The Sketchbook Project allowed me to begin to enter into a new phase of something. Doodling is one way of improving machine quilting technique as I mention in my article in the Feb/Mar issue of Quilting Arts. I started doodling a long time ago in a quilterly way, however it wasn’t until I really began focusing the doodling on machine quilting technique did I begin to see how essential the doodling is to the machine quilting process.
As part of the Sketchbook Project I picked up some of the new Sharpie pens. I’m really hoping that they increase the color range because these are so much fun to play with.
Recently I picked up some color pencils – in part to finish the project, in part just to play and see what happens when I combine the two with the compass & protractor I purchased last summer. When I originally bought the compass & protractor set I had in mind that the next in the “Twilight in the Bronx” series would be a 5 pointed star rather than an 8 pointed star. This will still happen I just need a bit more time to think through the quilt design and how I’m going to draft the center of the star to work out how I see it in my head.
The first sketch is a freehand go with the flow piece. I wasn’t quite sure where this was going and I like where it went. I’m not sure where it started – I can tell you that it ended with the black in the center. Part of the experiment is shading with the pencils. That was fun trying to control the intensity of the color and the color changes through out the piece.
The next sketch is a snowman sitting at a piano. This was given to my husband & me years ago by our neighbors and freaks out our cats when the snowman starts playing and singing. They stop mid walk, look at the snowman with those wide panicked eyes and then bolt out of the room. I must learn to keep this in mind whey they’re being particularly naughty or fighting.
With this sketch I just went for it to get the general feel for the snowman sitting at the piano…I’m quite pleased! I wasn’t aiming for perfection or straight lines and voila!
Next I started just playing with the color pencils. This sketch started with the red/pin curve just off center. I like the color play.
The 4th sketch started with an idea thats been rattling round my head for weeks. I’m noticing it’s not actually finished. It’s a work in progress. I liked the idea of adding a curved line around the highest adjoining parallelograms of an 8 pointed star and wanted some idea of what it would look like. Playing is very relaxing. I used the compass and a drafting ruler for this piece. I like it overall and hope to someday see what this looks liken in cloth.
I have a few more sketches that I’ll share another day.
PS – if you’re not aware our friend Melanie Testa has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. The link to the blog where Leslie Jenison shares this news for Melly is HERE.