This is Robin’s second round of Spiromania — her quilt Crop Circles: How’d they do that? was in Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts.

Robin, 3-19-09:

robin-armsteadHere is a photo of a wedge of my mandala. Not sure what to do with the top area yet though.

What do you think so far?

RaNae: Robin, this looks promising, but I would like you to try some more sketches and see what additional ideas you come up with.  That said, you’ve done a good job of managing a T-joint in this wedge — nicely done!

Robin 5-5-09:  Here is a picture of my wedge in color. What do you think?

robin-armstead-wedgeRaNae:  Robin,  this wedge is all the same color!  There is no contrast between the different flow forms.  The mandala it will make will just be a big circle of green and blue.

Try going back to a small scale version of this, copy the wedge in black and white and assemble it into the whole mandala.  Then experiment with different colorings.  You need to color different flow forms differently in order to see a design.  Use the hinged mirrors to help you see how that coloring scheme will play out in a whole mandala.

Robin 6-12-09: What do you think now? Should I go for it?

Robin A P1050131RaNae:  What happened to going back and working in small scale?  You’re getting bigger and bigger! This is huge!  BUT it’s working.  🙂

The design looks interesting. With the type of spirals you are using here, having all the same fabric in an entire spoke is going to turn it into a solid mass of color — remember, in the drawing you see all those beautiful drawn lines that make the design more interesting, but in fabric, you won’t. So, you need to define the individual triangles a bit so we really see the fantastic spiral effects. The way to do this is with either a gradation through the spoke/flow form, or to alternate different shades or colors in the triangles of the spokes (like you did in your previous blue/green design.  Just don’t do it all the same colors and in every spoke).

You can see alternating colors in Holly Watson’s Zebra mandala — that’s a really extreme example. A less extreme example might be to find a couple of close shades of the same color and alternate those.

However, for your design, I think the more exciting approach would be gradations — you can make the spokes/flow forms seem to weave over and under each other. Look at Linda McGibbon’s most recent photos of her spirals in progress. Here you can see how some spokes with solid colors look and how some of the flow forms look with graduated values. She has mixed the two, which might be an approach you want to take. Also, on the Spiromaniacs blog, look at Laurie Nathan’s quilt, Barbara Baker’s quilt, Mary Reddington’s quilt and Rhonda Adam’s quilt for good examples of gradation.

Thank you for the photo — it’s great to see your progress!

Robin 7-26:  These were taken before the last block was done, but I hope it gives you an idea.

Robin A wedge 1 7-26  Robin A composite

RaNae: Robin, thanks for the progress report.  Out of curiousity, I did a quick composite of your wedge to see what it will look like.  This doesn’t account for the warp of perspective in the photo, but I hope it gives everyone an idea!  You’ve got some great color and beautiful gradations worked in.  You were listening!  🙂

Robin 8-4-09: Here is a picture my wedges laid out. I hope that they are okay.

Robin A P1050197

RaNae: Okay?  OKAY?!  They’re more than okay, they’re Fabulous!  (You’ve come a long way from that all-green design back at the beginning….  🙂  )


One Response to “Designing Star Light, Star Bright

  1. lidia Says:


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