We wrap up our series on design exercise #1 this week with the results from the last of our five designers, Kathy K. Wylie. We have been working on exercises from the book Fearless Design for Every Quilter, by Lorraine Torrence and Jean B. Mills (C&T Publishing, 2009). For this first exercise, we chose a shape and used it to created four compositions utilizing different forms of visual balance. To see the results from the first four designers, click on Hilary, Marnie, Joyce, or Karen.
Kathy chose to work with a swirly “S” shape, which looks a little like a musical symbol with a bump on one side. She chose this shape, not only because it appears in her quilt “Flourish on the Vine”, but because she liked it and it interested her. But she quickly realized that working with an asymmetrical shape presented some challenges and that she really had to focus on the negative space. Her color scheme was black and gold and each border fabric was chosen to complement the type of balance in the composition.
In this all-over design, Kathy tried to keep the spacing roughly even and to vary the angle of each shape enough to avoid creating a pattern. She said it reminded her of stipple quilting and Karen agreed. The group felt that the border complemented the design and noticed the attempt to match the border pattern at the mitered corners. They concluded this to be a successful presentation of crystallographic balance.
This composition portrays mirror symmetry on both the horizontal and vertical axis. Kathy struggled to balance the negative space inside the four shapes and ended up making the width and height unequal. Hilary liked the secondary shape formed in the negative space and felt like she was looking at a cathedral ceiling. Joyce wondered if the scale of the design was a bit too small in relation to the size of the piece. Again, the group felt that the border enhanced the design.
Although Kathy set out to create radial balance, this composition could also be considered an example of rotational symmetry. This one was her – and Joyce’s – favorite! The group felt that it was balanced and lovely, but Hilary wondered if something more could have been added to the inside space to enhance the design. Karen felt the border fabric was particularly effective because of its repetition of the S shape.
In this asymmetrical composition, Kathy added the element of scale. Hilary believed this was successful and that it gave the impression that the shapes were receding into the distance. The others weren’t as convinced. Marnie felt it seemed bottom heavy and Karen thought it looked crooked. The group agreed that this piece could have been stronger.