Ruty, 3-19-09: RaNae, Hope you had a good night’s sleep.  While you were sleeping I did some work (used EQ – don’t be mad…. 🙂  Comments??  Are these too complex to sew?

ruty-1903RaNae: Ruty, This is very nice and, to answer your question: No, this would not be too hard to sew.  You’re on your way to a beautiful mandala!

Ruth 4-4-09: Here are my favorite designs My first choice is 3003-1 (the first one below), and then 0204-1-2 (the second one below).  Are these OK for the project? What should I do next? (see questions in the main page post dated 4-6-09).  If it is already “fabric time” I would like to get an early start – shipping the fabric to Israel takes about 2 weeks – maybe longer, because of holiday season.

ruth-3003-1

ruth-0204-1-2

ruth-0204-1

ruth-3003-2

ruth-0304-3

ruth-0304-3-1

RaNae: Ruth, these are all interesting — I also like the 4th and 5th ones.  Why don’t you try printing out a wedge in whatever your full size will be and see if the spirals are a size you feel comfortable sewing?

Ruth, 4-7-09: I will go for the yellow and grey design – for once I would like to experiment with “less color”. Now I need to decide which layout to use – the mirror or the rotational (which do you prefer)?  As for size I think I will be able to handle 15-18″ wedges – this would result in a 50-60″ quilt including backgrounds and borders etc. I would like your input before I start buying fabric especially regarding the size – I know everybody is different, but I have no experience in spirals and circle settings and I am not a very “nitty-gritty” person – your advice counts. I would not like to get into something that is way above my head. So please – recommend! say what you would do! also – will you post anything on sewing and finishing or is it just what’s in SASQ?

RaNae: Ruth, I like your choice — yellow and grey certainly will be different — in a good way!  As for layout, I prefer the fourth one down.  Concerning size, draft out a wedge full-size and make sure you are comfortable with the size.  I think you might want to go a bit larger, but I don’t know what you’re planning for borders, so you be the judge after you have drafted a wedge.

I can’t tell whether you have drafted this with Pinwheel or Nesting spirals.  Either will work in this case because of the symmetry, and Nesting spirals will be easier to sew. 

About color and fabric:  I’m not suggesting that you change the color palette at all. However, it might unify your design a bit more if you put some bits of black in the center — it will tie together the center and the border a bit more.  Also, for the centers of the spirals that form the “mushrooms” in the middle ring, you might look for a large-scale print or some other “special” fabric — perhaps even an ethnic fabric or brocade? — that combines your other colors.  You can then fussy-cut these centers to add a beautiful recurring detail to your design.  You might also pick up this same fabric in another area of the quilt — perhaps the borders?

You’re on your way — ATAGIRL!  And have a lovely Passover!

Ruty 4-19-09: 

ruth-warrior-pair

Today I just wanted to play – actually I set out to do something really asymmetrical… Well it didn’t work this way. All of the sudden this really cute blue-eyed warrior presented himself – war paints and everything. Since I thought other gals would like this catch, I quickly replicated him 12 times – so there would be enough for everyone. 🙂 Have a look at the wedge and the Mandela . Hope you smile (and no, I am not going to make this quilt)

RaNae:  He is cute — just goes to show that mandalas can have a mind, and a personality, of their own!

Ruth 4-19-09: Thoughts about the yellow and grey. All my spirals are nesting, and the wedge is divided in a way that can easily be divided into foundation sections.  When you said I could go a bit larger with the wedges – how large would you suggest?

RaNae: I like a finished size of 54″ – 58″ square, because it’s big enough to use on a bed, small enough to hang on a wall, easy to ship and show.  Leaving room for a border, that means a radius (wedge side) of 20″ – 22″.

Ruth: I really did not think about the borders or background yet – figured I’ll think about it once the mandala is finished. I will probably set it in a square with a proportional size, perhaps add spirals in the border or maybe, even better, make it off center with a bigger spiral corner piece where there is more space.

RaNae: This sounds really interesting!

