The first thing I do is go to my fabric stash and scrap box and start pulling out fabric I think will work. I knew I wanted this to be a desert type scene with cacti, rocks, crows, clouds and maybe flowers, so I gathered fabrics in those colors with patterns that would work with a desert theme.
The next part is the longest part of the whole process! It'll look quick when reading this, but actually takes a couple days. I first gather images from books, an image search engine, my sketch book - anywhere. I'm not going to copy these images exactly, but will use them for inspiration and for help in drawing (such as what proportion to make a crow's tail) later. With these images in front of me, I make rough sketches on a paper that's the same shape as the pillow form I'm using. As I'm sketching, I try to think of things like what type of symmetry I want to use, do I want it balanced or unbalanced ... basic design. A scene that's asymmetrical and a little off balance will catch the eye more. Using a diagonal line or two will add motion to the scene.
Next, I cut the background fabric (size of the pillow form plus one inch allows for 1/2 inch seams). I now work at making the patterns for the appliques. There's a lot of trial and error involved here!
As I get a pattern I feel will works, I lay it on the background fabric.
I continue this way, adding additional pieces and redoing previous ones that I decide aren't right. As I go, I label the patterns to help me remember where they go.
Sometimes this takes awhile! If I get frustrated or become unsure of my design, I take a break or put everything away and come back to it the next day. Everything always works out better then! Eventually, I have all the pattern pieces finished and marked.
I'm making two pillows, so I repeated the process with the second sketch.
The next step is to start matching fabrics to pattern pieces and deciding if I need to make a trip to the fabric store for any colors I'm missing. That's exactly what I need to do, so we'll pick up here next week!
Happy Creating! Deborah