A Walk-through of my design processes and thoughts

(Note: this post had been posted in my FB page, Tat-a-Renda)

I would like to take you through one of my designing methods.  Hopefully, it can inspire someone to try designing tatting patterns. There are many ways of designing and this is one of the ways that I use.  Sometimes I just do free-flow and ended up with something that I really like.

This is what I started with.  It looked okay but I feel that the void in the centre is too big in relation to the rest of the design.  I decided to fill the centre with a flower motif.
As I was tatting the centre flower, I decided to use the same element in the outer row, so I ended up with seven flower motifs (pink).  This was how it looked when I began to join the flowers with the filer design.  It looked okay with just two flowers joined on the outside.

But, as more flowers are joined, I noticed a skewing of the motif as a whole.  Can you see it? The picot of the lower chain of outer flower did not align with the point where all the three green rings are joined.
I snipped everything off and started again with fresh ideas.  It was looking good so far but the green was reaching out too much away from the outer pink flowers. Snipped that green off again.

This new arrangement was much better.  Here, I want to share a tip with you.
I fully make use of polar graphs to set out my pieces.  That way I can see if the rings are big enough or the chains long enough for the symmetry of the repeats.  Occasionally, I would even pin the motif out to see if it fits within the sectors of the polar graph and how much adjustments I need to do on the stitch counts.

This is version with all the pink flowers attached.  It is still at try-out stage because there are two variation of the 'bridgr' between  two outer flowers. 

After all that, I decided to re-visit the first design with the intention of reducing the size of the blank space in the centre.  Sticking to a one-pass design, this is what I ended up with.  I received some comments about this in my FB page, saying that the centre was quite dense and drew the sight away from the gentle curves of the chain.

With the comments in mind, this is the first design again with only one flower motif in the centre.
Through this exercise, as well as reading comments in my FB page, I realised that my designs do tend to be dense.  But I feel that I do need the joins for the design to have structure.  The first design appear floppy to me and will need blocking and stiffening to hold its shape.  Adding the additional ring/flower motif gives this structure.  Because of that, I seldom has to stiffen my work, and sufficient with blocking by pinning out or pressing.
I wonder if anyone who has tatted my designs notices that. 


  1. Fabulous design!! Love the pink flower design!! :)

  2. I have always liked your designs. Rarely do any get weird on me when I tat them.

  3. Very good way! I like it! I'll make the next napkin just like you.

  4. Thanks for the walk-through! I agree with you that it's good to have some dense areas in a design so it won't be too floppy. I like your one-pass snowflake with the ring of rings in the middle. The dense rings in the centre complement the dense clovers on the tips - quite balanced, to my eye at least.



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