A very simple design this week, created in Excel. This is another design that started off a little differently, then underwent a few iterations before reaching the final version. I’ll show you where it ended up, then take you back to the beginning to show you how I got there.
Here’s the end result:
It’s funny how it took so many iterations to reach something so cute and simple!
I started by nesting some zig-zag lines, so each cross was tucked into the ‘V’ shape of the line in front. I’m not sure where this idea came from – I just thought about it and wanted to see if it would work, and Excel seemed like the easiest way to test it (it’s great for straight-line designs).
After my first attempt, I decided that I didn’t like how the places where the lines crossed weren’t aligned vertically – see how, in that first image, the darker squares aren’t directly above each other? I wanted them to be lined up, but that meant lengthening the lines to give the crosses space to sit in a little closer inside each ‘V’. The second image shows how the design evolved.
See how the lines are now a bit longer? With the intersecting squares all lined up, it was time to play around with those crosses.
Sometimes the design stays the same, but the colouring changes the overall look or feel…
In the midst of all this playing, I decided that I wasn’t happy with the fact that the top and bottom rows of lines were perpendicular to each other (in the last 2 green images, above). They didn’t start out that way, but I’d added a row at some point, upsetting the balance. I removed the bottom row to restore the balance.
After creating the multicoloured design, I decided to focus more on the crosses than on the lines, so I stripped out every other line, leaving some of the crosses floating. Then topped and tailed the columns, so that each one starts and ends with a cross. And recoloured in yellow and green, because… well, who knows. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.
Of course, any one of these designs could’ve ended up being my favourite, or the one that I chose to post as this week’s Sunday sketch. I don’t always stop tweaking a design when I love it; sometimes I’ll keep going, and realise I’ve designed something I love even more. (And sometimes I’ll realise that I don’t like the new design at all, and I’ll go back to the older version!)
Anyway, for some reason, this simple, sparse design was the one that caught my eye this time. As you can probably tell, it would be very easy to make into an actual quilt: it’s all squares and rectangles, just set on point. You’d just need a few triangles around the edges to square it all off.
The green lines remind me of tracks on a farm, like tractor marks through a field. And the yellow crosses are bales of hay, or something being planted in rows. If I ever get around to writing a pattern for this one, I think I’ll call it ‘Harvest’.
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 🙂
I recreated last week’s sketch in Electric Quilt 8 so that I could play around with colours. But it was too difficult to design a quilt with offset blocks – or, I was too lazy to figure out how to do it – so I ended up making minor changes to the design, creating several slightly different iterations instead. Here’s a few.
These are very basic shapes repeated in a fairly simple pattern, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone somewhere has created this design before. I usually search through my own Pinterest boards to double-check that I’m not posting something that’s similar to anyone else’s work: I don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes, and I’ve got plenty of other designs that I can post instead. I couldn’t find anything the same or similar, but of course, my boards aren’t exhaustive – how could they be, with so many amazing quilts out there?
Treating this more as a block-based design and alternating the block colouring makes it a bit more complex, with a lot more movement.
I can’t decide which one I like more!
There are a few ways these designs could be made into quilts. Probably the easiest would be to work on point: tilt your head 45 degrees to the left (or right) and you’ll see that it’s just a grid of squares – some solid, some half-square triangles, and some quarter-square triangles. Easy peasy!