As someone who hates quilt math with a passion, and gets endlessly confused trying to work out adding in/losing seam allowances, Alyce’s book was a revelation. I love how simply she explains things and the exercises to help you learn the basic maths behind blocks are extremely useful.
So for my own block design, I chose to draw inspiration from some rather graphical sources. I’ve always been fascinated by patterns, particularly dimensional ones. In case you might feel the same way too, I now have a whole Pinterest board full of inspiration!
Some of my pins are very geometric, other pins are more about the colour combination or the feel of a design. But I kept being drawn back to my first pinned image….
An Art Deco artist, Andre Durenceau born in France and emigrated to America. He worked as a textile designer, muralist, illustrator and more. He was a huge influence on art of the time, and indeed on what we see today as he worked as a colour advisor to Technicolor and even worked for Warner Bros in that time.
I worked up the top left illustration in graph paper, simply changing the colour scheme from grey and red to a more modern aqua and coral orange.
Alyce’s book helped me to identify the block elements, basic composition and then rough out the sizes that I would need in order to turn this sketch into a quilt. Don’t be afraid to play around at this stage. I made a low tech block simulator by sketching the design out a second time and cutting it into squares, so I could play around with orientation and what simple changes would make to the pattern. In the end I actually kept it as Durenceau intended, but with a vertical orientation rather than a horizontal.
A selection of Cotton Couture solids from Polka Dot Tea fabrics (the most delicious feeling solids around), and my initial orange/coral fabric pull. My first intention was for only this colour to be scrappy but after a quick design wall mock up and a bit of feedback, I decided to change that idea and move on to plan B – a tone on tone coral print repeating in every block. I think the flowery, circular motif of the print just adds drama to the strong contrast between the fabric and the angular design.
It’s a straightforward block design that packs a really graphic punch mostly by the choice of colours. I’m really excited to see a whole quilt coming out of this design, I think it will also be great for some custom quilting.
However my sewing plans were derailed by packing up my sewing machine and all my toys, and the drawn out process of setting back up again in the new studio. However I’ll be sure to share more of it on Instagram, or here when I’ve got the top put together. I have already had a request from Lisa to let her make a version of is, so maybe you can convince me to write it up as a pattern?
My new-found confidence in designing though is all thanks to Alyce. If you are like me and see patterns and inspiration everywhere, you need this book. It will help get those ideas out into fabric and wrapped around the people you love!
Here are all the other fabulous people playing along this month. Lots of designs and inspiration in this list.
October 1 – Let the games begin!
Week 1: Inspiration
Week 2: Sketches
Week 3: Making
Week 4: Finishes
October 30 – Linky opens!
So, what’s your favourite source of inspiration? Do you start with a shape, a colour or a fabric line? Don’t forget to follow along with Alyce on Instagram, she’s giving away some sweet prizes just for playing along and designing your OWN block!