It's been a few weeks since I updated you guys about The Duchess Reigns and the progress I've been making on this huge wholecloth project.
Last time I posted, I'd just solidified my design for the center medallion. This pretty goddess / griffin / bird:
It's really easy to go overboard with a design, especially when you've had a few years to really build up a supply of signs and symbols you're dying to use. At one time I was trying to cram a triforce from Zelda, spirals, flames, Celtic knots, and tree symbols all in the same quilt.
Obviously, all these things are pretty, but they can't all work in one quilt.
So I began pulling elements and picked just two to fill the borders with: the lion heads and flames. Even with things simplified down, it still had to go through several editions.
True, any one of these quilts could be finished and be beautiful, but I didn't really LOVE them. This might seem picky or ridiculous, but in order to spend several months on a quilt, you really do need to be passionate about the project, and really love every aspect of the design.
Finally I pinpointed the problem with all of these designs: they shrunk the goddess too much. She needs to be bigger and actually scaled so the lion heads aren't monstrously bigger than her. A bit of resizing and things suddenly began to work:
As for the design process itself, I've used a combination of drawing on paper and computer design using Serif Draw Plus. At first, I worked with the design on a large scale in the computer, but eventually found this to be too difficult. Even the computer program gets glitchy when working with 80 inches of wiggly designs!
So shrunk down to a smaller scale, everything works better and then can be resized to the final pattern size, which can be whatever I feel like. This quilt could easily be 45 inches or 400 inches. I've settled on 80 inches and hopefully it will shrink a bit in the process:
365 + free motion fillers after all), but to instead pick the designs and colors that will fit and fill most effectively for the area.
So what's the next step? I believe The Duchess Reigns needs a few more design tweaks, but I think I'll be able to make these on the large master pattern rather than printing her out all over again. Sometimes things are easier to work with on a larger scale anyway because they're easier to visualize.
Once the design is 100% solid, it will be time to start playing with fabric and thread. I can't wait!
Let's go quilt,