Like Dottie Lankard, Jamie is one of the original Spiromaniacs. She designed and made Starry Night and Photo Op?! for my first book, Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts. She has made several spiral quilts since then, in addition to this spiral mandala quilt for the new book.
Jamie 3-30-09: Oh, and it’s started . . . I’m dreaming in/of spirals and I’ve been very busy drawing . . . getting close to a plan . . . I think and if I have time and two good plans, I may try to make two quilts again . . . so many ideas, sew little time!!
Jamie, after California workshop: Here’s my design from the California workshop.
Jamie 5-22-09: I really haven’t drawn much since the workshop . . . [Jamie was celebrating her 25?-year wedding anniversary in Holland and Norway — congratulations Jamie & Dick!] but there is more to come and last night I think I’ve had another brainstorm and will be sending you more.
Jamie 5-22-09 (more): This has something I like only within each spiral, I like the coloring using rainbow brights. This is also the project that last night’s brain storm was about and isn’t included in this pic. at all.
Jamie 5-22-09 (even more): Some more general info on my projects that I’m hoping to do.
I’m going to be using the bright rainbow colors with black and probably a combination of feathered spirals and smooth spirals but not within the same single unit, like Photo Op?! was. I want one spiral unit to be all feathers and then . . . . hopefully run into a spiral that is smooth, and then back and forth between these two types of spirals. Fingers are crossed, and this is the project that my brain storm last night is about…the center of the quilt.
The other project is much more influenced by the trip to Norway and the water there. I have the name of this quilt already, Maelstrom. I even bought three beads in Norway that will go on the quilt. The Maelstrom is a famous whirlpool in the Arctic Ocean off the NW coast of Norway. (We were there and I saw it up close and personal! Pic’s to follow, but not today.)
I had a big stack of teal fabrics in gradations here in my studio before we left and I had No Idea how to use them for either of these projects. But as it turns out the water in Norway reminded me of that stack of fabric which I had pulled out for a class at PIQF last year and was still sitting around unused.
Jamie 5-22-09 (continuing): Here is a slightly different coloring and layout. I’m not happy with the overall look, but I do think something is happening in the right direction.
Next I’ve attached a couple of small spirals that I’ve sewn up just to see what the fabrics would look like. These samples are at 1/2 scale, and even these were quite sew-able with your technique of the lightweight interfacing. I wanted and feel successful at a gradation in yellows, which I think are tough!
RaNae: The designs you have here are interesting, but you are focusing a lot on individual spirals, and not so much on the wedge as a whole. I’d like you to think about the whole wedge, filling it completely with interconnecting spirals and connecting flow forms.
Along the same lines, the spirals that you sewed up are colored in rings not in spokes, and that type of coloring will completely hide the flow forms in an overall design. In the approach I’m teaching in the book, I really emphasize the connections between the spirals — the flow forms — as they sit in the shapes, and the shapes as they sit in the entire wedge.
I do think that the feathered spokes are nice, but I’m not going to discuss them in this book — I want to keep the attention focused on the mandala structure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them though. I know how much you like them (since, after all, you discovered them)!
Please keep me in the loop as you continue to work on your design, and don’t start sewing anything until we settle on something together. You have a lot of good ideas, and I’m sure you’ll come up with a design that you think is fantastic and that fits what the book is trying to teach.
Jamie 5-23-09: Thanks for the comments so far. I’m still sending you a couple of papers by snail mail and the Maelstrom quilt is definitely going to fit your requirements. This morning I woke up with doubts about the whole previous ‘brain storm’ for the rainbow quilt . . . more work ahead and I will check out the blog again. Thanks, Jamie
RaNae: Jamie, I don’t doubt that the rainbow quilt would be beautiful, I just need to keep the focus on the techniques in the book. I’ll look forward to seeing the Maelstrom stuff in the mail!
Jamie 5-28-09: Here are some new possibilities
RaNae: Jamie, I think you’re still very focused on this one spiral and you’re not seeing the relationships that make up the entire design. That’s why you draw the design by breaking down a wedge — to be able to see what’s happening in the entire design.
As for the sewn spiral, I can get a sense of what you’re trying to accomplish, but I think the background fabric might be too busy — with all the colors in the spokes, plus the feathers, plus the busy fabric it’s hard for the eye to find its way around. If you’re going to use feathered spokes in this spiral, I really recommend using a plain black so that the feathers show up.
You’re on the right track, but still a little close to wandering off it…. Trust the process and the tools I’m giving you and use them exactly as I’m giving them to you.
I look forward to seeing your next photos.
Jamie 5-29-09: Ooop! I drew one right and photo’d the wrong one! Here’s the right one.
Jamie: I was going to put plain black in the spiral I sewed, after seeing this one made up . . . two brains on the same path here . . . I still want to use the busy fabric too, but will have to experiment with placement. I was also reading about off-center spirals, I want that in this one. Thanks for your patience with me . . . glad the photo’s worked, I hate learning new computer stuff, but love to be able. Here’s beginning to color in:
Jamie 8-15-09: My project is using rainbow colors and I think it’s working so far . . . the studio is an absolute disaster area and does have lots of rejected rainbow colors along with the ones that made the cut. Possible name for this project is . . . “I think there’s a rainbow in here somewhere.” (You know that old joke about ‘just keep shoveling the poop out, there’s gotta be a pony in here somewhere!)
RaNae: Spiros, just so you know, Jamie is super-visual, and almost always works in full-size, fully-drawn-out.
Jamie 8-17-09: I’ve tied myself to the sewing machine and for days I’ve been sewing faithfully. (Just how productively is open for discussion.) I’ve been spending so much time there that Tivo came into my studio, which she doesn’t normally do. Then she put her paws up on my legs and attempted to get in my lap with the very clear message: “Mom, you are Not giving me enough attention and I’ve had No Playing, this is just unacceptable and I want this to stop and I’m going to help you so we can go outside and play!” Here’s the evidence . . .