My Design Process

9 Jul

I woke up Sunday morning and felt like I needed to design an applique block.  The creative juices were flowing and I started to work.  I’m embarrassed to say that I have a master’s degree in computer science and I design with pencil and paper – not the computer!  I blame it on my age or old habits… I just SEE the design better with a pencil and paper.

This post will show my design process.  I started with a large sheet of paper and a 15″ ruler.  I gridded the paper into 1″ segments – marked the centers and diagonals.  Then I started with a circle.

About 1.25″ in diameter

I then drew a “petal” that was a quarter of that circle and made a template.

I made my template out of paper first; then 5 layers of freezer paper pressed together. Ideally I like the heat resistant mylar but couldn’t find any in my sewing supplies and didn’t want to stop to go to the store.

I started to play with the arrangement of the petals around the circle and came up with this:

Now the computer comes in.  Well, not the computer but the printer.  Our printer has a flat bed scanner and copier function so I took it to the printer and made four copies.  I went back to my gridded paper and drew an 8″ circle with another template I have.  Why 8″?  It looked about the right size.  I drew a line outside the 8″ with dual pencils held side by side.  It’s about 3/8″ wide.  Then I made a leaf.  And kept skinnying it down until I thought it was the right proportion.

It’s not symetrical lengthwise. It is widthwise because I folded the paper in half to make it. The “B” represents the bottom of the leaf that will attach to the stems, etc.

Now to put it all together.

Originally it’s black and white. But I have a hard time seeing the finished product so I used colored pencils to shade 1/4″ of the block.

Xerox printer again to the rescue.  Copied the quarter that was colored and put the block back together again.

It didn’t line up perfectly but I can work with that.  It’s not a pattern for sale where people would complain about that.

I liked it.  The morning was shot at this point but I wanted to keep going!  Time for a prototype.  What colors?  Red, of course, since that’s what all my applique blocks seem to be.  However….  Gianna talked to me at lunch.  She wants to incorporate purple into her blue and lime green bedroom.  “Maybe I could make you a pillow with the prototype,” I said.  She was all over that!  So off I went for the rest of the day – and I mean the REST OF THE DAY – to prepare the applique pieces and lay out the pillow.

Here it is – about half sewed down.  It’s totally out of my comfort zone for colors but I really like it.

I left off the outer leaves for the pillow. I don’t think they are needed. For a quilt, it would form a secondary pattern. It will finish at 14″ – not 15″. 15″ was just too large for the overall scale of the pattern.

So there you have it!  My design process!  🙂  I will save all the pattern pieces and someday make a larger quilt.  Maybe… or more pillows.  Who knows!

 

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One Response to “My Design Process”

  1. Sonia July 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM #

    That looks great! I like the extra leaves even on the pillow.

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