Friday, April 28, 2017

The Non-Conformist

Last week I was excited to see my quilt pattern "The Non-Conformist" as the MQG's Quilt of the Month for April 2017. In case you missed it you can download the pattern here.

This is the first two color and also the largest quilt I have made. I arrived at the pattern by accident so here is a little bit about the thought process that went behind it.
Photo courtesy of The Modern Quilt Guild - all rights reserved

I love the classic winged block. The jagged look of the block really resonates with me. I had picked it as the block for a bee quilt I made earlier. I was a few blocks short of the sixteen I needed for the quilt and while making the additional scrappy blocks it was not lost on me how much easier it would be if I had used only two colors. I could just chain piece the blocks and be done.

This led me to creating the quilt in just two colors using EQ7. Once it was set up, I started playing with different orientations and seeing what the outcome looked like. During this process I felt that there were too many HSTs in the design. It made the pattern look too dense. It would look better if I reduced the number of HSTs. So I started by first removing 1 or 2 HSTs from the initial block. As I continued to remove more I liked the emerging pattern. It had a nice airy feel to it. The little triangles floated on the background. I continued the process till I had hit what I thought was the right balance.

During this process I also coined a name for the block - The Non-Conformist - as I felt it was trying very hard not to conform to the traditional block pattern but at the same time was constrained by it.

Since this was a large quilt and I wanted it quilted in a very specific way, I decided to get it quilted on a longarm. Dionne at Dinglebobbins did a wonderful job of it. She even gave me pointers on how to get a perfectly square a quilt top which I incorporated in the pattern instructions. The quilt lines are straight and do not intersect the black triangles. This ensures that the triangles really pop. 

If you do make a quilt using this pattern please do send me a picture, I would love to see your interpretation of it.