Plexiglass, Dry Erase Markers and Imagination…..

Did I get your attention?  What do these things have to do with quilting?  For me, they have a lot to do with it.

I frequently get asked how I decide what designs to use on a quilt.  My answer- Plexiglass, Dry Erase markers and Imagination..

I like to place a piece of plexiglass (with colored tape around the edge to mark the edge so I do not draw off the glass onto the quilt) over an area and start drawing with a dry erase marker. I start drawing and often one idea spurs another and what I end up with often is very different than my 1st idea.  I have a file of ideas I can look at for inspiration, but more often than not these ideas come from my head!

Pieced by Roger Kerr, Pattern by Judy Neimeyer

So lets look at this example, “Cattails in the Meadow,” piece by my hubby Roger, and pattern by Judy Neimeyer.  1st I thought about the design elements- cattails, flying geese and lone star units.  A combination of nature and geometry came to my mind. Then I thought lets have some geometry and some nature in the quilting designs. Out came the plexiglass and I started playing around in the border.  I decided I liked the geometry design I drew best.  If I kept the geometry in the border, then I could add nature in the main part of the quilt.

So what shall I use for the nature designs.  Cattails, hummmm.  Stand and Stare.  Pull out another piece of plexiglass (saving the border design, do not want to erase yet) and start drawing again.  Cattails made me think of water. Tried to draw water, but just did not fit in the spaces.  Then I thought bubbles in the water, started drawing bubbles around the cattails.  Oh, I like it….

Ok, now what about the larger spaces around the cattails?  Start drawing again.  At 1st I was trying to draw leaves extending from the cattails, but the leaves turned into wind swirling around….Oh, I like it, time to stitch…

How about that center?  Looks like a star, lets radiate from the center, and how about some curly q’s around the flying geese.  And so the process goes. I have so much fun figuring out what works!  Did I ever mention, I LOVE WHAT I DO!?

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4 responses to “Plexiglass, Dry Erase Markers and Imagination…..

  1. Ardelle, Usually I follow you on the APQS forum. I didn’t realize you had a blog until you mentioned it there. Rodgers quilt is so beautiful, and your quilting on it is amazing! I’ve added you to my favorite blogs to follow list. I don’t want to miss a thing you and Rodger make and quilt!

  2. Yes I love my piece of plexiglass too! Best quilting tool ever, saves you from having to pick stitches when testing design ideas 🙂

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