Kathy Opp 1

Kathy Opp 2

KO: Hi RaNae – here is first drawing attempt at snowflake…want variety in them. This one comes out to about 8″ on paper. Going to play more today and tomorrow on paper to see what I can come up with for designs for the flakes. Navy around the edge is the background, would also piece it where it is inside the design, other colors just to see differences of placement, but would be using whites and very pale blues. Oh darn, will have to go shopping to look for pale blues, shucks!

Kathy snowflake

Have you played with any mandalas that are multiples of 6 (ie 12 or 18 sided) to use for the largest snowflakes, or might even be interesting for the snowman’s body balls? Or only 16s like in the posting about them? thanks, Kathy

RM: Kathy, now I get what you were talking about — and nice use of shards, by the way! One thing about that though is that the way you have colored the spiral makes it look very un-spirally. Not a criticism, not a problem, just a different approach that you should be aware of.

As for the number of sides in a mandala — I’ve done everything from 8 to 20 — any number will work, though even numbers are better because you can do mirror settings and exponents of 2 (2 – 4 – 8 – 16) give you even more mirroring possibilities.

KO: Hi RaNae – two more flakes here, details in a comment below, right way to do it? I’ll get the hang of this computer stuff yet!!! Have already learned scanning and resizing!

Kathy snowflake 2

Kathy snowflake 3

RM: Kathy, here’s the photo of the ironwork you sent me.

Kathy long wall

KO 7-11-07: Okay RaNae – here are three more snowflakes…
first one (triangular) is about 9 1/2″
second (baravelle center) is about 12″ x 14″
third (spikey one) is about 7″ x 8″

Coloring still open to lots of ideas – as I’ve been coloring, and was looking for fabric for Joan’s with her, it will be very difficult to find enough whites/etc to flow well that will have the spirals actually show up. Been thinking that maybe I will have to use the palest colors that I can find – blues, pinks, yellows, lavenders and grays…what are your thoughts on it?

Background I’m still thinking dark blue for night sky, but hoping to find something with snowflakes on it as the Christmas fabrics are coming in to the stores. Or possibly a dark batik (I love batik!), and then maybe I can find a few dark ones that can make the big snow swirl background for the snowman one if I do that. I just think that the falling snow one might not have enough to it?


kathy snowflake 5

Kathy snowflake 6

RM: Kathy, these are really beautiful and I’m sure the colors will become obvious when you find your background fabrics. As for whether or not the falling snow will “have enough to it” I think that you will know as you lay it out — are you working on a design wall? Paste up your drawings and work on the overall design at the same time you’re doing your spirals.

KO 7-13-07: Here are some fabrics:

Background spiral – darkest is the bulk of the background

Kathy op background

Some of the start of fabrics for snowflakes and snowman and moon.  The fabric by itself upper left might become the centers of some of the flakes – didn’t photo well in the group, but it has lavender, aqua, etc line drawing starburst type things on it.

Kathy flakes

Fabric group below is the start of fabrics for tryptich – again I didn’t photo really well, but there is some gold on them, stripe would be a border if used, one print has small tonal angels (Nancy Halvorsen Star of Wonder), the other has snowflakes and is a Hoffman. Stripe is Hoffman I think.  [RM: I think I have some of that stripe — a good choice.]


Fourth is what I was trying to describe about a tree with the tips curling up…  [RM: Okay, NOW I get what you were talking about — great idea, I like it, will try to incorporate into the design]

Kathy Triptych

Have a dark sheet pinned up to start pinning shapes to, will rough cut some circles for the snowman to get size ideas!

RM:  Good progress, Kathy — you definitely had fun at the fabric store!


Kathy moon 1


18 Responses to “Kathy Oppelt”

  1. RaNae Says:

    Kathy, by “stars” are you talking about the mandalas? I posted some on a new page here — have you seen them?

  2. RaNae Says:

    KO: I think whatever I’m thinking of was actually more star like. You were showing me how you had stretched different designs, but it could just be my memory and we were looking at the mandala…I was trying to absorb a lot of twists and turns all at once!

    RM: Kathy, I think it WAS the mandalas…..

    Another idea I had was to have different 6 pointed designs (read as snowflakes), in various sizes, that were scattered to make a quilt of falling snow. They could be in various shades of white/pale blue to have color movement on a rich navy background? Larger ones could obviously be more complicated…

    RM: This would be beautiful — how big do you imagine the finished piece to be? A small piece would probably involve working in a rather small scale.

  3. ksoppelt Says:

    Ra Nae – I think the snowflake designs would come first and then that would dictate the size of the finished quilt…at least initially that is how I think I would work it, see what kind of negative space I needed and go from there…then I could downsize or increase the snowflakes as need be to get to whatever size I needed. I like minis but I think this would work out better as a throw or bed size than as a true mini – I’d need to use embroidery instead of fabric if it was going to be 9″ x 12″ methinks! I like generously sized throws, since personally I like to tuck a quilt under my feet when I’m on the couch…so probably somewhere in the size of 50-60″ x 70-80″. OOOOh and the quilting could maybe have some silver in it in swirlies like when snowflakes are falling! Needless to say, Peggy would be doing the quilting for me!

  4. RaNae Says:

    Kathy, the throw you describe sounds poitively luscious — why don’t you work up a rough sketch? I can help you with the mandalas if you want.

