During the week, as part of my day job, I had the opportunity to visit Lyons Architecture in Melbourne. As I waited in reception, I had a good look at their little 3D model* of the RMIT University building that’s on the corner of Swanston and La Trobe. If you’re in Melbourne, you probably know it, but have you really looked at it?
I thought I had, but as I inspected the model more closely, I noticed shapes I’d never seen before. Lots of zig-zags and straight lines mixed together to create some cool openings in the facade. Lot of inspiration for quilt designing (after my meeting, of course!).
I co-opted one of these elongated shapes, flipped it on its end, and added a few more using the same style.
Then I messed around with the colour balance in Preview on my Mac, because the original pic that I took of my sketch had way too many blue undertones…. and I liked the dots in my dot pad coming up in that fiery red 🙂
This design could be made into a quilt pattern easily using half-square triangles, squares and rectangles. I wouldn’t translate it into a pattern without first asking Lyons for their permission, given how similar the design is to their original work.
* I would LOVE to have the job of making those 3D models!
I’m always on the lookout for interesting secondary shapes – those shapes that unexpectedly emerge from the whitespace or background of a design. In one of my recent EQ8 sessions (which are becoming longer and more frequent, but unfortunately no less frustrating!), I played around with some lolly/bowtie shapes, and discovered some crosses in the background. With a bit of ingenious spacing and a handy border, I created even more crosses.
Those red and white crosses are all the same size, but the colouring gives them different emphasis. They’re both brought to the foreground though, with the original lolly/bowties disappearing into the background (for me, at least).
Did you notice that I didn’t include the thin black lines in this design? They’re included by default in the blocks, but you can remove them in EQ8 before exporting the design as a PDF. Sometimes I like to keep them, but this time I thought the design looked just as good without them.
I try to find inspiration everywhere. When I see an interesting shape or feature, I’ll take a photo of it on my phone or sketch it in my dot pad. I’ve also got a whole Pinterest board of quilty inspiration, along with a folder of screenshots on my laptop.
Recently when reading a New York Times Style Magazine article on couture week in Paris (why not!), I spotted a beautiful design in a short veil in Christian Dior’s autumn 2018 haute couture collection:
Such a simple idea, yet so stunning. I started playing around with it in Electric Quilt 8. I didn’t recreate it exactly, but used the idea as the basis of a cross-based, criss-crossed design. Here’s what I came up with:
In the original, the diamond shapes have a cross at every corner, whereas mine have only 2. It took me awhile to tweak the block design, but I wanted to make sure that the diagonals lined up properly, creating straight lines from one block to the next.
The design works in the reverse colourway too (and at a slightly smaller scale):
Isn’t it lovely?
These blocks could be made using a variety of squares, rectangles and triangles. Paper piecing might help to get the diagonal strips just right.