Patty 4-10-09:  Here’s the mandala design I came up with at the CA workshop. I’ve got two different colorings.

Patty M IMG_0001The coloring in the 1st mandala was inspired by the Nobu fabric.

 Patty M Nobu

Patty M IMG_0002The coloring in the 2nd mandala was inspired by the Daybreak fabric.

Patty M DaybreakI can’t decide which coloring I want to go with. After looking at the progress everyone else has made, I thought I could draw in the spirals and put in more detailed coloring. Maybe that will help me decide. If anyone has an opinion on one of the colorings over the other, let me know. For either one I thought I would use the fabric that inspired the coloring in the border in some way.

RaNae:  Patty, it’s a great idea to find a fabric with a color scheme you like and use that to help you choose colors.  Either coloring is beautiful.  Votes, anyone?

Patty 4-28-09: 

patty-m-mandalaI colored my mandala again to get a better idea of what it will look like with a gradation of fabrics.

RaNae:  Patty, it’s time to start selecting fabrics, so you can get an accurate idea of where the actual colors are going to flow in the design.  You’ve used a pastel color palette, but you don’t want to keep it so light that you lose contrast and lose structure.  You need contrast for us to see what’s going on.


Patty:  patty-m-wedgeI then created the life size version of one wedge of the mandala. My mandala will be 40 inches in diameter. Is that an appropriate size? Did I draw each of the spirals correctly? I’ll wait to get your input before I continue moving along on this project.

RaNae:  In the drafted templates, the proportions of the shapes and the flow forms are pretty true to the sketch (except in one place I’ll point out), so that’s good.  40″  is a nice, comfortable size to work with, I think.

The spirals you have drafted  look a little strange — I see in the centers that all the sides of the shape go from side to side like a Nesting spiral, except for one side that comes out of the corner like a Pinwheel spiral.  Is it possible that you drew them Pinwheel-style on some sides, and Nesting-style on others?  If that’s the case, you don’t necessarily have to re-draft the wedge, as long as you can sew the spirals.  [You can do this deliberately in some cases to create a hybrid spiral — refer to MSMQ for more on this.]  I don’t want you to get mixed up; having a hybrid spiral is going to dictate a specific order of sewing. 

Also, looking at the center of the diamond, you might want to remove one or two of the innermost rings, as they stretch the proportion of the spoke coming down from the top into a kind of mustache shape.  If you compare the proportions of this flow form with the proportions of your sketch, you’ll see that the flow form in the sketch has proportions more like a wing — it stays closer to the side, doesn’t swing out so much. 

[If this isn’t clear to you, email me, and I’ll do a mark-up in Photoshop to illustrate it better.  I’m not on my home computer, so I can’t do it right now.]

You’re making good progress.  Let me know what you decide to do about the spiral drafting, and send me photos of your fabrics as you start selecting.

Patty 6-11-09: I had to take a break from my mandala to make my mom a quilt, but I’m back to it now.

Patty M Spiral3I’ve attached a drawing that I did of a section of my quilt. [Click image for larger view] I hope I have the technique correct this time. I used the Nesting spiral method & I varied the increments. Hopefully you can see the lines ok. I just did it in pencil so far. I’ll redo the lines in ink next in preparation for making the templates. I’m ordering translucent vellum to use for the templates. it looked like that would be the best. Let me know if I’m on the right track now.

RaNae:  Patty, this looks better from what I can tell (the lines of the drawing are a bit faint in the photo).  The Nesting spirals appear to be drawn properly and the proportions of the actual spirals are pretty close to your shorthand sketch.  The two places I see where the proportions are a bit different are in the blue spoke and in the yellow fan in the middle.  I wouldn’t worry too much about the blue spoke.  The yellow fan will be a little flatter than your drawing.  If this is a big deal to you, you could re-draw that one spiral as a Pinwheel and follow the instructions for steering the curve.  [See MSMQ]  However, if you’re not comfortable doing that it’s okay if you don’t.

Reviewing what you did earlier, I notice that when you sketched your gradations, you usually put the dark color in the center.  There is nothing wrong with this.  I would suggest, though, that you also take a look at how the design would look with light colors in the centers of the flow forms and dark colors near the centers of the spirals to see what you think of that effect.  Both ways give a sense of dimension, but different.  Remember that dark colors look “deep” and light colors look “close” so think about where you might want some parts of the design to look as though they are passing over or under another part.

Patty 8-2-09: I finally got around to redoing my mandala. Take a look & let me know if I’m ready to sew. I’m going to play with the coloring a bit in PhotoShop while I wait for you to get back to me.

 Patty M Mandala

RaNae:  Patty, it’s good to see you making progress! Artistically, it looks great. And from what I can see, technically it looks fine too. I think you’re ready to roll!


3 Responses to “Designing The Empowerment of Women

  1. Martha F Says:

    Being a child of the 60’s/70’s, I love the 2nd fabric. It looks like the posters Peter Max had way back when. Who is the manufacturer?
    Martha F in upstate NY

  2. Holly W Says:

    I like the colors in the 2nd piece of fabric, but I like the coloring in the 1st sketch better. You have a beautiful design.

  3. Dottie Lankard Says:

    I think I agree and like fabric and coloring #2. Great idea using fabric for color ideas. Just don’t forget to use fabrics with contrast and texture to make your design PoP! Choosing fabrics that are all the same value can ruin a great design, in my opinion. dottie

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