Many years ago during a piano lesson, my teacher told me that every song had a pattern. All I had to do was listen for it. She then proceeded to play different songs and and asking me if I could hear the pattern in the music. After showing me how to look for these patterns she then said, “Cyndi, everything has a pattern.” I didn’t realize it then but she had just taught me a very important lesson about life and about quilting.
Do you ever wonder where people come up with inspiration and ideas for their patterns in quilt tops? I’ve found that when I look around at my surroundings, there’s usually a pattern sitting somewhere. Below you’ll see a picture I snapped of the floor at my local Cracker Barrel. When I look at these floor tiles I see a couple of patterns running in them. I’ve put the floor tiles next to the quilt pattern fence rail. Can you see it in the floor tiles? The floor is all one color but if the tiles were laid out in three different colors, you would see the fence rail pattern very clearly.
The second pattern I see is “French braid.” If I turn my head and look sideways at the floor tile the pattern appears to me. I can see it going up as well as going down. I’ve pictured the tile floor with one sample of a French braid quilt.
OK, can you see any patterns in the picture of the tile floor below?
My first idea would be to make boxes of different sizes, yet making it such that once sewn together they all fit in rows of the same length and height. I was given a bunch of scraps that had a log cabin/hunting theme fabrics. I remember spreading them all out on the floor of my sewing room trying to figure out how I could use them to make a quilt top. While my blocks are not exactly the same as my floor, the floor did give me the idea of what I could probably do with them. Below is what I came up with for my hunting scraps.
The picture below with the blues and purples and pinks is closer to the floor pattern. Most people call it “stain-glass windows” and it’s a popular pattern among quilters these days. If you are interested in making a quilt like this you can find fabric and a pattern for it at The Fat Quarter Shop. Batiks with black sashing would really make a nice quilt. (Note to self: Get some batiks and black fabric to make a stain-glass quilt.)
Have you ever noticed that patterns that are around you? If you are looking for inspiration, I encourage you to look at your surroundings and see if you can find an idea or pattern? The really are all around us.
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