This week’s design started on my sketchpad. I often doodle half-square triangles or parallelograms, and I began with a shape I’ve used before – overlapping parallelograms that create little cat ears poking out the top (I used something similar in Sunday sketches #114 and #160). I’d never really done much with just that shape though, so I decided to keep working on it. I knew if I wanted to play with colour or transparency, I’d have to recreate the shape in EQ8. So I did.
This design actually started out a little differently… I began with a looser arrangement. The same elements were all there, but the blocks were wider and longer, leaving more negative space.
As always, I’m never completely sure which version I like best. I think in this case, the tighter version with less negative space wins out. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it brings those white squares (on point) a bit closer together and makes them more obvious, which adds another interesting element to the design.
Each design could be translated into a quilt pattern using squares, rectangles, half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles.
I haven’t designed a whole lot with chevrons, although I really love the shape. In fact, I think it’s been about two years (!) since I posted a chevron design! Sunday sketch #52, posted back in June 2017, was an idea I had for using up a stack of 5″ Carolyn Friedlander charms (the result of which is still in my WIP pile, mostly because I need more background fabric and I can’t remember the exact shade/manufacturer of white that I used for the blocks I’ve already made… oops!).
Anyway, I recently picked up my A4-sized Rhodia dot pad and just started sketching chevrons randomly overlapping on the page.
Whenever I create an asymmetrical design like this, I still try to keep it balanced. So you’ll often see that a design that starts at the bottom left with end at the top right, or vice versa. And, if you drew a line across the middle (horizontally or vertically), you’d probably find roughly the same number of lines or shapes on each side. It’s how my order-loving brain copes with disorder 🙂
The movement in this design totally reminds me of a flutter of butterflies just randomly flying around, flapping their wings and getting in each other’s way.
I love all the little (and some big) shapes that appear when the chevrons overlap: squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds…. And I love how, when it gets really busy, it’s hard to see where the chevrons end and those shapes begin. It’s all just lines and angles.
This design would be fairly easy to piece, although possibly tricky (or at least time-consuming) to plan out. I figure any design that’s created on a grid can be made in fabric with a few calculations. This one would be quite a few calculations… but it’s doable with a bunch of half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles. It would just take a lot of planning. Especially if you wanted to play around with colour and create the effect of transparency.
I’m still submitting quilt patterns to magazines, because a deadline seems to be the only way to motivate me to sew! My latest pattern is out now in Quilt Now, a UK-based quilt magazine. Meet Whirlwind!
Whirlwind started life as Sunday sketch #119, which I posted on Instagram on 7 October 2018. I had sketched out an idea of interlocking curved arrows on paper, then figured out the actual construction in Electric Quilt 8.
It’s actually a lot easier to make than it might look*: some rectangles and squares, a few curves, and a few quarter-square triangles. My Instagram feed from around that time shows a few other variations you could easily make – for example, by replacing the arrowheads with rectangles (#120) or going monochromatic (#121).
I used all Art Gallery Fabrics – Pure Solids in Canary, Burnt Orange, London Red, Raspberry Rose and Snow for the front, and Squared Elements in Citrine for the back. I’d used Art Gallery Fabrics before, for Loophole, so I knew they’d have a lovely look and feel. And the range of colours in the Pure Solids collection meant that I had no problems picking the right shades of yellow, orange, red and pink (still one of my favourite combinations!).
And I decided I’m not going to stress over machine quilting anymore! I am thrilled to have found a fantastic edge-to-edge longarmer, Sharni Crossett from Lyrebird and Lamb Quilt Works, to quilt my quilts for me. I used to agonise over the cost, but I’ve finally realised that it’s more than worth it: sending my quilts out saves me not only lots of time, but also lots of stress, panic, anxiety, and more stress. I think edge-to-edge quilting patterns look much nicer and more professional than my go-to grid quilting, too.
If you make Whirlwind, I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram or send me an email.
Issue 63 of Quilt Now is on sale from Thursday 16 May. You can find it in newsagents or online.
* I’m pretty sure I always say that! But it’s true 🙂