Category Archives: adobe illustrator

Order is everywhere

As I’ve been thinking about making the girls scrap quilts I’ve been looking for inspiration in other people’s quilting on Pinterest and other places around the internet. Now I see orderĀ – regular arrangements of shapes and colour – everywhere I look. I know the universe tends towards chaos, but nature (and humans) seems to stick two fingers up at the universe and impose order on everything.

Order in nature

Clockwise from top L: Peacock feathers; Small Tortoiseshell; Houses in Burano, Italy; Smoking bloaters, Stonehaven, Scotland

Lots of the quilts I’ve been ogling use very simple shapes – squares, rectangles and half-square triangles. These same shapes are found in design for all manner of objects, from buildings to brollies.

Quilt shapes in design

Clockwise from top L: Squares in paper woven by little littl’un; Rectangles in building in Glen Tanar estate, Scotland; Half-square triangles in mosaic, Verona, Italy; Half-square triangles in my umbrella

Given my limited quilting experience, I think simple shapes are definitely the way to go. My past quiltmaking is limited to a cot quilt I made for Big littl’un’s first birthday. The fabrics were all naturally dyed (not by me I might add) and they’ve faded considerably. (The blocks top right have faded to a particularly dirty looking shade, please pretend you didn’t notice.)

Blue, pink and purple cot quilt

Quilt made for Big littl’un’s first birthday

I arranged the blocks on that quilt by trial and error, laying them out on the floor until I was happy with the layout. This time I’m embracing technology and have been using Adobe Illustrator to mock-up some ideas for block placement. It’s been a doddle, I’ve had a great time playing around with different arrangements of pattern. Illustrator is brilliant for quickly manipulating size and shape of blocks, rotating and reflecting objects – so much quicker than sketching it out on graph paper.

Tonight the girls get to choose which layout they like, and then the fun bit starts – cutting the fabric. Now where did I put that rotary cutter?