So ...you think your quilt is looking like wallpaper?
(and there are an awful lot of them out there, believe me!!)
I love showing poorly designed quilts in my workshops ....but daren't get away with it online!!
(apart from my own...I have a lot of "dogs", there's no doubt!!! (apologies to any canines reading this blog...but do please comment!).
What can you do to improve the design?
Here are three tips to avoid producing any more wallpaper!
Think about adding a focal point...I like to think of a quilt design as being like an opera... there is the lead singer, the star - the Tenor...He stands out, he's towards the center of the stage (unless he's singing mightily while dying of suffocation in a tomb of course!!), he's bigger, bolder, louder and spotlit!
Sometimes there are one or two or even three other singers engaged with him in varying melodic patterns i.e. interesting and varied auditory arrangements...and we can create the same thing visually.
With no focal point - no center of interest - then everything is equally interesting, or equally boring!
I was ill in bed a lot as a child with little energy and I remember I looked and looked and looked at all the wallpaper in my room - a basket pattern, I wanted to find the one basket that had some different flowers in it! (never did). As human beings we are hard wired to find the novel elements in our surroundings and investigate them. They may be good to eat.....or good to run away from!
So create a focal point by having something a bit different in that area: different shape, different line quality, different size, different color etc. And make it fairly easy for the viewer to find it by having it towards the center of the design. Furthermore, make it obvious by its contrast with the areas around it which is how we normally see things - whatever we are looking at is clear, sharp, focussed...that which is in our peripheral vision is softer, blurrier...
Another thing that will make your quilt more interesting is to increase the value range.
If you have any photo - imaging software on your computer, then simply scan in your sketch ...or a photo of your quilt, and increase the contrast in value. In PSE you can find this feature under "Enhance"... Making the darks darker and the lights lighter will make the whole idea bolder and richer. You don't have any darks to make darker? or lights to make lighter? well...that's probably why it's boring! Create some!! You ARE allowed!
Add variety, something different, something unexpected and edgy. Imagine one of those Thomas Kinkaid snow covered cute cottages with the lights on inside...and there's a little figure climbing out of the window!! Makes you lean forward and take notice...now what is happening there..I didn't expect to see that!! There's lots of different ways to make things unexpected...Tracy Emin the British artist who makes blankets appliquéd with text. She uses not only strong personal language ...but she also exploits her dyslexia with strange bad spellings. Not your usual bad spelling...but something that makes us have to take a moment to figure out the text.
And of course, if you really want to make wallpaper...please do! It can be very soothing..just don't hang it above the bed of a bored sick child!
And now for a nice cuppa tea I think, cogitation can make you thirsty...
if you have been, thanks for reading!