I have been FMQ my Bethanne Nemesh 'bird wall hanging' over the last few weeks, however half way through I thought it would be fun to start the design process on my next wholecloth.
For this wholecloth I thought that I put into practice what was demonstrated in a class that I attended earlier in the year run by Claudia Pfeil. In terms of designing I have to emphasize that this is only one of the many ways that one can design a wholecloth. In this class we worked from the center out. Basically you have your main design in the middle and then throw some borders around until you reach your desired size. In doing so you would use a select number of FMQ designs, use echoing and mirroring of design elements until you reach a visually pleasing arrangement. Easier said than done.
I did not want to repeat what we had done in class so I used one of the designs that I had drafted previously on Cindy Needham's Ultimate Shape and decided to use a diagonal layout. I start my first draft on paper and while this must appear painful for some, it is the only way for me to get my head around dimensions, how big I want the design to be, where to start the next border and how big the quilt top will end up. In this case I used Cindy Needham's Ultimate Stencils for orientation, first the Circle one to put a simple outline around the little drawn design and then I overlaid this with the Square Stencil to put the surrounding borders in. This worked fantastically and I now had a workable model. The stencils are enormously helpful.
I have done some exploration around drawing on the computer and while I can get the basic motif and a general outline happening in my drawing program (which is useful to work out some sizing), I cannot draw the fillers to this level of detail with the basic drawing program that I have on the computer. Carla Barrett has some useful blog posts about designing wholecloth quilts digitally using a tablet...that got me a bit interested, however I do not have one of those and I certainly do not want to spend more money on yet another electronic device. Carla uses a tablet PC and Photoshop Elements. Maybe at some stage...for now, I have my Ipad, so I started to do some exploration around this. I have several drawing apps for the Ipad which I use to practice FMQ designs, nothing fancy, just a bit of doodling. When I was at the shops the other day I bought a decent pen for the Ipad. As it was, I also downloaded the Adobe Draw app and Adobe Capture (initially really clueless what I would use Adobe Capture for).
And then I started drawing...easy to use and the possibilities opened up. Some examples:
Next came a surprising fun design
Then I tackled the wholecloth...haha, and worked out what that Capture app is for. With the capture app I was able to photograph my little design (which I had previously drawn out on the computer as the motif has to be accurate for later tracing). The motif then could be magically saved into the Library which I could then use in the Draw app. This is how I got my center motif on the Ipad (as I was not going to draw that again!). From there I just placed borders around it and started filling them with FMQ designs.
Also played with 1/8 of a slice of a wholecloth...another way of designing a wholecloth. As the app has layers, it is relatively easy to draw your 1/8, then duplicate and rotate and construct your wholecloth that way. But more of that on another day.