I am over-the-moon, beside-myself excited that my quilt, Fanfold, is featured on the cover of the 2021 QuiltCon Magazine. WOW!!!
The pattern for Fanfold is one of 10 in this year’s magazine. This is the second time I’ve had a pattern in QuiltCon Magazine; the last time was Flight Pattern in 2020. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the magazine once again! The editorial team are fantastic to work with, and it’s such a privilege to be able to share my work with other modern quilters around the world. I’m so chuffed!!
Fanfold is a simple but striking design that came from Sunday sketch #4, which I posted waaaay back in July 2016. At the time, I had been quilting for less than 2 years, and I still wasn’t super-confident. My designs followed my skills, so they featured a lot of squares and triangles. (The first time I posted a design using curves was two years and more than 100 sketches later!)
You can see that I reworked the design slightly for submission to QuiltCon Magazine. I kept the overall shape of the zig-zagged columns. I kept the spacing, so that adjacent columns never actually touch. And I kept the off-set placement of the zig-zags in the overall frame. But I flipped the whole thing around, so the zig-zags are on the right of the frame. And I added another column. And – most importantly – I added dimensionality to the columns by using two colours instead of one; the zigs (ha!) are coloured one way, and the zags another.
Here’s how I re-drew the design in ElectricQuilt 8, adding colour:
The design was actually super-easy to make. The quilt top came together so fast! The shapes are made from half-square triangles and two types of half-rectangle triangles (2:1 and 3:1). Probably the longest part was just figuring out how many I needed of each colour. Then I cut, chain-pieced, pressed, trimmed using my Bloc-Loc rulers (lifesavers!), pieced into columns, added large pieces of background fabric, and ta-da! Finished quilt top!
I used Kona Cotton Solids (my favourite) in Carrot, Primrose and White. But one of the great things about this design is that you could make it in any colour for the background, with another 2 colours (or 1 colour plus white) for the zig-zags. Lots of opportunity for personalisation!
Fanfold was custom quilted by Valerie Cooper from Sweet Gum Quilting. There’s no way that my own quilting would’ve been good enough to get this quilt on the cover of a magazine, so I’m very grateful for Valerie’s work! I am all about focusing on my strengths and outsourcing the other stuff to people more skilled than me.
I did learn one new skill with this quilt though. I ended up adding a faced binding, rather than my usual standard binding. It was a bit stressful, as I’d never done one before, but I found tutorials from the Silly BooDilly and Cotton & Bourbon super-helpful (just don’t combine them… ask me how I know). Facing really does give a different look to finished quilts, one that’s probably more suited to a ‘show’ quilt. It also worked well with this quilt, as it meant that the zig-zags could run to the very edge of the quilt without being cut off by the binding.
If you’d like to see more of Fanfold, or make the quilt yourself, you can buy the digital edition of the 2021 QuiltCon Magazine on the Quilting Daily website. Print issues will be available closer to QuiltCon Together (Feb 18-22).
If you make Fanfold, let me know! I’d love to see pics! Send me an email or tag me on Instagram (or both, since I don’t always see all notifications).
And if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll register for QuiltCon Together. I’m excited about being able to take part in workshops and lectures from Australia. I hope to get to QuiltCon one of these days, but not this year. Let’s all stay home and stay safe!
I use curves so much more in my designs now than I used to… probably because I feel more comfortable sewing curves now than I did when I started out quilting. This week’s Sunday sketch uses two blocks in an alternating arrangement: one block is all curves, while the other one is all angles (creating a star shape).
In the first iteration of this design, the stars are coloured differently depending on whether they’re in a ‘flower’ (a shape created by 4 half-circles) or between them.
Colouring all the stars the same way brings those shapes more to the foreground….
And reversing the colourway of the stars – by making the arms dark blue, and the centres white – pushes them to the background, and makes the flower shapes more prominent.
Reducing the colour palette, and flipping the colour from the flowers to the stars, changes the design once again. Look at the movement now! Suddenly secondary curves emerge from all those connected star shapes. I love this version.
But wait, there’s more… 🙂
Adding another colour brings more movement. Now it’s like two pieces of lace, one pink and one yellow, overlapping.
How about we remove the white flowers altogether, and just stick with the stars.
Hmm, perhaps that’s a bit busy (although I still love it). Through those last few designs, another shape has emerged: the stars surrounded by a halo of concave curves. Here they are again, in an alternating colourway. Don’t you just love those big curvy curves that emerge from the dark background?
Anyway, let’s add the missing blocks back in (once again in white).
We can minimise the amount of white by colouring only the centre stars of the flowers.
To help connect the two groups of shapes, let’s make the centres of all the stars the same colour: white. This also helps to bring those larger curves – which almost disappeared in the last few iterations – back into view.
From the first iteration to the last (for now) – all the same design, but quite a different look and feel for each one. I’ll share more versions next week. I have loads!
This design is relatively simple: two blocks, arranged in an 11 x 11 checkerboard pattern. One block consists of two semi-circles, facing each other. The other block is a star shape made of 4 kite-in-a-square blocks, with the kite heads made up of a half-square triangle – 4 of which form the centre square of the star. (Does that block have another name…? Probably, but I don’t know what it is.) The only difference between all these designs is which elements are coloured, and how. Which is your favourite?
I mentioned recently that I was reworking Sunday sketch #171. Here’s where I ended up.
When I posted the original – more than a year ago, in October 2019 – I didn’t really have an idea of how the design could be made into an actual quilt. That’s pretty unusual; I normally have a fair idea of how I could translate the design into a pattern. So I always wanted to go back and refine the idea so it was (relatively) easy to make.
I ended up thinning those diagonal shapes, and making the area where they overlap into a square rather than an elongated hexagon. That simplifies things immensely. But the main concept hasn’t changed at all, and all the same elements are still there.
There are two sets of squares on point; the ones created by the overlapping ‘arms’, and the ones that float in the centre where four arms meet. In the design above, I’ve coloured the groups in orange and blue, respectively. In the design below, they’re in the same colour (dark blue).
The design works well with a bunch of colours, rather than just a few.
I think it also works when you take away an element, like those floating squares. Here’s the same colourway on a light background, with the reverse, too: the same colours on the dark version, with the dark squares replaced by light grey ones. I like them both.
I also introduced a new element by colouring in the shape around those floating squares. This one’s not my favourite, but I’m including it to show how different the overall design can look with just one minor change. To my eye, this addition really bulks out each coloured shape, and creates the impression of larger square shapes across the design. It grows on me the more I look at it!
This design would still be a bit finicky to make. It would require slightly oddly shaped blocks to be set on point, then pieced together in columns. The blocks themselves are mostly squares, half-square triangles and triangles though.