Thursday, 7 November 2013

Zendoodling and Quilt Design

I have been zendoodling again. Not because I needed to de-stress myself but because I am trying to come up with a quilt design. Our local Christian School is planning a Silent Auction as a fundraiser early next year and along with some friends, I'd like to construct a quilt to place in it.

As you know, I'm not really a traditional quilter. I prefer more contemporary styles of quilts and I don't often make a quilt to adorn a bed. My quilts are designed as art that can be hung on the wall. I'm not sure yet what this quilt will be but I'd like to do something in black, white and gray. And so because zentangles are also mostly done in black, white and gray, I decided to try to come up with a square adorned with zentangles.

I drew a 4" x 4" square in my sketchbook and divided it like I divide my landscape quilt patterns. In each space, I did a different zendoodle. While I doodled I consciously tried to keep my darkest darks in one corner and my lightest lights in another. This will enhance the overall design of the quilt when the blocks are put together.

Once the block was filled with zendoodles, I photographed it and brought the photo up in my computer. I don't have a fancy photo editing software but I've found that I can do a lot in Microsoft Word. I imported the photo into my Word program and copied it so I had two. Then I rotated the second photo 1/4 around. I copied the original photo again and rotated the third copy 1/2 the way around and then I copied the original again and rotated the fourth copy 3/4 the way around. When I had the four squares oriented the way I wanted them, I put them together to make a large square out of them. I was really impressed with the result.
This is the original zendoodle block.

The above blocks are a combination of four of the original block with the three copies rotated. I gives me the feeling of a kaleidoscope.
I was able to get four different designs from this one block using the rotation method however, I was sure I could get many more designs from this square by manipulating it in different ways. Next I tried designing by flipping the photo of the original block so it showed up backwards and upside down. Below are the designs I got with that method.

As you can see these 4 examples look completely different than the first 4 examples.
I am sure there are many other design possibilities with this same original block and I think I will continue to find as many as I can. Then we'll have to decide which method we want to use for the quilt project and what type of art we want to make. There's the possibility we go a completely different direction but if we do end up using this design in some way, I'll post the final project here on the blog.
This experiment has also inspired me to try it with coloured fabric. Oh so many projects in my brain! I can't wait to get started!


  1. Hey there!
    I just wanted to post my vote for the 'kaleidescope' version... it has uniformity, but to me doesn't seem as "stenciled" as some of the other versions. Obviously this is simply a preferential vote, but it just had the right balance compared to the other versions to catch my eye! Regardless of the route you decide on, way to experiment.... impressive!!

    1. Interesting! I didn't think you were a symmetrical kind of guy. Thanks for your vote!