I was reading an article in the August/September 2012 issue of Quilting Arts magazine the other day about one quilter's design process. Lynn Krawczyk is an art quilter, which is not something I consider myself to be, being more of a traditionalist, however one of her statements struck a chord with me. She kept a design sketchbook (again, something I don't do), but limited herself to using only black ink on a white page. I found this interesting and opposite to what I usually do. When I create a quilt design, I already envision the colours that I'll use in the project. Lynn feels that this constrains her creative process as she would "fall into the trap of judging the real work against the image on the page. I was strangling the flow of creativity, defining it before it had a chance to evolve in its own direction." Huh, maybe she has a point. I find it difficult to imagine my design in any other colour scheme than the one in my head and I certainly find this limiting especially when I'm looking for fabric for the design. Sometimes I just can't seem to find the perfect colour in any fabric. Maybe working in black and white, or shades of them, might free me from focussing on the colours and help me to see other designs in my blocks and create other ideas for that particular project. Let's take an example and see.
Here's a pieced design that I've created in EQ7. It's fairly basic with a churn dash block centre and a fancy border. Looks rather traditional and country-ish to me. You'll either see pinwheels or churn dash blocks in this design, with the emphasis on neither block.
|Churn Dash and Pinwheels|
|Churn Dash and Pinwheels without the colours|
|Adding some more white (lights)|
Well, that certainly looks different, doesn't it? The churn dash blocks are gone and you have triangles or a hint of pinwheels, depending on your viewpoint. I haven't touched the borders or cornerstones, just the centre of the quilt. While this certainly is different, I think it lacks depth and the pinwheels in the centre look a bit small for my liking. I'd like to do this quilt in more than two colours - possibly in three - so I'm going to add some grey to the mix.
|Grey added to the borders|
|Grey added to the quilt centre, as well as the borders|
|Grey distributed more evenly throughout quilt|
I've distributed the grey more evenly in the centre and now it looks like pinwheels on a checkerboard background - at least to me. I'm really liking the look of this variation and think that this design is almost there.
I've added a bit of black on a few pieces next to the first border and I think that this is it. When it comes to adding colour to it, I just need to ensure that I have a similar contrast between my fabrics and I should be able to achieve the same effect.
|Shades of blue and green|
|Red, white and blue batiks|