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Village Fabrics Design Process

Sometimes ideas and designs really do appear fully formed in your head.  You are inspired by a range of fabric, a trip to a museum or even a Christmas card.  Other times it is a real slog to develop a design that works with the fabrics that are available!

Some people draw everything out on graph paper, Linda being one, while some of us who can’t draw literally use the back of an envelope, much less intimidating, I say!

Then there are the basic ideas that need to grow organically as you sew.  It is one of these that this blog is really about.

As you will remember I had the trip of a lifetime to Japan a couple of years ago and I still use that trip as a source of inspiration.  So I wanted to make a new Japanese style wall hanging incorporating some hand stitching some folded work and some applique, that much I was certain of.

I started with a couple of contrasting backgrounds and some maple leaves, as you do, then added a circle and folded points.  Then it stopped.  I think because I started to think about Steam Punk, that started me down a different path, (there will be a new kit resulting from that diversion soon).  I was also thinking about Kantha stitching following on from and being a little different to Sashiko stitching as the hand stitching on the design.  That thought resulted in our Amber Dragonflies wall hanging, where some of the dragonflies are totally hand stitched in different shades of threads.  The beads on that design are a hangover from the Steam Punk aberration.


Meanwhile the original design was going nowhere fast.  But then I saw some wisteria growing in our courtyard.  


The design to go on the circle was now taking form in my head with small flowers and leaves falling/draping down.  It was looking good until I put it back with the maple leaves, while the colours were OK the two things were two entirely different scales.  

So, I finished the Amber Dragonflies wall hanging, started two other quilt projects and knitted two jumpers for Isaac, my grandson.

There does come a point when you either just get on with it or consign it to a plastic bag in the corner of my sewing room.  Because I liked the delicacy of the flowers on the circle, I took the backgrounds apart and started again this time with pale pink star-like flowers.  Now it works, there is a flow to the design as a whole and the colours pop and sparkle. 

It has only been hanging over my sofa for 6 months!  In my defence during that time, I have finished the top of a lap size quilt (Summer Garden), am half way through a new pieced, with folded work, embroidery and applique blue and white quilt, started the Steam Punk geisha and knitted a shawl, a cowl, a vest and a jumper, Isaac size.

It still needs to be quilted and the instructions written and more importantly it still needs a name.

Maybe the whole problem was I didn’t give it a name to begin with, so it didn’t know who it was!

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