Susan spent the first couple of months of this project doing a lot of sketches, exploring methods and ideas.  This page begins where she discovers and begins work on her first spiral mandala quilt.

Susan 5-22-09:  More mandala play.  [Click on images for a larger view]

Susan O 516color2quilt  Susan O 517color9quiltSusan O 517Bquilt 

Below, two color variations of the same design.

Susan O 518color2quilt Susan O 518color4quilt 

Two rows below, mirrored symmetry on the left, same wedge in rotational symmetry on the right.

Susan O 519Bcolor6quilt Susan O 519Bcolor7quilt

Susan O 520quilta  Susan O 520quiltb

Two colorings of a 14-wedge design.

 Susan O 521quilt Susan O 521quiltB

RaNae:  These are all really strong designs.  My favorites?  The right one on the top row and the first one on the last row, one of two versions of a 14-wedge mandala.  I particularly like the warm blues with the golds and russets.  The 14 wedges are an unusual number, and they work well here.  This entire group are your strongest designs yet.  I would be happy to see you make up either of these two that I’ve mentioned.

Susan 5-24-09:  Here are today’s attempts. 

(Previous version on the left, new on the right, for easier comparison)

Susan O 517Bquilt  Susan O 517Bquilt3

Susan O 521quilt  Susan O 521quiltd

RaNae: Susan when I said I liked the mandala on the right of the top row in the last post, I was referring to the one with the really swirly spirals — maybe the page appeared differently on your computer.  In any event, looking at the one you thought I was talking about, it definitely has a different look from everyone else’s, and seeing what you’re doing with it, I’m inclined to let serendipity take its course and tell you to go with it.  One of the things that is unique about this quilt is even though it had a big hunking 2-to-1 right along the side of the wedge, you’ve handled it in a way that makes it a very important and striking part of the design.  It makes a strong case for the notion that if you treat 2-to-1s right, you don’t have to avoid them.  And that might be a really good piece to have for the book.

The second mandala shown here is beuatiful as well — if you were to go with this one I’d be inclined to go with the first coloring, and just tweek the blue in the center a little more toward the turquoise in the outer ring.  There’s something about the turquoise, gold and olive green that really speaks to me.  Maybe it’s because I was born in October and love the fall.  In any event, this design is less unique than the first one, so for variety’s sake, I would probably say go with the first one. 

Susan 5-26-09:  I have drafted both spirals you suggested from the last batch. I’d like you to look at them and see if they look like they’ll work. The first is 517B which is the top of the two mandalas above. This is a picture of the first and second wedges in the first quarter of the block. The last third will be the first one mirrored. The second and third pictures are the second mandala above. This is the wedge of the rust and blue sketch. The drawings are different because I used different increments for the inner triangle in the two pictures. Which one looks the best to you?

Susan O 517B

Susan O 521A Susan O 521B

RaNae:  Susan, from what I can see in these photos, the wedges look fine.  Looking at the two versions of the second wedge, I don’t see that the change in increment length makes a significant difference in the spiral at the point of the wedge, so I would use the version with larger increments and fewer pieces — no sense in doing more work that you have to.  I can’t tell whether you drafted this spiral as a Nesting or a Pinwheel, but Nesting would be the best choice to reduce bulk at the center point where all the wedges meet.

Susan 6-16-09: So here it is. The outer edges of each wedge have not been sewn together since I decided that I might carry out that seam into the border. I’m pretty happy with it! So how does Tequila Sunrise sound for a preliminary name? All that orange and red brought it to mind.

Susan O tequila_sunrise

 RaNae: I think the name suits it perfectly!  Yahoo!  One down!


11 Responses to “Designing Tequila Sunrise

  1. Susan O Says:

    I have been able to use EQ partially in my mandala quest. I try to draw out a quarter of the design, then pull each individual segment into a new block and draw the spiral in it. As long as I keep each new block a consistent size I can then print out each segment and cut and paste. This has worked for several blocks I’ve done. Usually my new block is bigger than 8.5 x 11″ but it gives me enough to copy and play with.

    Susan O

  2. Mary Ann in Wisconsin Says:

    In your pink, purple, yellow and green mandala design—just amazing what only 3 mirrored pairs of triangles can do, isn’t it?! Beautiful, Susan.

  3. Holly W Says:

    Hi Susan, Your last design is beautiful, and like RaNae said, the dimension that the coloring brings is great. Can I borrow your DD?

  4. Susan O Says:

    Now that I see DD’s 2nd coloring “from afar” I think I really like it! Looks like the “Big Top.”

    Susan O

  5. Susan O Says:


    When you have a weird division as I do with 14 sections, how do you recommend drafting it to ensure that the angles are even around the circle? A protractor just doesn’t seem to be precise enough. I have this nightmare about getting the whole thing together and being off a degree.

    Susan O

    • RaNae Says:

      The safest way is to draw the circle and wedges in a graphic design program like Illustrator or CorelDraw.

      If I were doing it by hand, I would draw the whole circle full size and divide it, then label the wedges so that I could put them back together in the same position. This way, if your wedges are slightly different widths, they will still fit together. A lot of work, I know, but remember: “If it fits on paper, it will fit in fabric.”

  6. Susan O Says:

    In designing my “swirly” there is one place in one wedge where I need to change colors across the opposing corners, i.e., split one wedge in half. Is this permitted? I really need to do it to get a smooth curve. I don’t mind the piecing/positioning that this will entail.

    Susan O

  7. Daniel L Says:

    Love the stripe fabric, especially in the center, makes the chevron effect. Congrats on the success!

  8. Susan O Says:

    Thanks Daniel. The stripe did exactly what I wanted it to do – sort of like that striped awning at the beach while you’re eating your “Blueberry Swirl Sundae!” Thanks RaNae – the name is perfect!

  9. Barb Vlack Says:

    Love these designs, Susan! Now you can also play with the wedges in EQ7.

    Please reply so I have your email address. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: