Category Archives: Bloggers, Friends and Resources

Designing With Color Art Project

I have been spending a lot of time this week on my almost final project for design class. 

We had to pick one of our shape drawings to use for a logo design project.  

daisy drawings

Remember the Gerber daisy I drew that looks like a sun? I decided to use that design.

gerber daisy drawing

Next we had to think of a business name that would go with our logo. I have always wanted to learn to surf, and I love Roxy, Quicksilver and Billabong clothing, so that was the inspiration for my hypothetical business – Sun Devil Surf Wear.  We also had to find a font that goes with the image of our business.

logo painting in progress

The first of four illustrator boards had to be painted in just black.

logo designs in progress

The second illustrator board has to be painted in two analagous colors. I am going to use red and orange.

The Color Wheel

The third illustrator board has to be painted in two complimentary colors or two to three split complimentary colors. I am going to use orange and blue.

reverse side of color wheel

The last board has to have small versions of the first three designs arranged in a creative way.

Finally, all the boards should be assembled into an accordion book, similar to my value project. I promise I will show you pictures of the final book.

After this logo design project is done, I have one project left for the semester – to create a color inspiration board for a book cover, band tour poster, or the above business we made up. I have always wanted to create an inspiration board for something, and now I have a mission. Just need to decide what be inspired by – this book or this book.

Sunday Stash – Color Wheel Bundle

Time to share from my stash.


I ordered this color wheel bundle when Joelle Hoverson’s patchwork book came out, thinking I would make her Color Wheel quilt.

colorwheel bundleI love staring at the color wheel, studying all the wonderful things you can do with it, and dreaming up project ideas.  I’m excited to take a color theory class to learn more about designing with color.

color wheel bundle on it's sideYou can see the fabulous selection of fabrics the ladies at Purl offer in this bundle, some you might recognize, some great choices to fill in the color slot.

color wheel fabricsI have always loved Katie’s colorway quilt, a coin quilt version of the color wheel.  Now I’m debating which version to make with my color wheel bundle, but I’m leaning toward the coin quilt version instead of the wheel. Isn’t it fun to dream?!

Share some of the fabrics from your stash by joining the Sunday Stash group.


Check out everyone else’s stash at the flickr group.  It’s fun to see the variety of fabrics out there, many of which I have not seen anywhere else.

Designing With Texture

The next section of study in my design class has been designing with texture and patterns. Our project was to create a texture quilt with images of texture cut from magazines. Images of texture would be things like grass, fur, rocks, brick, rusty metal, tortoise shells, and more.  The other guideline was that the images couldn’t reveal the actual object.

I collect Patagonia catalogs because the photography is so beautiful, and I love to read their environmental and adventure essays too.  It was a great resource to find large pieces of texture.  Check out my pile.

pile of texture images

I also bought a diving magazine for the beautiful beach photos and under-the-sea textures, which had a nice effect when laid next to snowy textures.

cool texture images

Gardening magazines had good texture too. green and cool texturesClimbing magazines had good images of rocks and mountains, which looked great next to images of vegetation and sea life textures. 

mixture of texturesWe had to keep in mind the design concepts of symmetry, asymmetry, proximity, hierarchy, proportion, repetition, rhythm and unity when designing our quilt pattern.  It reminded me of all things we learn in quilting classes, so this was a fun exercise to work on.

red-gray textures

As you can tell, I decided to make log cabin blocks using a one-inch log template with the darker colors in the center. (Would you believe I have never made a log cabin patchwork? I have a great pile of scraps from recent swaps that I want to use for scrappy log cabin blocks, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.) I didn’t do a border because the white around the edges of my paper seemed to finish off the piece quite nicely. 

the texture quilt!

Isn’t that cool? This was such a unique way to study texture, create patterns and get a taste for working with color, which is our next and final section of design.  I really pushed myself here to trust my creative instincts and also figure out when to stop the gathering and planning process, and start designing!

My Favorite Quilt…

Ever since the announcement came out about the Bloggers Quilt Festival, I knew I wanted to participate. 

I spent the past several days trying to figure out which quilt to share with you. Besides the three quilt tops I have waiting to be quilted, I have been spending more time making other sewing projects, like bags and pillow covers and table linens and curtains, oh my. I had a light-bulb moment this afternoon, and realized which one it had to be. I hope it’s not too late to make my contribution to the festival!

Bittersweet Autumn Wallhanging

This is the Bittersweet Autumn quilt I made several years ago. Actually, I started it in 2002 when I took a class with Judy Hasheider, the designer of this pattern.  It took me about five years to finish. Yes, five years. (I get side-tracked easily!)

Bittersweet Branch

I pieced together each block right away. Next I cut out all the leaves from hand-dyed wool and fused them to the blocks. Then I started hand-sewing each leaf onto the block with a blanket stitch, on and off for the next several years.

Birch and Oak Leaves Block

Finally, in late 2007, I finished it!  And I love it! I would love to make another one with spring green leaves, which would be fun to share for the next quilt festival. But I need to be realistic about when I will have time for that project since, like many of you, I have a zillion other projects in the works.

Maple Leaves Block

In the meantime, I will continue to cherish this one.  I just haven’t settled on the right wall to hang it, so I carry it around the house, periodically draping it over the back of a different chair.

Value Project

Thank you so much everyone for your love and encouragement on my last post about my typography projects! You made my day!

Our most recent project for my design class was to create an accordion book of six stages of value, where you focus on shading, from black to gray to white.  The first step was to find a photo of an organic object that showed highlighting and shadowing.  I chose a photograph I took of a double hibiscus while on my trip in China.

double hibiscus

The second step was to draw the image using pencil, making sure to do a lot of shading where the shadows are.

step 2 drawing

The third step was to paint the image using gray scale, meaning black for the shadows, gray for the in-betweens, and white for the highlights. This was the first time I ever worked with gouache, which was tricky. It’s a watercolor paint, but has a thicker consistency and gives a more opaque coat.

step 3 gray scale tones

The fourth step was to paint the image using only black and white for the shading and highlighting, again with gouache.

step 4 black and white

The fifth step was to paint the image in reverse – white for the shading and black for the highlighting.

step 5 white on black

The sixth step was to do a gestural drawing, which is just a loose, free-flowing, quick sketch of what the object is doing or how it feels, not so much what it looks like. (another good exercise forcing me to think outside the box)

step six gestural drawing

The final step was to mount each piece onto black illustrator board, and assemble the boards into an accordion book.

finished accordion bookThis was a very challenging and time-consuming but fun project.  I am SO happy with the final results! I love how each stage of my project turned out.  I also love the accordion book format, which I will definitely do again. I learned how to really look at an object, how to use gouache, how to paint, and how to design with value, which can really change the finished piece, depending on the effect you are going for.

Next up, working with texture – we get to design a texture quilt using images of texture cut from magazine photos.  Fun!

Design Projects on Typeface

In my design class, we worked on several projects related to the study of typography and fonts.  I think I have always taken fonts for granted because I use Microsoft Word a lot, so I learned a lot about letters in this section of our class.

Our first project was to pick six word pairs that are opposite each other, and then choose a font that portrays those words and contrasts each other.

word pairs study(so many fonts to choose from!)

Our next project was to pick one letter from a couple fonts – I chose a “T” in Esprit Bold – and render it in six ways: black letter on white background, white letter on black background, enlarge a portion of the letter, take apart the letter and reassemble (I did a mosaic with shiny paper), experiment with texture (I used gold embossed paper on maroon velvety paper), and 6-experiment with color (I used green grass on camoflauge paper).

Letterform Study

(letter forms all mixed up!)

Our last project was to think of a word we could portray graphically and render that using any media.  I chose the word “Stitch” and rendered it using needle and thread in the Justine font on a quilted background.

Stitch word play

(“Stitch” word play)

It’s so fun being able to combine my writing and sewing experiences for this design class!  I am also loving learning how to think outside the box with these projects.

Our next section was Value, so I will share pictures of how we designed with value in mind.

Six-Word Memoir

In last week’s design class, we began our study of typography.  We had to create our own six-word memoir, which we used to practice hand lettering.  The memoir idea is based on an NPR Talk of the Nation series.  We were asked to write a story of our own life in six words.  Sounds hard, doesn’t it?  You should try it sometime because it’s actually quite fun!

winter contemplation2

Naturally, I made a word list, which is always a great place to start a writing challenge.  I thought about the description of an ISFP, my personality trait defined by the Myers Briggs personality test.  It says I’m a quiet, artistic, loyal, individualistic, sensitive person who lives for the present moment.  Here’s what I came up with

“Quiet individual creating in the moment.” 

I spent in class measuring out the baseline, the x-height and the ascender lines, and then figuring out how to fit everything evenly on one page.  My spacing ended up being far from perfect, but I usually write in messy cursive writing, so this was hard. 

winter contemplation

On the drive home from class, I thought of another six-word memoir:

     “Right-brain in left-brain job.”

I decided to stick to the original saying because I don’t want my job to define me, no matter what I do for a living!

What would your six-word memoir say?

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