Design: A Study in Contrast

Since I felt under the weather this week after oral surgery I wanted to just play with some new designs.  Using only scraps for this exercise, I first drew up some initial sketches (which, unfortunately, I already crumpled up and tossed) and began to lay out the pieces on pieces of 3″X4″ quilters grid. I got a little carried away but I guess that was the point, after all. (This is not all of them.)

Exercize 1

I liked some more than others and studied them until I picked out the ones I liked the best and did some more of those:

Exercise 2. Contrast & Color

I played with a lot of arrangements to discover a pattern I favored and refined the design just a bit so that each one met where I wanted it to when they were put beside and on top of one another for this design.


I strategically placed lights and darks to what I think is the best advantage


I kept the palette neutral so as not to complicate the design and here’s what I came up with for a final choice:

Exercise 3. Contrast & Color.

I drew up some more designs for another time. And boy, do I have a mess of scraps to pick up now!

 I almost forgot to link up with Nina’s Off The Wall Friday blog.

It’s A Yin Thing

I’ve been reading Elizabeth Barton’s book, Visual Guide to Working In A Series.


Good source for info and ideas. I tend to read books, take in the info, store it in some nook or mind cranny until I get around to actually using it, which can be a long, long time.  But this book got me right into it doing some list-making and mini-sketches for series quilts.  It’s very detailed with what all artists love – lots of good pictures!

So, I did a couple of pages of quick sketches of ideas for a quilt art series that will be about Yin.

Working In a Series Sketches

More series 1 sketches

 Yes, yin! As in:  yin – noun

  1. (in Chinese philosophy) the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold.

My list of yin characteristics:

night, absorbing, earth, rain, soft, evil, black, small, even (numbers), yielding, weak, negative, moonlight, water, cold and so on.  I may add to this as I go along.

How will these sketches possibly become art quilts in a yin series, you ask?

Some won’t ever turn into anything.  A cause of failure  would be that I started out to do one of them and goofed. Or I couldn’t execute it well within the parameters of my given materials. Some will morph – that same goof could also mean success, just another shape than I set out to do.  This happens frequently.  Despite some audible curses from time to time and a few ouches from sticking pins in myself or ironing my own arm, I’m often happily surprised at the changes in the course of creation.

These little drawings are a form of visual brainstorming – you don’t judge them – you just throw them out there into your own personal little universe, hoping that some of them just might spin off.  And some will indeed, work very well.

Here’s the first one which also incorporates one of my new sunprints and small snippets of my newly dyed shibori fabric.

First in a New Series webjpg