That gets it into the longer term memory, ha. So I’m excited about what I’ve drawn. It’s a start. At first it looked like an African mask, now maybe a puppy face. Anxious to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
RaNae: Holly, you are definitely on the right track. Now that you can see how the spirals sit in the shapes, can you see how the shorthand works? Using it will speed up your experimentation. I’m going to post some more ideas about design this week, so take those and see where you go with them!
RaNae: Holly, I’m delighted that you’ve gotten the hang of it so quickly. Don’t spend any more time on this for now — I’d rather have you explore some more ideas as I lay things out over the next couple of weeks, then settle in on a “permanent” design.
RaNae: Holly, this is another interesting design. One of the things I like about it is that the center symmetry is different up/down from how it is side-to-side. Then the rest of the design is in mirror symmetry, but you haven’t colored it symmetrically.
Holly, 3-20-09: You mentioned my coloring for the second sketch did not follow the flow from one shape to the next. On the outer shapes, I was trying to show dimension with darker or lighter colors in the triangle. I don’t think it worked. It’ll be more fun working with fabrics. Susan O is coming over tomorrow and we are going to play with spirals, and EQ6. I’m going to try different sized wedges and also an off-center design.
Holly, 3-22-09: This is the ball I sketched out yesterday. I think I want to put it out in space. I don’t like it as a Mandala, but it was a good exercise in perspective. I think it’s right? Whatever, it was fun.
RaNae: Holly, it looks like you’re “having a ball”! The ball idea is a good one, even if you do want to work more on a mandala design that you like better. I’m sure you’ll find what’s coming in the next week or so quite inspiring!
Holly: Yes I really am having fun. All I want to do is sketch, and can’t wait to sew!
Holly 3-18-09: This is my 3rd design using a 5 sided shape. This is so fun. Infinite designs waiting to be created.
RaNae: Holly, an interesting assymetrical coloring you’ve chosen here. Also, since you’ve used only pentagons in the design, difference in the proportions of the pentagon in the center and the pentagons around the outside give it a sense of dimension that suggests a ball.
Holly 3-28-09: It’s interesting in that you never quite know what you will end up with when drafting these. [On the first row:]The first one is okay, not a favorite. Maybe it’s the colors I chose. I think the second one is boring. (R. Well, I wouldn’t be that harsh, but I do agree you have done more interesting designs.)
[below:] I have read your ‘what if” questions on what to think about when designing these. These two sketches were done after reading that, the others were before. I’m not sure I did anything different. I love the first one – it made me think of a “Starfish Square Dance, Doe-se-doe” (sp?) or a ring of flowers. (R. I think Giny Wagner is already doing something identical.) I really like the second one, and have ideas for coloring that I will send later.
Holly 3-31-09: Sketches 9 and 10 again, colored. I like them both, sketch 10 is more fun, The Zebras Went Crazy!!!!!!
Soon I should pick a design and start tweaking that with your suggestions right? Or should I look over your ‘what if’s and try to get wilder? I love drawing these, and get fascinated by the design that turns up when finished. But I’m wondering if mine are maybe just ordinary, nothing real exciting. This whole thing being new to me makes them all exciting to me, but I’m thinking I haven’t made that WOW design yet.
RaNae: What can I say, but WOW!!! Zebras indeed! Seeing the b/w sketch above, I never would have expected this coloring. When I saw it I laughed out loud. If this one were in the book, love it or hate it you would never forget it! The one above is quite lovely, too.
Don’t worry, Holly, your designs are definitely not “ordinary”! 🙂
Holly 5-12-09: Here is a picture of the fabrics I’ve purchased for the Zebra quilt. I hope they are okay with you. I’m also sending a picture of the drafted wedges. It’s going to be 68 inches in diameter, and borders later. Also there is a picture of the first block.
I’m sewing this on the paper from Kinkos, instead of tracing all of this on some other foundation. They were able to do a mirrored copy of the wedge which was great. I sewed the twisted log cabin tablerunner on my blog on regular paper. It was a real pain getting the paper off, until I finally decided to spritz it with water. So I hope I’m not sorry. I think I’ll sew one complete wedge, then remove some of the paper from the inside to see how it goes.
RaNae: Holly, I love the fabrics. There’s still something going on with your points, though, that’s causing many of them to get chopped off. Are you sewing Nesting or Pinwheel spirals? Let’s figure this out and solve it before you sew the next block, okay? Also, I’m curious as to why you didn’t copy onto the translucent vellum? It’s easier to work on, and removes easily too.
