My latest quilt pattern, Northern Lights, is out now in Love Patchwork & Quilting!
I posted the Sunday sketch (#124) for Northern Lights on 11 November 2018 – almost a full year ago!
I ended up changing the colour palette and reversing the order of the colours, with the darkest on the outside. I went with a cool-ish palette: (from dark to light) Navy, Ultramarine, Candy Green and Ice Frappe, all Kona Cotton solids from Robert Kaufman. The backing is Mist from Jennifer Sampou’s Chalk and Charcoal collection, which is also manufactured by Robert Kaufman.
Northern Lights is my first paper-pieced pattern, and it was a steep learning curve for me! The blocks are quite large – 18″ square – and I tried freezer paper piecing before going back to normal paper. Because there are 4 copies of each block, I eventually got into a rhythm of placing, sewing, pressing, trimming, placing, sewing, pressing, trimming….until they were all done. There was a point where I wasn’t sure I was going to manage it, but it’s amazing what a deadline can do to motivate me 🙂
Northern Lights was quilted by Sharni Crossett from Lyrebird and Lamb Quilt Works. Sharni has done a few quilts for me now, and she has taken a huge weight off my shoulders (literally as well as figuratively, haha). I’d love to get better at the actual quilting stage of making a quilt, but for now, it’s an area where I’d rather pay a professional – particularly for quilts that are destined for magazines!
Issue 80 of Love Patchwork & Quilting is on sale from Wednesday 30 October. You can find it in newsagents or online.
If you make Northern Lights, please tag me on Instagram (@geometriquilt) or send me an email. I’d love to see it!
It’s been a couple of months since I posted a hand-drawn sketch. I’ve been sketching less lately. Often I start with a dot pad and quickly move to EQ8 when I’ve decided on a motif that I want to explore further. Other times, it’s just easier to start with EQ8. Hand-sketching can require a level of concentration and thought that I don’t always have. But of course, concentration and thought take practice, and they’re easy to lose if you don’t nurture them with time and attention. A gentle reminder to myself that I should make time to sketch, even when there seem to be easier alternatives.
Anyway…! Here’s what I was working on when I last opened my dot pad.
I’ve explored this idea of ‘folded ribbons’ before – see Sunday sketches #74, #75 and #76, for example – and it’s the sort of thing that could spark a thousand more designs. But this time, I wanted to play with the idea of the ‘folded’ bit being a feature, creating its own path.
I ended up designing quite a few variations, with different canvas shapes (square-ish above; rectangular-ish, below), or numbers of lines in each group, or proximity of lines.
Imagine using a really bold print for those lines in the foreground. Wouldn’t that pack a punch?
I’m still working through this idea in my head and on paper, so I may have more of these to show you sometime soon (assuming another design idea doesn’t grab my attention in the meantime!).
This design could be translated into a quilt pattern using long strips (and some careful cutting to maintain the proper angles) or even a lot of triangles.
Arrows, this way and that.
This design started out a little… busier, but I pared it down a bit. Here are the precursor designs…
I think the top-right design is a bit too crowded. Maybe a better colour palette would help to differentiate between the 4 directions?
Anyway, I think I prefer a design with some of the blocks left empty. Here’s one with just two colours, crossing diagonally.
See that centre square, on point, where the blocks of different colour overlap? That’s another opportunity for some colour play. You can see it more clearly if I use a different palette.
Of course, I usually go for a regular, symmetrical design first, then follow it up with a more irregular, asymmetrical design.
Lots of opportunity for playing around with colour and placement!
These designs would be pretty easy to translate into a quilt pattern. The arrow heads are just triangles, and the tails are smaller triangles separated by a rectangle. The tails might be easier to make using paper-piecing to get the necessary precision.