If something bothers you about a pattern, fix it. Over the 40+ years I've been doing stained glass I've seen countless patterns both good and bad but more than anything else I've seen great ideas that were handled poorly (in my opinion). Long ago I began 'tweaking' little things about patterns I'd make (even though I had no artistic skills) and over those 40 years I've become competent when it comes to pattern drawing. Even if you feel you don't have the skills I can guarantee that you can make simple adjustments.
Below is a pattern that one of our students sent to me asking if I could resize it to fit within a certain set of measurements. The adjustment was fairly simple-- I only needed to stretch it a few inches wider than the original but the cardinal itself just looked incredibly off to me especially around the face, legs, and 'branch' areas. The lead lines were also very distracting with most of them being completely unnecessary so I looked for different cardinals online and found a free Spectrum pattern that I thought looked much, much better.
After drawing out the borders to the size needed we simply scanned the free cardinal pattern into the computer and then printed it out to the width we needed. We positioned it inside of the empty borders and then drew lead lines running outward towards the borders ONLY where they were necessary. We also changed the branch that the bird was standing on from a lead line to a thin brown piece of glass. We did the same for the birds legs but in all honesty the free spectrum pattern did that for us. The difference is night and day. The original is on the left and our modified pattern is on the right. Which looks cleaner and more recognizable to you?
So them first up we have Mary's Dueling Hummingbirds and just as I thought, they are beautiful. What amazed me most about this was that Mary said she was going to do an easy window. then she showed me this pattern. Easy is not a word I would use to describe it! There are a lot of tiny pieces in it but in the end all of those small pieces are what make this project look so good. Her use of mixed colors throughout the birds helps as well! Gorgeous.
Ann started tracing and cutting two Christmas Ornaments and already has one cut and ground while the other only has four more pieces left to cut out. Christmas may be coming quickly but so are Ann's Ornaments.