And then I saw who my partner was and I knew that I didn't want to do something less than worthy for her. For a long time I was planning on doing a new hexagon technique I had seen but I thought my partner might appreciate a little scene more. (not that she wouldn't have loved the hexagons I am sure!) I researched (stalked) her thoroughly and came up with this idea.
The front is actually what I decided to do when I figured out the perfect backing fabric for her. One of my lovely swimming ladies that I had purchased a while back without the faintest clue of how to use them...but knowing that they would be just right for someone.
She was begging me to use her in this glorified coaster. So I really designed around her. I'm usually inspired by the fabric and come up with a design from that and not the other way around.
But this is supposed to be a holder for a drink...a mug really. But me being me, I had to do what worked for me and I'm really more of a cocktail girl myself. Plus I think that putting a mug of coffee on a beach scene just wouldn't have worked as well. ;) It deserved this.
See?! It's really quite functional. The water is the perfect spot to place a nice cold beverage. And it even looks good on the back too. ;)
There are a lot of sweet details to this little mug rug: the sand pebble quilting, starfish, the surf on the water, the beach umbrellas (with each little piece hand cut!), some pale skinny legs (LOL) and speaking of tiny pieces, a little book tossed aside for reading later and some flip flops. Oh and there is a special something hidden under one of the towels for my partner. I can't show what it is because it would give it away!
I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'm a perfectionist so I always see where I can grow if I ever did this pattern again, but I know I see that with my eyes and I'm my biggest critic.
Now, you want to know a secret? I am NOT an artist. I soooo wish that I was. I have all these ideas in my head and I wish that I could just draw them out myself and go from there. But instead what I do is figure out what I want my piece to look like; for instance I knew that wanted some beach, water, umbrellas and legs sticking out from under an umbrella. (I in no way wanted to tackle a full body!) So I searched and searched the internet and graphics sites until I found the pieces of the picture that I want. I gather a bunch of different images and then decide what I like best and what I think my partner will like best. Then I can combine different elements together and create a scene like this one. I can drop out some things from pictures and add in my own elements (like a 3D towel).
Sometimes I do draw things out. For instance, my doll quilt I did do a sketch for...and surprisingly it turned out alright. But the minute I knew I wanted to do legs, I was on the computer looking for images...and when I decided that I wanted to do an angled or aerial view I knew that I need to at least see pictures taken from that angle so that I could get a feel for the perspective of the piece.
A little long winded today, but I thought I would share some of my process with you all. I really feel like everyone can do these kinds of little quilts. It really helped me to start with comfortstitching's pattern for the girl on the swing so that I could get used to the idea of raw edge applique and decorating with thread. But I haven't looked back!