Monday, January 25, 2016

THIS Design. No, Maybe This One. Or This One.

I don't really do New Years resolutions, but if I did I would have resolved to spend 2016 focused more on teaching and one-of-a-kind designs, and less on published patterns.   So far, so good--though at only a bit more than 3 weeks into the year it may be too soon to celebrate success.  It's back to "Design Mondays" for the Spinster.  :-)  And she's pretty happy about that.

I'm still designing things for classes and for a few special events at my LQS, and I'm trolling around for ideas for a May class.   People have been asking for a curved piecing class, and I've been thinking about a Drunkard's Path class for some time, but I haven't quite hit on the right design.  In the end I might just do a fairly standard DP design but it has revisiting a design I did months (or maybe years, at this point) ago.   It was originally for a class, but its time had not come,   Still, I like the basics of the design and decided to pursue more designing today.

Retro Fans Original

Here's the original design:  Retro Fans, which combines Drunkard's Path and Pinwheel blocks.  I really, really like the basic "block", the variety of colors and the simplicity of it all.

Retro Fans Class 1

 Originally, for the class (way back when) I wanted to simplify even more, so participants wouldn't be daunted by the number of units they'd have to make.  So, I reduced the number of units/blocks, and set it in a modern, a-symmetrical set.

Retro Fans 1

I still like that, but for a one-off design for myself I wanted a little more....something.   Thinking that I might like a base or stand for the fan, I tried a few possibilities and, in the end, settled on triangles.  And a fan makes the air move, so perhaps something to signify the waves of air movement would add to the design.  Odd numbers, especially 3, are more pleasing to the eye, and I like a bit of shift from straight-line order.   This is still pretty symmetrical, but OK.   MAYBE this one would be it?

Retro Fans 2

Yeah, no.  Not it.  Not yet.  It's better with graduated length of lines, don't you think?   You probably can't tell the difference, but the lines in this version aren't all centered in the "blocks" for the lines.   It changes the spacing, which might not seem significant--especially in an illustration this small, but it does change the spacing between the lines.  I may or may not like it.

But there are other ideas to try out, as they start rolling through my brain.   We could extend with lines, with a a break in them, of course, to give us some white space.  We could shift the whole design concept into a diagonal.   I'm finding that rather a good idea.
Retro Fans 3
Retro Fans 4

Retro Fans 5

What if I extend the lines again, and have them start to flow (blow?) off the top edge of the quilt.  (OK, I was being lazy.  I didn't want to shift everything down in the design software.  But off-the-edge is a modern design concept, so I thought I'd give that a try as a rationalization for my laziness.)   Frankly, it's not my cup of tea in this instance.

Retro Fans 6

There was another option for the airwaves:  lines closer together.   Bleah.  Too much density, and drawing attention too much away from the fans.

BUT I could introduce the denser waves with the dispersed waves.  Better.  It adds a bit of texture and interest without bulking it all up.  The denser waves could be extended, or remain only close to the fan blades. I could live with either.
Retro Fans 7
Retro Fans 8

I think I could get rid of the fan bases.  They're a little distracting, and don't add much to the design.
Retro Fans 9

Retro Fans 10

And I knew I had buckle down and shift everything down, so the right-most fan started in the bottom corner., which fixed the issue of the airwaves getting cut off at the top left edge. It's OK to hit the edge of the quilt, but not to have the design cut off before its time.

Then I wondered how it would look if some of the ariwaves moved over to the adjacent fans.  Actually, I don't hate this.  It might be all right.  I would want the lower right fan to be the color I wanted to dominate, as the quilt would have more of that color (and the least amount of the color in the upper left fan.) 
Retro Fans 11

I thought I was finished, and happy, but suddenly the squared-off base of the airwaves looked clunky, and not a good contrast with the general diagonal flow.  So, a little more adding and deleting of blocks and....I think I've reached the end of working on this design.  For today.    I'm not sure which one I like best; what do you think?

Retro Fans 12