This weekend I finally dug around in my collection of large quilt designs to pull out The Duchess's original drawing:
It worked, but it has created a very large collection of paper patterns that are hard to store. Here's my favorite storing method so far:
Looking back at The Duchess pattern, this is the real mess:
Originally I wanted to fill the bands within the scallops with circles, but lacked the skill. I also slapped together the border design very quickly which made it quite piece-meal and ended up being the bane of my existence when quilting.
Looking back at this design, I feel an odd wave of emotions. In a lot of ways, I'm still very proud of this pattern. It was a mighty accomplishment back when I knew almost nothing about show quilting or design.
In other ways, I hate this pattern.
I hate that I got so stuck on the idea of Georgian designs that I refused to think for myself and design motifs I'd actually like. I dug myself a deep rut with this quilt, and looking at it, I feel that rut wanting to suck me back in. The rut sounds something like "The motifs MUST be perfect Georgian designs! YOU cannot change ANY aspect of this design! The motifs MUST be exactly like THIS!"
I think this is the reason I've always put this project away after looking at it. It's got a lot of baggage that likes to shout at me. ;-)
So I'm going to take a deep breath and ignore all that nonsense. Last time, I designed this quilt not for myself, but simply to impress judges and to look like a costume out of the movie The Duchess. To be perfectly honest, it was a rather soulless way to design a quilt.
This time I'm sticking with the original size and layout of the design (the scallops, the center circle), but changing the design to fit my personality. I want an over-the-top amazing wholecloth, but I want it filled with motifs and designs that speak to me. Heck, I might even stick a goddess in the center, who knows?!
So the first step on this project is to get the quilt scanned into the computer. I no longer work with large scale patterns and having this quilt design in the computer would be a good start to getting the new version designed.
Another benefit to getting the design into the computer is size. I might have designed this thing around 80 inches (it finished 65, which let's you know how much trapunto and dense stitching can shrink a quilt), but that doesn't mean the new version has to be so big.
As for the actual process of getting it INTO the computer, I believe I'll transfer sections of the quilt to graph paper, then scan them in. From the scanned images, I'll start reconstructing the quilt piece by piece. Things like the center circle will be easy. Things like the scallops or woven knot corners will be difficult.
Still, I'm in the mood for a challenge. The summer always makes me want to dig into a big project and zone out for hours behind the machine. I think I've definitely selected a project that will allow me to do just that!
Let's go quilt,