Repeat and Vary–A Design Tip

Free Motion Quilting, Design Tips, Pink Tulips, Quilting

Whenever I am stitching away and find myself at a loss for ideas, I return to the design principle of Repeat and Vary.  In visual design, repetition creates unity within a pattern, while variety develops interest.  A quilt pattern that is too repetitive is boring.  One that has too many design elements looks messy and chaotic.  The best designs balance repetition and variety.

In the little quilt above, I started with the tulips (See tutorial HERE)  and then I repeated the spiral from the tulip, but combined it with a straight line stitching pattern (see Tutorial HERE).

Free Motion Quilting, Design Tips, Pink Tulips, Quilting

In addition, I repeated the tulip row, but varied it by stitching it in a smaller scale in the outer rows of the quilt.

The Design Principle of Repeat and Vary is an easy one to incorporate into quilts as well as gardens, home decorations, etc.

Free Motion Quilting, Design Tips, Pink Tulips, Quilting

The next time you are struggling to plan your quilting–look for an element already in your quilt–and see if you can alter it — For example, if you have sewn a wedding ring quilt–stitch quilted rings in the border.  If your fabric is floral, copy that flower in your free motion quilting line.

When you are at the Garden Center, consider adding two new flowers of the same color, but different forms to your garden.

Free Motion Quilting, Design Tips, Pink Tulips, Quilting

Maybe next time we should talk about Focal Point?

To read more about design in quilting, you might like Contrast: A Design Tip   HERE

A Design Tip-Contrast

Design Contrast

Today is another sunny day here in Minnesota-a stark contrast to the snow and rain we’ve endured so far this spring.  It is so unusual to see the sun that all Minnesotans have paused their busy lives and taken notice…

That is what Contrast does.  It makes one stop and notice.  It creates Focus.  Contrast is a powerful tool that gives a design Energy, Focus and Visual Interest. There are several ways to create contrast using color, size, shape or texture.   These are all terms used in art and graphic design, but can easily be applied to quilting as well.

For this quilt, I wanted the flowers to be the focus of the quilt…

Design Contrast

I used shape contrast -pairing the curly, circular flowers with a straight line quilting pattern…

Immediately, the flowers “popped” right off the quilt.

In addition, I employed color and value contrast – the white thread against the darker blue fabric created more visual interest and drama.

Design Contrast

So here it is in a nutshell:  Whenever you want your quilting to be the focal point of your quilt or block-use Contrast to help make it “POP’.

If the quilting is not the focal point–perhaps your fabulous applique is the star of the quilt–don’t use Contrast

Design Contrast

Next week we will be stitching a few Straight Line quilting patterns to pair with all those curly patterns we’ve learned already.

Also, we have another great giveaway sponsored by The Stencil Company

All of the Tuesday Tutorials can be found in the “Quilt/Tutorial” Tab above, and check out the “Bookshelf” tabs…they’ve been updated.  I will be adding more every week, and I  would love know your favorite books on quilting, photography, creativity, art, fiction…..

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