Holly 5-13-09: I’m doing pinwheel with sawtooth edges. Is that okay? Doesn’t it look right?
RaNae: From a technical point of view, yes, you are doing the sawtooth edges correctly. However, from a design point of view I don’t think it’s adding anything, and in fact may be detracting from your design. The reason is this: with the variegated black-and-white spokes you’ve already got a busy edge on your spokes. Adding a sawtooth to this will, I think, make the edge even busier and difficult to follow visually. I think you design will be much better served by having a strong delineation between the busy “zebra” spokes and the solid spokes, so I would really recommend using smooth edges throughout.
Holly: I have decided to trace the blocks onto this yellow see-through type paper for foundation piecing. It is 24″ across, which is big enough for the large 5-sided shape. I’m going to start piecing the large shape today.
RaNae: Whatever foundation works is fine, as long as you’re comfortable with it and it’s producing the right results.
Holly 5-24-09: I’m sending a picture of my progress on the Zebra quilt. There are surprises when making it that you really don’t see on the colored sketch. The center is really neat I think, because the triangles centers with the zebra fabric add to the design. Anyway, what do you think so far? I’m just curious to know if you like the color placement of the lights and darks of each of the colors? Is there anything you would have done differently, maybe for dimension reasons, or other reasons? I’m not going to change anything at this point of course, but it would be a learning experience.
RaNae: It looks great! The only thing that surprises me is that from your drawing I was expecting more pinks, rather than browns and oranges. But the change in colors doesn’t take anything away from it at all — in fact, it probably makes it somewhat more jungle-like. I love how the placement of the zebra-print fabric in the centers of the spirals seems to continue the motion of the black-and-white spokes. All-in-all, you’re doing a great job!
Holly: I did have issues with the pinwheels losing their points, it was frustrating. So frustrating I considered renaming my quilt “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen….” I redrafted so many times, and now I’m sure they are finally right. I’m thinking it would be helpful to show pinwheel drafting of a long thin triangle. My problem was being able to see where to draw the lines on the longest side of the triangle. I was getting so confused. I always thot I had it correct, then when sewing it didn’t seem right. So on my final drafting, I did use the A1, A2, A3 etc. and that must have helped? I was trying to mark a 1 where the line started and a 1 where it was to end up. With the skinny end there is no room. So either the A1 stuff helped, or somehow I got lucky, ha. I was wondering if drawing every other line a different color would help, maybe red, then black, then red. etc. Anyway, it must be right now, as I haven’t had any more problems.
RaNae: This design could have been done more easily and just as effectively using Nesting spirals instead of Pinwheels. I realize that you originally chose Pinwheels so you could do the sawtooth edges, but when you eliminated those I thought you would go to Nesting spirals. Had I know before you started sewing I would have recommended switching.
Holly: There seems to be a lot on the blog about foundations. I’m using the Golden Threads Quilting paper. It has been able to handle lots of abuse. Pencils and erasers, sewing, unsewing, sewing, the torture of a hot iron, folding and unfolding many times. It is 24″ x 20 yds. I drew my final master template, and am tracing each shape. Of course it doesn’t work in the printer.
I only have 4 shapes within each wedge, so only 32 shapes/blocks to sew.
Also, I think it was Ruth S that mentioned the concentration that this takes. That is so true. I usually don’t have the TV or radio on. I HAVE had the radio on, and have sewed in the wrong direction, I’ve trimmed off more then the extra seam allowance, and whatever else you can do wrong I’ve probably done it. But I’ve got that out of my system now.
RaNae: Holly, thanks for the photo, suggestions, comments and progress report! Don’t feel bad about the mistakes — I’ve done them all myself!
Holly 6-8-09: I’ve finished sewing my wedges for the Zebra quilt.
[Click image for a larger view] I’m going to design my border before sewing them together. Any suggestions for a border? I’m thinking some black all around the edges, and some sort of small design in the corners with purple, and either the zebra fabric that’s in the centers, or a real zebra, fussy cut.
RaNae: Holly, it’s great to see this coming to life. As for borders, it sounds like you have some great ideas already. I’m sure you’ll come up with something creative…I like the idea of fussy-cut zebras. Anyone else have suggestions?