When you’re working with an image of something within your quilts,
whether that be using appliqué, thread painting, fabric painting, quilting, trapunto quilting or any of the many other techniques we quilters seem to use, do you sometimes feel that you just can’t get that image or design to look right, it doesn’t sit well, it doesn’t look like the one in the image, or the photo you took while on holidays, or the effect that you're personally looking for.
Maybe it’s the fabric you think, maybe it’s the colour and then you start to procrastinate, or worse still you give up and throw it in the bin never to return to that quilt you so dearly wanted to make.
I hear stories like this many times over whether it’s someone writing to me
here or within an in-person quilting class that I'm teaching, when I’m out demonstrating or just within a quilt show and I certainly feel the persons pain, as I used to be in that place sometimes, many years ago now, until one day I did something and it totally changed my end result when working with things like images within my quilts.
It’s so incredibly simple, it doesn’t take any work, and you’re actually
learning unconsciously while you’re doing something else...How easy does that sound?
Let me take you through further with this simple idea so you too can grow
within your own personal creative journey.
When I’m starting a new quilt, actually long before I start it and it’s just an
idea within my head, what I like to do, is to put up something, normally an image, or two, that relates to that quilt right in front of me.
Let me explain this better.....
When I’m starting a new quilt, even though I don’t draw up my design
before I start, what I do like to do though, is put any images relating to certain parts of it up on my wall.
So for my “through the garden gate” quilt, I’d taken many photos of the
flowers etc, from our garden. I then Blu tacked those photos on the wall in front of where my ironing board is. Many of these I did enlarge quite a bit.
Now what happens when you do this, you don’t actually have to stand there
and study them, but as I’m ironing away, sometimes for many months before I may even get to that part of the quilt, then my sub conscious has absorbed so much detail about these images, that when I'm actually making these flowers the colours, tones, shapes, shadings etc have been consolidating in my brain without me actually knowing it.
If you wanted to create a face of someone or something, like in these
amazing images here, once again using appliqué, thread painting, etc then this is a very valuable thing to do.
If I myself, was doing a face of either a person or an animal, then I would
enlarge it very big, much bigger than I was intending to actually make it.
Next I would then enlarge certain areas on their own, for example the eyes,
the nose, the mouth, etc as this will then allow you to “really see” all the lines, crevices, shadings, etc, within that image. It’ll allow you to see where you need to be shading those fabrics, you can read an earlier blog post on
how I easily shade my fabrics here.
Some time ago I was going to create a quilt that had a particular rooster
in it, and an amazing head that rooster had to work with. It was going to be quite a challenge, but for some reason that was one of the few quilts that I started to make, that I didn’t follow through on, but if you could have seen my wall with the many images of the different parts of his face enlarged, particularly around his very rugged eyes, it was amazing. There were colours & crevices within the blown up images that I would never have noticed on a smaller image of that particular rooster. Maybe one day I’ll go back to that and start again.
Now I definitely appreciate that you may not like ironing much, so another fantastic place that you’re able to do this, is on your desktop of your computer screen, then every time you open your computer, it flashes up in front of you, or just place onto your sewing room wall where ever you may have space.
You may be more surprised than you thought you'd be, at just how much
you’ve learnt about the subject that you're about to work on for within your quilt, but it definitely makes fabric choosing so much easier as well as you can really see sooo much more within the design or image itself.
You may also like to check out this program I have to make choosing
fabrics for your quilts easier again by clicking Here
This is brilliant for many areas within your quilt making, but you’ll find it
absolutely fantastic if you're particulary doing appliqué, thread painting, painted quilts, landscapes or even within your actual quilting process for adding all those extra lines in your flower petals for example..
I definitely hope that this little quilting tip gives you lots of insight and
possibly an ahaa moment as you read this, or just an excuse to go fabric shopping !!! as if we need an excuse.
You can definitely find more simple but brilliant tips like this one by
checking out this book here as well.
Remember to leave a comment below as well,
so others can also learn.
That's it for me today and I'll be back again next week with something else
that'll help you grow within your own personal creative journey
Have the most beautiful, creative & inspiring day