Ruth: I think you are right about making the center darker (in both yellow-grey options) but in this quilt I went light to dark from the outside to the inside of each spiral, to create depth, and the center of the most central spiral in not in the quilt center. Maybe I could appliqué a dark small circle to the middle when I’m done (probably will have to do some cover up work there anyway).

RaNae: Having dark centers in your individual spirals doesn’t trump placement of dark and light in the whole design.  Don’t lose the big picture in the details!

Ruth:  I still need to decide which layout to choose – maybe my head will be clearer once all the Mazzes and Kneidlah are out of my system. I am waiting for my fabric to arrive and for my machine to return from repair/cleaning. Once this is done I’ll start sewing.  Actually I can postpone decision on the layout till 6 wedges are done.

RaNae 5-14-09: Ruth, I understand about life slowing down progress!  I hope you’re making progress now.  I know I’m looking forward to getting back to full focus on my quilting work in the next couple of weeks!

Ruth 5-24-09:  Six (out of 12) wedges are done – and the moment of truth has come.  I put the wedges on the floor, took pictures and did some very crude copy-paste-rotate Photoshop work.  This, roughly, is how the quilt will look – mirrored and non-mirrored.  [Click on the images for a larger view] 

Ruth 5-24 spiral mirrored Ruth 5-24 spiral -no mirror2

The Mandala is supposed to be round, not flower shaped – I think the photo angle did this – if it turns out to be otherwise, I’ll claim this was my original design 🙂  If I’ll decide to mirror I’ll change colors where the wedges connect to avoid a large color blobs.   I’d appreciate your opinion before I continue.

RaNae:  Ruth, I like them both.  In the one on the right I particularly like that all the wedges on each side rotate in the same direction, and then all the wedges on the other side rotate in the opposite direction.  I like this better than the all-wedges-the-same-direction drawing that you did above (see 4-4-09, first drawing).  From the point of view as an author trying to demonstrate interesting ways of using symmetry, I would vote for the the one on the right, for this reason.

As for your edges, I really like the “scalloped” look that the black is creating against the light background, and if it were me, I’d keep the light background as you move out toward the border, letting the black do its “dance” around the edges of this.

RaNae, after a little Sunday afternoon daydreaming:  Ruth, here are a couple of other possibilties for the symmetry in your design.  Just because you have 6 of one direction and 6 or the other doesn’t mean that you have to alternate them 1 and 1, or put all of one direction on one side and all of the other directions on the other side.  You can do mixed symmetry.  Here are a couple of other possibilties I PhotoShop’d up.  See what I mean?

Ruth 5-24 spiral RM symmetry 1 Ruth 5-24 spiral RM symmetry 2

Ruth 5-25-09:  These ideas are great. I love them! I’ll do some more photoshopping. I would like to see how a wedge combination of 8 one way and 4 mirrored will work.

Ruth 6-3-09:  I hope you had a really nice vacation. While you were having fun, I was busy.

First of all I got a new (6th) grandson – 2nd grandchild during the project.

Next – I finished the Mandala and put the wedges together (2 right, 2 mirrored, alternating).  It was easier than I thought, and to my surprise the parts fit. Quilt Police will probably execute me without trial, but I used a stapler to hold the parts together when they got thick – and there were no fabric shifts. Once I figured out that instead of using my finger nails to get the staples out, I could use the staple extracting “thingy” everything was fine.

I auditioned a few fabrics for the background. I think grey works best. I found 2 of your Radiant Panels that look nice (see pictures), but they are not large enough – I looked everywhere (including your site) but I cannot find them. Do you have any idea where I could get them (the ones that form a V shape)? I could try and do some fussy cutting, but I doubt it will work. Any other idea regarding background?

RaNae: Ruth, congratulations on the new grandson!!!!  Stapler, hmmmm…I won’t tell the Quilt Police.  Actually, not a bad idea….  As for the Radiant panels, I don’t have any more of the grey either.  Wish I could help! 

