Thursday, May 15, 2014

Design Challenge, Week 3 Results

How would you represent rain in a quilt?   That was this week's challenge to myself (and to you, if you accepted it!)    The night before I threw down this particular challenge we had a storm that was typical of the Midwest U.S.--thunder, lightning, torrential downpours, drizzles between strong cells.

In the first two weeks of the challenge you may have noticed that I'm something of a bars/strips phase, which is not intentional or planned.  In fact, as I look back at some things I've designed in the past few months, it's been resident for some time now.  This week seems to be no exception.  And there's the whole circle thing, too!   (Maybe it's the modern bent that my designs have acquired lately.)

Here's the Rain page in my sketchbook.  It's pretty sketchy, all right.


As I looked out my front window on my way to the basement (it really was quite a storm) after the power went out, I could just make out the rain coming down quite vertically, quite steadily.   It really did look like lines/bars/strips but I knew there were some drops there, which I chose to represent as circles, rather than traditional raindrop shapes.  Because I'm into circles.  :-)

From what I could make out in the dark, the "lines" of rain did look quite regular--though perhaps not quite THAT regular.  I do like the design all right, and it might work but it's no fun to go with the first try at any design.

So, what if the rainlines were less regular, and the drops intermixed?  Or what if there weren't any drops in the mix at all?

Again, I like it well enough (the one on the left, anyway) but there are one or two more avenues to explore.    Though there were periods of high winds that night (and some tornadoes not far from here) it was not an instance of straight-line winds and, therefore, straight-line rain.   There were times when the rain was coming down somewhere between vertically and horizontally. (I suppose that at some point the horizontal rain has to drop down vertically but that's a physics problem, not a design problem.  Sorry, Mike; artist's license!)

It's more interesting than vertical lines (or horizontal, I suspect) but needs a little something more, don't you think?   Yep, circles, or drops.

That's better, to my eye.  I think I like the variety of lengths of lines and different sizes of drops.  If I wanted to be reasonably true to the original design idea I would do it with this sort of color scheme:  dark gray background for the dark, clouded sky, and a light color for the rain, as a contrast.   Hmm.  Might be interesting to do them in an organdy sort of fabric.  

Then I decided to try adding a stylized puddle to the design.   I like it quite a bit, but it looks more like shooting stars across a planet.

I like the diagonal rain, both with and without the puddle and one day I will decide which I want to make first.   I think I might explore the non-puddle design in a different sort of color scheme, perhaps with multiple colors on a lighter background, or bright colors on a black background.

What do you think? Which is YOUR favorite?


  1. Not "artist's license" - physicists call it an approximation and it's about all we ever do.


    1. Ah! Good to know--thanks! I think I do a great deal of approximation when I design. :-)