  5. ksoppelt Says:

    thanks RaNae – will see if I can get a rough sketch done sometime this week and email it to you. I can guarantee that I’ll need help with the mandalas! You know me too well already! Thinking it might need a blanket of snow swirl hills at the bottom, sort of what I was talking about when I told you about the beach/ocean idea while at your apt.

  6. RaNae Says:

    Kathy, one thing that will make your spirals more snowflake-looking is to incorporate “shards” — some of the individual triangles within the spiral colored to contrast with the rest. This creates a sort of secondary pattern within the spiral that looks very sparkly….
    From your sketches and your description I think this could be really lovely. Your next step really should be to figure out the spirals, so that you get a clear idea of their size and the size of the finished throw. Sew one of the spiral snowflakes as soon as you can, so you know the amount of work it will take to make what you have in mind. If you decide that 9 spirals is too much, you can change it into a winter wall hanging.

    PS – the handwriting on the scans is too small to see in this resolution, but I’ll trust that YOU know what it says!

  7. ksoppelt Says:

    RaNae – my thinking was to use mandalas for the snowflakes, and 8 sided pt to pt spirals with the sides joined for the ground, not sure about the snowman yet if I did that one. When you are talking about the “shards”, do you have a different type of spiral in mind for the snowflakes?
    BTW, I can read my writing on this page, can you? Or is it just because I have an idea of what I wrote on the sketches? If you can’t, will rewrite it in a comment for each…
    Happy 4th!

  8. ksoppelt Says:

    RaNae, thanks for the comments. Plan to try coloring the snowflake above a couple of different ways to see what it does, this was the first way that looked most like a snowflake pattern, but doesn’t look very spirally. Wasn’t sure if it was my coloring or because it was only 3 segments on a side…

    On the mandalas, do you have any sketches that you have already done with 12 sides (that you can share) so I get a feel for how that looks to use that idea for the snowman or the moon? I’m having trouble picturing the 16 sides with less sides, and hoping to not have to hand draw to see whether I even like the idea. Once I get the hang of the EQ, will I be able to draw mandalas in EQ?

  9. ksoppelt Says:

    RaNae, sending you an email with two more colorings of the same snowflake to see what you think. Since my colored pencils are limited for range, the dark blue is again the background dark sky, yellow, grays, and aqua/light blues would be shades of whites and light blues (I think) but certainly open to ideas…will need to get some spark into this navy and white quilt! Hoping to come up with 3 different flakes this size, and 3 each of two other sizes, plus the snowman and moon if I do that one instead of the night sky. Oh and something swirly for the ground in whites/creams as well.

  10. RaNae Says:

    Kathy, I think they are all lovely. The thought that crossed my mind when I saw the yellow middle was “the sun is shining through it and is going to melt it!”

    I’m wondering why you’re making them sort of “rectangular” — is it just a case of the way the paper is folded? Not that it is “wrong” — as long as you’re clear about your design choice.

  11. juliewillis Says:

    Wonderfully original!!

  12. ksoppelt Says:

    Thanks Julie! It is slow going as I’m having to design my different snowflakes with a pencil and ruler…hope to put some more snowflakes up tomorrow!

    RaNae – had commented a few days ago about the “rectangularness” of this snowflake – but I guess my computer ate it – I plan to have several kinds of flakes (aiming for the 9 all different, but the designing of them is slow going), and not all flakes are “round”, but we’ll see which ones everyone likes the best!

  13. yogib2 Says:

    I can relate to the snails pace in regards to doing all the designing by hand, but in the end I have to say it has been rewarding…and it never stops. I find now instead of doodling, I’m spiraling. You’re snowflakes are lovely!


  14. ksoppelt Says:

    mcif – hi there, if you google snowflake, it will get you to sites of actual snowflakes, I think one of them is from Cal Tech, they are six sided. I think a lot of people represent them as eight sided. But thanks for the reality check, my head was definitely spinning trying to design these!

  15. ksoppelt Says:

    Thanks Rhonda, glad you like them! RaNae is right, I need to get them up on a design wall (read that as I have to come up with a design wall!), because maybe I won’t need as many as I think, and I can get on to some of the other elements’ spirals!

  16. ksoppelt Says:

    RaNae – I’m off to Intown Quilter, one of my favorite stores of the 10 or so here in ATL. Pray I don’t spend as much as I think I will (always dangerous to have me in a fabric store, just ask Joan), but they are going to be the place to get my background fabrics for the big spiral (sort of like your white one you’re quilting) – leaning toward Clothworks new snowman line in the royal sort of blue with some lighter ones in it. And they have tons of batiks to mix in (hopefully) to get the effect I want. And they carry the Lakehouse fabrics etc as well. [RM: LOOOVVVVEEEEE Lakehouse — what they do with lacquers makes me almost swoon!] If they can get EQ6 update in for me, will be ordering that as well. See why I’ll be overspending? If you ever get down here, you will love it there! I’ll look with the tryptich in mind as well.

    RM: Kathy, I’ll warn the banks in the area to watch out for robberies . . . . ! 🙂

  17. yogib2 Says:

    Lovely choices in your collection…the colors play beautifully off one another and certainly give one the feeling of walking in a winter wonderland.


  18. ksoppelt Says:

    thanks Rhonda! Now if I can just get them to actually work with the design that is still in my head, I’ll be all set! Joan and I are going to try to do some of my designing in EQ6, which will be a challenge since I’ve never done the program and she is a novice, but hopefully all of the help that has been posted will click for her!

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