Friday, January 30, 2015

The Creative Process

My friend Joan, over at Moose Stash Quilting, gave me this lovely portfolio for Christmas.

Isn't it lovely? See the little Sunbonnet Sue on the front? She's holding a precious little pink heart button which means Joan still loves me after all we've been through together!

How did she know I love certain bugs (only CERTAIN ones, mind you) like dragon flies and butterflies? 

 Inside, it has a zipper pocket for pencils and things with a black patch pocket for a card or two.....

....opposite, there's a pocket where you can slide in a large sketch pad! Oooooo......... was too blank and too white and so I had to make marks on it right away. These weren't the first marks, though. Earlier, I drew ten little birdies which you will see later. But now, I'm drawing some new Sues and Sams for small wall pieces. This one is Sue with her baby.....

Wall hanging and quilt patterns around here always begin on paper.....they get sketched in pencil...

and tried out in various venues. This one has a 2" border around it. Then they are traced, inked and scanned and they become, then, electronic images...... these in my graphics program (JASC). Here, you see Sue and Sam.......bare line drawings and colored line drawings. I can capture fabrics from online and JASC will "pour" them into the white spaces in the drawings to color them.

I can also take elements from other projects and add them to a drawing. From the file for "Harvest Kitty" pattern, I borrowed a pumpkin to put in Sue's hands, below. Previously, she was holding a roast turkey. I thought that might be rather macabre, next to Sam holding the live, she has a pumpkin. 

 Here, you can see them larger with the fabrics in place and the original bare line drawings.

Then, I layed the piece out in Electric Quilt 7 as a 7 1/2" x 12" Candle Mat. Here are the EQ7 instructions for cutting the block. I imported the picture of Sam and Sue, placed them next to a 6 1/2 square Maple Leaf Block and......there it is...... 

....a clear picture of how the Candle Mat might look when it is finished.

Once these images are made, I can use them as I build my pattern instructions in Word. Next, I make a cloth sample of the Candle Mat. It's in the making of the sample, that more changes occur in the pattern. Most of my patterns sail right through that portion fairly well; once in a while, one doesn't work out. But, c'est la vie! That's life. Not every sketch gets to grow up and be a full-fledged quilt!  

But most do. Stay tuned for more about the Creative Process. Are you designing your own quilt pieces? How are you doing it?


  1. So that's how it all happens! Your friend over at Moosestash has not one little drop of ability to draw anything that looks like anything. Her stick men ever look pretty scary! LOL!! That's why she pattern tests...she loves the creative process but lacks a big part of it! I wish there were classes I could take to learn these blasted computer programs. I brief stink with EQ left me clueless and confused. I haven't even had the nerve to go back and look at it again! :-)

    1. Scary Stick Men can be very effective, you know? There was a very interesting Poirot segment where someone had drawn stick men that were Very Scary......can't remember the name of it. However, not to put too fine a point on it, as the Brits say, I thought they were very artistic all in rows....they could be embroidered......okay, I'll shut up and sit down now. Thank you, Joan, for all you do. I envy your trip to (what we here in the PNW call) the "near East"......ahem......Japan. They quilt there.....they've been doing it for centuries.... Did you see the marvelous applique on Taniwa's blog from the big show in Tokyo? Ooo-la-la.

  2. Wow, I love your sketches, you are so talented. I wish I had the ability to design like you do. I love the portfolio your friend made, is that her pattern or did she find the pattern somewhere? I would love to make one for a couple people I know who would enjoy it. Hugs

    1. Hi Tammy. The programs are a little pricey to start with, but once you have them, the upgrades aren't too bad. They are different from other programs because they involve graphics but once you learn a graphics program, there are elements in each different program that are basically the same. Almost all word processing programs have similar elements, too. I have an advantage of having an adult child nearby who absorbed all this stuff, somehow, in the womb and came out crying, not for food, but, for a mouse.......and a PC. I think you would enjoy EQ very much. The instruction book is very good and you can build your ability with that supplemented by online classes. Very fun. Go for it!

    2. Oh, and I'm not sure if that was a pattern or not. Ask Joan, above. She'll tell you.....she's the lovely friend who provided the gift.

  3. Great post.Thanks for sharing!

  4. You are welcome, Rosa. Thanks for stopping by! Kathie


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