I’ve got a commission due in a week…so since that’s what I should be focusing on, I though I’d share my process with you!
It all started last Spring, at a party we were hosting. Kay is the clarinet player in the Redlands Symphony Orchestra, and she fell in love with this still life quilt I had made many years ago, from a class I took with Robbie Eklow. How many years ago? Hmmm…7 or 8? I’m not really sure!
Anyway…she has this bar cabinet that is the focus of her living room, with lots of bottles on top, and she was really taken with this still life, as she loves the way the bottle shapes overlap. Before we could meet to talk in detail, they decided to up and move, so the project got put on hold for several months. We finally met a week or 2 before Christmas and talked about size (24″ x 32″), shapes and colors. She took some fabrics home to see how they looked in the space, and brought them back the following week. We talked again, I started sketching and pulling more fabrics, and when she left I had a sketch:
and a due date – January 9! They’re having a house warming on the 10th, so I really would like to get this done for her before then. So today, I started cracking the whip. I used my EQ6 program (a simple vector drawing program I’m more familiar with than Illustrator…remember the word? Simplify! I know how to do what I wanted to do with that program, so use it and move on!) to trace pictures of several wine bottle and decanter images from the web, played around with overlapping them, and came up with a composition I liked:
The EQ program prints out a pattern (on 12 sheeets of paper) which I will now tape together, then I’ll make a pattern with release paper (what’s left when you iron wonder under on to fabric) by tracing the paper pattern with a sharpie – the release paper is somewhat translucent. I’ve got the ground and horizon colors figured out, so I’ll get those cut and then I start playing with colors for the bottles!
I’ve learned through the years that I can spend a LONG time on the computer trying to figure out what colors to use, but that usually ends up getting revisited when I’m using the fabric. In general, I’ve done away with patterns altogether, but as I don’t have a lot of time and I needed to play around with overlapping shapes, it was in this case worth it to take the time to make the pattern (she says hopefully)