Earlier this year, I came up with a very quick design in EQ8. Sometimes it takes me ages to settle on a design I like; other times, I hit on something pretty quickly.
I had seen a sort of rocket shape somewhere, so played around with it a bit, altering the width and height of each rocket as well as the layout. I settled on this design – it just felt simple and fun.
I didn’t post it as a Sunday sketch at the time. I liked the design so much that I contacted Love Patchwork & Quilting to see if they would be interested in a pattern based on the design – and they were. Fast-forward ~6 months, and Rockets* will be published this week in issue 82 🙂
The actual quilt that I made looks a bit different from the design shown here. Given that it’s all about rockets, it seemed more logical to use a dark background, and a slightly different colour scheme. (And when it comes to quilts, dark backgrounds pose fewer challenges than white backgrounds, for me at least!**)
Check back later this week for a post about the published quilt pattern. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the magazine!
* Often magazines will change the name of submitted quilts, depending on what they’ve published before and what else is in the pipeline. So I’ve no idea if this is actually what they’ll call the published pattern!
** I find that quilts with white background fabrics require a few extra steps: seams with brightly coloured fabrics sometimes need to be trimmed back, so that the colours don’t show through the white fabric; all the stray threads on the back need to be trimmed before basting and quilting, so they don’t break loose and show up through the white fabric; and I need to skip my usual unbleached batting for a pure white batting that will keep the brightness of the white fabric. Of course, all this is doable, but I’ve found that I avoid white backgrounds if I can!
This week’s design is derived from an image that I posted to Instagram almost 3 years ago (I have to link to the post, because I’ve long since lost the image itself). It was a picture of a decorative metal grille that I’d seen on the wall of a restaurant on Melbourne’s Southbank – I walked past it and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so went back the next day to find it and take a photo.
At the time, I had no idea how to translate the design into a quilt pattern. I wasn’t sewing curves then, and I certainly wasn’t designing with them – but I saw this quilt-like pattern and snapped a pic for future reference.
Well, the day finally came when I could figure it out! I was recently scrolling through my Instagram feed, saw this picture again, and realised I now have the skills to recreate it pretty easily in EQ8.
I started off with a simpler version…
…in a few different colour variations.
Then I moved to the more complex version…
… in the same colour combinations (seriously, I love white, black and yellow together! and how cute do the different versions look right next to each other?).
I don’t know if I’ll ever make this design into a quilt, but I like the fact that my skills have developed to the point where I could figure out how to make it. Probably because it’s not unlike Sunday sketch #177, which also features those leaf shapes and overlapping, round-cornered squares.
This design could be made into a quilt pattern using strips/rectangles and curves. You’d need to use templates for the curves, and possibly paper-piece the rest for accuracy. The bold black lines are an integral part of the design; I guess you could appliqué bias strips over a pieced top, but I’d probably opt for piecing the strips as well.
More curves this week. Does this leaf motif have a name? It’s a fairly common/popular shape, but I’ve tried to introduce some minor variations to keep it interesting.
The design started off a little simpler, using leaf shapes separated by sashing to avoid bulk (below, left). There’s something about this retro design that I really love, but it’s pretty basic. It reminds me of 70s wallpaper.
Each leaf shape is made from double drunkard’s path blocks and a few rectangles, which offer up some interesting opportunities for playing with colour and design (below, right).
Suddenly the leaf shapes aren’t so prominent, and those collections of rectangles take on their own identity. The next step was to modify those rectangles to become flying geese or half-square triangles, for something a little different.
Funnily enough, though, this version looked a little familiar….
Before I post a design to the Sunday sketch series, I often search my Pinterest boards to make sure it’s not something that someone else has already created. In this case, I soon realised that my design – particular the last version shown here, with the ends of the leaves filled in – is quite similar to the Trellis quilt pattern from Heather Black (Quilt-achusetts). Heather’s pattern used different coloured fabrics to emphasise the double drunkard’s paths and the rectangles at the ends, and she added a (green) square inside the leaf shapes. She also arranged the blocks in a slightly different way, using negative space at the top left and bottom right of the quilt top.
In my design (particularly the first one, at the top of this page), I think the sashing and other spacing between the blocks gives the whole design a lighter feel. The consistent colouring also emphasises different features within the design.
Quilting’s all about joining shapes formed by arcs and lines, and there’s only so many ways you can combine circles and rectangles to create new designs. Similarities are inevitable, but I won’t post a design if I feel like it’s too close to something else out there. In this case, I feel like the differences outweigh the similarities. What do you think?