How do ideas come to life? Almost anything can inspire us, from a beautiful sunset to the lines in a parking lot. Many time I start with a color, grab some fabric and let my imagination run wild. Let me share the design progression of a simple pinwheel to a potential quilt.
There are quite a few things I should be doing instead of playing in my sewing room. But, life has been pretty hectic this fall and it was time for a break. I found this gorgeous layer cake, the Blue Moon line from Island Batik, and started choosing fabrics for a pinwheel block.
Generally, quilt designs need high levels of contrast to make the designs stand out. I decided to use the pinwheels in a nine patch layout, so in addition to the contrasting fabrics for the pinwheel itself, I needed to think about the alternate squares. Should they match one of the pinwheel fabrics or not? Since I was constrained by the selection in the layer cake, I decided to use a third fabric.
The pinwheel came together quickly, and I set the dark fabric against light backgrounds. Immediately, I started imagining more blocks and potential quilts. Design progression is like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, each decision leads you towards that unknown ending!
Design Progression from Block to Quilt
Next, I sat down with my favorite quilt design software, EQ7. I sketched the pinwheel block in several sizes and started planning a quilt. Snowflakes and crystals were on my mind.
I started with colors that were similar to the fabrics I used in the actual block, but the blue background seemed to overpower the quilt. Switch to a white background, take away some of the smaller pinwheel sections and move others around. Does it work?
Someday this might come to life as a full size quilt. For now it was an exercise to stretch my creativity and watch the design progression from fabric to quilt block to quilt layout.