My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's on Your Design Wall Wednesday

I'm trying to modify my working habits.  Usually I would flit from project to project.  If I get a bit stuck or frustrated, I'd put down whatever it was I was working on and start or work on something else.  I don't have the room to keep lots of projects spread out here and I know that if I put them away, a lot of them wouldn't surface again!

So I'm trying to stick one thing through until the bitter end.  With a bit of hand work when I'm out and about and a fairly simple piecing project for quiet times at work, I think I might be able to make it work.

The project I'm currently working on is one I started in my class with Sue Benner.  I made the background panel in class and then played around with different ways of constructing the shags/cormorants.  I was trying for a sketchy or loose look and the first two weren't right.  The last one was, but was too big for the panel.

Once home, I constructed more background panels to enlarge the quilt to fit the first bird.  I constructed two more birds, loosely working from photos I had taken out at Urupukapuka Island.

I played around with balancing the layout of the birds.  I'm trying to convey how I feel when I watch these birds - peaceful and calm and enjoying of the beauty of the scene.  So I want a balanced, tranquil feel to the quilt.  This means getting the layout right so nothing feels 'odd' or 'unsettled'.

Next I worked on the poles that the shags are standing on.  The mix of fabrics I used was too contrasting and too red to start with, so I used a bit of coloured pencil and a bit textile paint to tone the colours down and blend them together more.  These little changes can make a big difference.

More playing around with the layout of the birds.  Now that I have it up on a design wall I can use white cropping strips to see how it will looks once trimmed.  And that changes how the birds sit in the space.

Lastly, the reflections of the poles in the water.  The poles need to be placed in space with relation to their surroundings or they just look like they are 'plonked' there.  A few ripply reflections is giving them a relation to the water.

I think it's slowly coming together.  And I'm enjoying just keeping with one project and seeing it through the little sticking points.

So what's on your design wall?


  1. Looking great! Such fun with lots of fabrics by the look.

  2. It's looking great. Like the placement you have chosen for the birds. The reflection of the logs certainly does bring a ripple to the water. Looking forward to seeing this finished.

  3. That is really coming together now. I do like the look of that reddish bird too. Should be really good finished :)

    For myself, I start the course on Monday - yay! I also solved a problem with my ink transfer mono prints and got a really good one for once. Not that the others were necessarily bad but I had to touch them up rather more than I'd like. And all it took was a damp spongy roller!


  4. Yes, definitely coming together and looking good!! Good to see your planning/thought processes. Good luck with your new focussed approach.

  5. Wow! Love hearing about your process.


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