Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pegasus Process

Thank you all so much for your kind words about our big announcement!  Harv and I are both incerdibly excited and you'd better believe there will be a lot of baby sewing going on here in the next 4 months.

In the meantime I wanted to share the process I went through when designing the  Pegasus Quilt from Whip Up Mini Quilts.  It was quite an evolution and I think you'll it find interesting.

Right off the bat I planned on a design that incorporated a freezer paper stencil, as that was a design element that Kathreen, the author, expressed interest in.  My original concept included uneven diagonal stripes with a bird in flight stenciled on top.  I wanted a feeling of movement from the stripes leaning to the right with the bird flying against the "wind".  In choosing the colors, I wanted something that I felt "went" with the bird motif, even though the bird would be white.  I went with these shades of blue and yellow with one pop of red.  I think the blue and yellow are kind of cool and soft and the red adds just enough interest and balances out the palette.  This is the original concept art that I sent to Kathreen.
The Original Design Concept

Of course I started working on the quilt top before I heard back from Kathreen.  And of course I finished it, minus the stencil, it's a mini quilt after all.  Unfortunately when I did hear back, the verdict was no birds.  There were already a couple of quilts in the book with bird motifs and she didn't need another.  So the good news for me was that I hadn't yet put the bird on my quilt.  The bad news was I didn't have any great ideas for something to replace the bird.
Finished Top with Bird Stencil
I did end up adding the bird stencil after I decided to go with different colors.
I wanted to maintain the feeling of contrasting movement between the stripes and the stencil.  I thought about things that could move through water instead of the air but a fish or a boat just didn't seem like my thing.  A little too cutesy and not very stylish.  I tried out a couple of flying ideas by superimposing the graphics over a crappy photo of the finished top in Photoshop.
Alternate (horrible) Stencil Ideas
A butterfly.  Also not really my thing.  And this one does not look like it's moving.
Alternate (horrible) Stencil Ideas
Bubbles.  Blech.  Not enough movement and doesn't have the nice balanced feel of the bird off to one side.

Alternate (horrible) Stencil Ideas
Give me a break.

Then, one magical day my friend Cindy was over at our house.  I showed her the quilt top and told her my dilemma.  Her (I think) very first suggestion was to stencil on a Pegasus.   Brilliant.

The only problem with the Pegasus idea was that blue, yellow and red were NOT Pegasus colors so I definitely needed to make a new top.  The question then was which colors should I use?  The obvious choice was to make a rainbow but I don't ever want to make something that could be described as obvious.
Pegasus made me think of the eighties and fluorescent colors.  And well, rainbows.  I just didn't want to be too literal with anything.  So I did what I normally do when I'm designing a quilt, I just started pulling fabric from my shelves, keeping my inspiration in mind and trying to put a combination together that gave the feeling of all of those things without hitting you over the head with them.  Not to mention something that was current and tasteful, not straight out of the eighties.  The final color palette is what I came up with.
Pegasus Quilt
The teal has an eighties vibe to it; the bright green, pink and blue are saturated and bold and give the feeling of fluorescent colors without actually being fluorescent.  I switched the pop of red for a pop of pink which not only does what the red did in the original design but adds just enough color to give that rainbow vibe while not actually being a rainbow.
And there you go!  I love the finished product.  I think it's far more unique than the bird design, not to mention more fun and I'm so glad that I was forced to stray from my original idea.

1 comment:

  1. That totally rocks! Love the pegasus!