Mod Lovebirds in Orbit

Blogger: Jason Bailly, Application Manager | Portland, OR, USA
August 22, 2011

Continuing on the Modern theme found in my first post, this quilt is one that my wife is designing for a Project Modern Quilt competition. The inspiration piece was a geometric pattern that she found after oodles of Google Image searching. It looked pretty different from what it ended up being.

I started out in Revit by inserting the image file into a new model and setting up a one-inch grid. I created a floor slab to represent the overall dimensions of the finished quilt, threw down some simple rectilinear generic models as "panels," and started layout by placing the panels generally over the underlay image file, snapping to the grid.

That was the easy part.

The sort of Mondrian look of the design left us with the challenge of figuring out how to quilt it in a way that wouldn’t compete with the rectilinear nature of the panels. It couldn’t be straight lines―that would just be too boring. We went through every mid-century shape imaginable: sunburst, kidney bean, atomic, etc., but nothing sketched out right. I got close with a sputnik lamp, but it felt like it was competing too much. But what did the Sputnik satellite do? It orbited the earth. Aha! Why not map the orbits of the planets around the sun?! Enter another layer of the Revit design by tracing ellipses of the orbits of planets in our solar system. Don’t count them though. I left Pluto in there and added a few imaginary planets to fill in the empty space.

So I pinned the quilt to the wall in the dining room and set up a video projector. Alignment was a little tricky but it just needed to be in the ballpark. Note the yellow color (image 4). I did this initially because it was really hard to see the lines as I was drawing them on with the washable fabric marker. Thinking back to junior high art class, I had a very distinct memory of an exercise in color theory where we took two colors on opposite ends of the color wheel and made an original painting (using tempera paints, of course). Drawing the ellipses in purple ink was much easier against a yellow background. The more we looked at it, the more we both really liked the contrast of the yellow against the reds, white and gray.

My wife was originally planning on just using gray thread for the quilting pattern, but we played around with color a bit more. Changing the color applied to the Revit Linestyle was as simple as a couple of clicks. Ultimately, we decided to do a double line with the original grey and the new "happy accident" yellow. Keep your fingers crossed for a winner in the Project Modern Quilt competition!

Images courtesy of Jason Bailly

Reader Comments (1)

This is Fantastic.

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