Yield to Traffic in the Roundabout – Testing Quilt Patterns with the February Block of the Month

@travlis @GreenvilleMQG #licensedtoquilt   

Roundabout – February Block of the Month for the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild

In a modern roundabout there are no traffic signals or stop signs, traffic entering simply yields to traffic in the circle. Since there isn’t anything to slow us down, let us yield self judgment and open our mind to creativity and and play.

Giving ourselves Permit(ssion) to Test the February Quilt Block

I just finished a baby quilt that used 16 blocks, each constructed the same way with the only difference being the fabric in center square of each block. I’d forgotten how fast and fun it can be to make multiples of the same block.

Here’s a quick look at the February block called Roundabout in a single quilt. Unlike January, this bock used in repeat has less movement and visual interest – it is static. Fabric choice could make a big difference, but I want to go further, so, let’s test a few ideas.

When a quilt design is more simple or has less visual rhythm, I usually start to play block rotation and fabric placement. Below is the same quilt with blocks rotated to have similar fabrics meeting to form secondary patterns. By filling the white background with a saturated color a new depth of pattern is created and also gives your eye a place to rest as it moves across the quilt.

Next, I explored two popular modern quilt design techniques – minimalism and alternate gridwork. Below is a quilt I named “Drifting across the Line”. I started with rotating the block and then removed some of the blocks entirely.

Judgment crept in and thought this is too traditional. Next I removed a portion of a few the blocks and replaced them with more background so that they disintegrate. This creates an unexpected rhythm as you move from the lower left to top right.

I still wanted more. So I took the bottom four blocks and set them on point. By moving one block to the edge and letting it drift cross the outer border. I created something new and fun. This design pushed me to explore modern quilt design in a way that wasn’t comfortable at first, but after giving myself permission to test and not judging myself for every choice, I ended up with a quilt pattern that I really like.

I also repositioned the units of the block (the individual curves) and came up with a new pattern that isn’t circular, but truly a variation of the traditional “drunkards Path” block. There are so many out there, just do a google search and see what you can find.

In November Cheryl Bricky of Meadow Mist Designs hosted a class called “Subtracting for Minimalism”. Cheryl spent the morning teaching us to create a modern, minimalistic quilts. She offered several options for design, including EQ8, Power Point and pencil and paper. She then showed us how to turn our designs into a pattern to make a quilt.

If you know me, you know that I am a Maximalist. I really don’t know when to stop. Minimalism doesn’t come easy. Using Cheryl’s techniques, I created this design. As I continued to play with color and block placement, I realized I need to make this quilt!

I enlarged the block to 12 x 12 and started to play with the texture of Carolyn Friedlander’s patterns and Essex Linen fabrics. Below is my design “Yield to Traffic in the Roundabout” in three fabrics. Because I can’t be minimalist, I am auditioning all these fabrics to determine how many I want to use (and if I need to order more yardage) for this quilt!

Quilt Pattern : “Yield to Traffic in the Roundabout”

I hope that I’ve inspired you to push beyond your comfort zones and give yourself permission to test.

You can find all the Licensed to Quilt patterns here. It’s free. Come sew along with all of us at the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild. Be sure to tag your posts on social media too.

@travlis @GreenvilleMQG #licensedtoquilt   

3 thoughts on “Yield to Traffic in the Roundabout – Testing Quilt Patterns with the February Block of the Month

  1. Cheryl Brickey March 6, 2019 — 3:41 pm

    I love your minimalist quilt design and the fabrics you are using. I can’t wait to see it finished πŸ™‚


  2. I love curves, even though they eat up a lot of yardage. Nice design and fabric!


    1. Thanks, Christina. I do too. I plan to cut the linen at the end of April to sew at the retreat. Need to order a bit more yardage tomorrow.


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