Patterns: Two Ways

South Carolina storms are intense with patterns. They come in quickly, starting with a canopy of clouds, then a light patter, a flash of lightning.  I count the seconds like a child. How far away will it strike? Then the bolt of thunder.


Six, seven miles. I’m not that accurate when my heavy head is pressing hard into my memory pillow.  It’s the middle of the night.  My mind wanders several miles to say the least. And I start talking to myself about patterns.

fabrics 1.15.1

In my “awakeness,” I had admitted to someone in Week 16 that I don’t like patterns, following patterns, that is. I don’t like the constraints forced upon me by a list of directions to make something that looks like the original.

garden lady sketch

With two baby girl quilts in my gifting queue, I must consider a design. There is room for improvisation with this pattern.

garden lady bag

Six or seven times I’ve constructed Marston and Moran’s Garden Party Ladies for little girls.

But the longer I’m at this craft, the more I prefer to discover the end at the end, playing with the parts, the pieces of cloth, untangling the surprise of their fit.


Letting it evolve…


It is not the simplest way to the finish, but the journey is more interesting, for sure.

house sketch 2

So I took another look at my sketchbooks.

tree quilt drawing

What I discovered in revisiting my designs is that blanket assertions are foolish and potentially dangerous.


I do like patterns. the kind that recur organically, intuitively, almost genetically.
So here is a short list:

The semantics of words, for one thing
and puzzling over a design
the unbound dress,
the silly little bird,
the feather and the house.

I constantly return to these icons ( and a couple more) on the circuitous thread that is my creative search, that is, in itself a pattern: the recurrence of an image, a theme, an idea.

Where do you get ideas? What are your patterns?


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