My second quilt pattern has just been published in issue 179 of Down Under Quilts! Even though I submitted my first two patterns to different magazines a few months apart, they ended up coming out within a week of each other.
Interstellar was inspired by Sunday sketch #23, which featured strips and squares cascading down the page.
Translating a design into a pattern isn’t always easy. I don’t usually think about how each Sunday sketch could be made as a quilt until after I’ve finished the design – sometimes the construction ends up being fairly simple, while other times it’s more complicated or even too difficult to contemplate.
As I thought about how to make this design into a pattern, I realised that following my sketch faithfully would require too many partial seams and fabric pieces of different sizes. I’m sure there are many advanced quilters out there who’d relish the challenge, but I’m not one of them. So instead, I refined the design to minimise the number of fabric pieces and make the piecing a bit simpler. It might still look complicated, but the pattern actually comes together really quickly and easily.
Depending on the colour scheme and gradation, it could be a waterfall (blues and whites), a comet tail (bright whites on a dark background), a burst of fireworks (saturated colours against a night sky) or even unicorn barf (a rainbow of bright colours against a light background):
Interstellar is perfect for solids or patterned fabrics, and an ideal way to use up some of your scraps. Issue 179 of Down Under Quilts is on sale now!
Most of the time I sketch using pen and paper, but sometimes I’ll move to Excel if I’ve got an idea that uses mostly squares or strips. Every so often I’ll fire up Illustrator and try to figure out how to get what’s in my head onto the screen.
This design arose from Sunday sketch #21… I clearly have some obsession with constellations, and bright spots emerging from the darkness…
I don’t use Illustrator often enough to be completely comfortable with it yet, so each foray tends to bring more stress than success. I don’t need to do that much — create some shapes, add some lines, fill in some colour — but it’s not always an intuitive or easy-to-use program. Still, I’m learning. This design is not quite there yet, but the good thing about Illustrator is that it gets easier the more I play with it.
A bit of a maze this week…
This design is a mix of ‘corner’ blocks (where the path enters on one side of the block and exits on the adjacent side) and ‘straight’ blocks (where the path crosses the block).
In the 8 x 10 grid above, there are also 6 blank blocks. I actually like the idea of eliminating the blanks and using only the corner and straight blocks. It would take a bit of planning to make sure every square was full and the paths were all coherent (i.e. ending only at the edge of the quilt and not in mid-air), but there are lots of ways you could mix and match these 2 blocks to create different serpentine paths.
The corner blocks are like quarter log cabins – just a square with two edging layers of strips. And the straight blocks are just three strips sewn together – you could sew the strips together in very long pieces and just sub-cut to get the squares.
I knew I’d seen a maze-like quilt pattern before, so I checked my Pinterest feed to see if I could find it. Sure enough, this design is a little like the ‘Twisted‘ pattern by Carolina Patchworks. My design is a little simpler: the paths never branch, loop, or cross over each other.