This is the first of a series of posts showing how an art quilt goes from the design wall to a finished piece. I am writing these as I am making this piece, so there will be some posts before and after each post in this series. I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I go, so please let me know what you think in the comment section.
Starting out, I went into my stash of hand dyed fabric (I do this myself) and found this nice grey/blue length that seemed a good neutral background for the piece I have in mind. Then I started looking for color. I auditioned several colors and the photo above is what I started out with.
My usual process is to let an idea percolate for awhile, while I work on other things. The photo above shows another fabric I added into the mix. It seems to give it the little bit of pop I was looking for.
That little piece of white over there to the right are some very rough sketches of some of the shapes I want to incorporate into this piece. Here is a close up…
You see…very rough sketches. But they give me an idea of the direction I will go — I have ruled out some shapes and combinations and have kept some as more interesting. Keep in mind that these are a starting point. I may end up with something entirely different. The point of this process is to get the thinking/creativity started.
This will stay up on the design wall for a couple more days, as I continue to think about exactly how to translate my idea into fabric. Next step, I will start cutting and throwing the shapes up onto the design wall.
I love to create — to work with my hands and make things like quilts that are pretty and let me be creative. But I’m also a geek. I love my computer, my smartphone, the internet, streaming video and all that techy stuff. So when I can combine these two parts of myself, I am a very happy camper!
I have tried designing quilts with an EQ program. I had some moderate success with it, but it seems so restrictive. It kept wanting me to use traditional designs and had fabric samples to plug in that I didn’t like. And I could work around all of those things, but the program is really written for quilters making more traditional quilts and maybe tweaking them up a bit. Not really me.
I have used Photoshop Elements for years in one version or another to edit my photographs. I have looked at using it to edit and modify my photos to use in artquilts and I have not been happy with it. It’s much easier to use than the full version of Photoshop but I have never taken the time to learn how to use it beyond editing my photos to make prints.
Well, its time to Cowboy Up! Because now I have this.
This, my friends, is a Waucom Bamboo Fun Tablet. AKA my new BFF.
With this, I can draw in Photoshop Elements. I can design fabric and have it printed by companies like this. I can use the pen and tablet to select objects in my photos much much much easier and then edit and modify for quilts. I can draw motifs and print them on fabric with my inkjet printer for quilts. I can design a quilt and have it printed at a print shop on really wide paper to use as a pattern for an art quilt.
The possibilities are endless!