Ruth 6-5-09:  Hi RaNae! I woke up this morning at 5:30, bothered about my quilt. On my way to the kitchen to get my coffee, I passed by it, and realized what was wrong with it. I got in a frenzy, skipped my gym-and-swim routine and started working.

Ruth 0505-3It is now almost 11:30 and I changed 6 pieces in the center to make it less black. I think it improved the design (the design error was not so evident in the photo – but in real life the central black circle looked too black and like a circle I didn’t get right – the angle of the piece defining the circle was almost straight but too much “almost”, and this made it look like a mistake).

Ruth 0505-2Now the quilt is fixed, faced and ironed flat, on my favorite working table – the floor – over my 2 B&W radiant panels (I think they will do after all) with the possible borders around it (black fairy frost inside, yellow and orange from the quilt, alternating outside). Comments? I’m off to get my swim and a large breakfast – I think I earned it today!

RaNae:  Ruth, it sounds like you had a busy morning!  I hope you enjoyed that big breakfast!  I love the B&W radiant panels for the background (and I would, even if I hadn’t designed them).  Facing the mandala circle then appliqueing it over the background is the best way to put it on the background here, because you don’t want to cut those panels.  (Once you have it appliqued over the background you can cut out the background behind the mandala and save it for another project — maybe for the backing of the quilt?  Could be interesting.)  I really love how this design has come together.

Ruth 6-17-09:   Please meet (drum roll……) “HEAT WAVE”Ruth S spiral 002jpg400

Ruth S spiral 009jpg400  Ruth S spiral 008jpg400

RaNae: What can I say?  It’s gorgeous!  What a great job you’ve done! I can’t wait to see it in person! 

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6 Responses to “Designing Heat Wave

  1. Ruth in Israel Says:

    RaNae
    One more thing – what actually is the difference between “regular” spiral (like in your 1st book) and mandalas is it the round setting? the regular repeats ?
    Ruth

    • RaNae Says:

      First of all, the book begins with single spirals, and it is important to have these under your belt before moving on to mandalas.

      Then, it goes on to explain how to combine spirals, and this is important to understand before moving on to mandalas.

      Mandalas are a specialized type of setting, combining them in a circular, wedge-based setting. Think of a mandala like a kaleidoscope made with spirals.

  2. Ruth in Israel Says:

    RaNae
    Thanks for your comments. This kind of feedback is really important to me. Seeing my work thru someone else’s eyes makes me see other possibilities.
    All my spirals are nesting, and the wedge is divided in a way that can easily be divided into foundation sections.
    When you said I could go a bit larger with the wedged – how large would you suggest?
    I really did not think about the borders (or background yet – figured I’ll think about it once the Mandela if finished. I will probably set it in a square with a proportional size, perhaps add spirals in the border or maybe, even better, make it off center with a bigger spiral corner piece where there is more space.
    I think you are right about making the center darker (in both yellow-grey options) but in this quilt I went light to dark from the outside to the inside of each spiral, to create depth, and the center of the most central spiral in not in the quilt center. Maybe I could appliqué a dark small circle to the middle when I’m done (probably will have to do some cover up work there anyway).
    And I still need to decide which layout to choose – maybe my head will be clearer once all the Mazzes and Kneidlah are out of my system. Enjoy Easter.
    Ruth

  3. Ruth in Israel Says:

    Hi RaNae
    I left the wedges at 18″. I had nice gradations at home, but I added a few prints so that it won’t be too flat. Carly from webfabrics was here last week and brought the fabric to me (probably being the first quilt shop that does house calls).
    So far I have 2 finished wedges that look fine. I still did not decide if I’ll mirror the design (still have 4 wedges to go till I make up my mind).
    True this is not for Quick Quilts, and it also is a real test to the attention span
    Ruth

    • RaNae Says:

      Ruth, I’m so glad to hear that you’re making progress. And I’m impressed that Carly made a house call — and INTERNATIONAL at that! She’s a great gal — so glad to have her support on this project.

      You’re right about the spirals needing concentration. I actually wrote that right in the book — see the note on page 94. 🙂


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