Is it cheating to post a Sunday sketch for the first time after I’ve made a quilt from it? (I guess not really, since I make the rules haha!)
I designed this sketch awhile ago, when planning what three quilts I’d contribute to ‘The Before Times’, an exhibition at the Wangaratta Art Gallery in Victoria, Australia, from 12 November to 18 December 2022.
The exhibition is curated by Tara Glastonbury (@stitchandyarn) and features work from six artists. We were each free to interpret the theme of ‘The Before Times’ in our own way. I thought about geometry and going back to the most basic of shapes: triangles, rectangles and ellipses. I designed each quilt around a single shape, and this week’s sketch is the basis of the ‘square’ quilt (which I’ll post about in more detail later).
I’ve talked before about how imposing constraints on designing can actually be helpful. When you’re allowed to move in any direction, indecision can leave you standing still. But when you can only go in a specific direction, it can be easier to move forward.
Squares are the most basic of shapes in patchwork, and there are a million (or more!) quilt designs that use only squares to great effect. It took me awhile to come up with something interesting that I felt like I hadn’t seen before, then even more time to find a colour palette I liked.
I love how the squares look like those crocheted squares that interlock at their edges.
The actual quilt that I made looks a little different – I added some asymmetrical borders and used a different colour palette. The design works well in a lot of different colourways – basically any four colours that go together but have sufficient contrast so that adjacent colours don’t blend into one another too much.
I always have a bit of fun using the ‘Randomize’ feature in Electric Quilt 8… more often than not, the output is a bit yuck, but occasionally I find a colour combo that I can tweak.
This quilt design can be made into a quilt using big squares and small squares. I actually sewed long strips together then subcut them to make the outer edges of each block (the alternating small squares). The same pairs of colours appear throughout, so that was a much faster way of doing it.
I called the quilt based on this sketch ‘Tetrapacked’, as a nod to the basic shape. I’m not sharing too much about it online yet, because I’ve also submitted it to QuiltCon 2023. So if you want to see it, you can head to the Wangaratta Art Gallery to see ‘The Before Times’ exhibition 🙂