Behind the scenes in designing: episode 4

The above image shows why very little is truly settled until the first cuts are made or stitches set. I said last week that I thought I would end up making the curtains in three horizontal panels so as not to have a big seam in the middle, but when I went to Pinterest this morning to get ready for this post on design resources I found a pattern that will get rid of that problem. This will simplify construction immensely which is pretty much always a good thing for a person whose focus is the ornamenting and not the construction itself. I will either simplify the internal shapes or enlarge the entire thing significantly so as to have more room for the motifs and filling stitches. My version will also be six or eight boxes tall, depending on what is needed to get the height, but the over-all concept is perfect for what I needed.

So, design resource materials. In the thirty-plus years I've been doing needlework this has changed *a lot*. It used to be that if you lived in a small town with a limited or, even moderate, library there was likely to be little available and books were often expensive to purchase and not always available in the desired style. I noticed a real change when the big chain bookstores came into fashion. A lot more art books were available at more reasonable prices and, at the time, employees were likely to be fairly knowledgeable about what to suggest. Lately that latter part hasn't been so much the case but the internet has made it less necessary. Between "image search" and Pinterest it is very rare not to find a good variety of options.

 In terms of this project I have two books from Lacis specifically about filet lace. These are the books I used for the poppy wall hanging. The illustrations, actually photos of the lace I think, are already on a grid which would make transferring the design to the canvas fairly easy. The downside, if there is one, is that most of the designs are Chinese or Middle Eastern in flavor so if I want something more Indian, which I haven't completely decided, I will have to look elsewhere. I also have Alice Starmore's Charts for Colour Knitting which has several possible patterns and is also already on a graph. Once again though the patterns are mostly Middle Eastern or Chinese in feel. If I forgo the graph I have an "adult coloring book" that is based on mehndi (henna tattoo) designs, the embroidery on the kurtis I have purchased over the last couple of years and, of course, Pinterest. Honestly, I haven't quite made up my mind which direction to go in and the chances are good that I will mix the resources by using the filet lace for any large motifs and the coloring book or internet for smaller ones that won't be as difficult to graph for myself. Fortunately I don't have to decide right this minute.

This will be the last of these for a while as we have reached the end of the design phase and I need to finish other projects (note the "note to self" at the top of the sketch page) before I can do much more. I will probably be "doodling" and testing construction plans on waste canvas beforehand, but other than choosing the *exact* motifs and stitches there is little prep-work left to do.

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