My latest quilt pattern, Northern Lights, is out now in Love Patchwork & Quilting!
I posted the Sunday sketch (#124) for Northern Lights on 11 November 2018 – almost a full year ago!
I ended up changing the colour palette and reversing the order of the colours, with the darkest on the outside. I went with a cool-ish palette: (from dark to light) Navy, Ultramarine, Candy Green and Ice Frappe, all Kona Cotton solids from Robert Kaufman. The backing is Mist from Jennifer Sampou’s Chalk and Charcoal collection, which is also manufactured by Robert Kaufman.
Northern Lights is my first paper-pieced pattern, and it was a steep learning curve for me! The blocks are quite large – 18″ square – and I tried freezer paper piecing before going back to normal paper. Because there are 4 copies of each block, I eventually got into a rhythm of placing, sewing, pressing, trimming, placing, sewing, pressing, trimming….until they were all done. There was a point where I wasn’t sure I was going to manage it, but it’s amazing what a deadline can do to motivate me 🙂
Northern Lights was quilted by Sharni Crossett from Lyrebird and Lamb Quilt Works. Sharni has done a few quilts for me now, and she has taken a huge weight off my shoulders (literally as well as figuratively, haha). I’d love to get better at the actual quilting stage of making a quilt, but for now, it’s an area where I’d rather pay a professional – particularly for quilts that are destined for magazines!
Issue 80 of Love Patchwork & Quilting is on sale from Wednesday 30 October. You can find it in newsagents or online.
If you make Northern Lights, please tag me on Instagram (@geometriquilt) or send me an email. I’d love to see it!
I love how this design brings two fairly hefty groupings of strips together at a single point, right in the centre of the design.
The vertical black strips meet in the middle, as do the diagonal orange strips. And then they shoot off in the opposite direction, leaving a bold diagonal line in their wake.
I tried recreating this design in EQ8, but I don’t love how it turned out.
(It might’ve helped if I’d put a border around the whole quilt so you could clearly see where the edges are.)
Somehow the difference between the line weights was more obvious in EQ8… the vertical lines are skinnier than the diagonal ones (because geometry!), but I could live with that in the hand-drawn sketch. In the EQ8 version, the design just ended up looking too sparse. Maybe it was my colour choice? I dunno. I ended up adding 2 more lines, but that didn’t really help.
I would’ve liked to extend the diagonal red lines all the way to the corner of the top and bottom edges, but that would’ve made the quilt very wide, which I felt was unbalanced and left too much negative space. So I kept playing, and came up with a square version…
…which I like, but for different reasons. I think the fact that the pink lines are now fully overlapped (or ‘underlapped’?) with red lines fundamentally changes the design. I liked it when they had a bit of space on their own. Still, I like the boldness of this design and the fact that all four corners are (almost) occupied by a strip. Half of the quilt is still negative space, although I don’t think that necessarily matters.
I played around a bit more with the colours in EQ8, which is so easy to do.
And how about this one, for a very 80s vibe…
But after all that, I think I still prefer the original hand-drawn sketch!
These designs could be translated fairly easily into quilt patterns using the same approaches as suggested for the previous weeks’ designs: long strips, lots of half-square triangles, and/or paper piecing for accuracy.
Can you believe it?! I’ve managed to post a new Sunday sketch every week for 150 weeks in a row! I should’ve probably organised something special for this week, but I’m just posting my latest sketch.
This design repeats the same shape – made mostly by half-square triangles – four times in a single block, then repeats the block in a 4×4 formation.
I love that happy colour palette!
Adding a twisted square in the centre of the block helps to create new shapes – four little hearts, pointing in four different directions – and provides new options for colouring. This version of the design kinda reminded me of petals around the centre of a flower, so I coloured it in my go-to palette of white and warm yellow.
And, of course, now I can’t decide which one I like more.
This pattern could be made using half-square triangles and rectangles. In the second version, the centre might need to be paper-pieced for precision. In both cases, you’d need to sew a partial seam (just one) to piece the four shapes around the central square.