From 1968 to 1972 my husband and I, along with our three children, lived in Nepal and India. It was in those places that I fell in love with geometric and mosaic designs. The images were everywhere–on buildings, walls, textiles, gardens–and they became ingrained in my whole being. It was also in India in 1972 that I began my first quilt, a mosaic, allover design made of hexagons called Grandmother’s Flower Garden.
Three years later, after returning to the States and while visiting my friend, Suzi, I saw a mosaic box on her table and immediately became enamored with the hexagonal design. She let me borrow the box and after days of scrutiny, I started my third quilt, Suzi’s Box.
Over the years I have collected mosaic boxes and designs from many countries–Spain, India, Nepal and North Africa. So many of these designs have small narrow borders between the elements of the design.
I wanted to tackle one of these types of designs and decided to begin with a simple six-pointed star joined together with diamonds made up of a narrow decorative stripe. The stars were cut from leftover border print pieces.
The narrow stripe was taken from one of my border print fabrics. Each of the connecting diamonds was made up of four smaller triangle pieces.
Herein lies the problem. I loved the design and what was happening with the connecting diamonds so I calculated how much of the border print fabric I needed…and YIKES!!!! It was 17 yards!
So, I decided that since the use of that fabric was too extravagant, I would just have to design a fabric that would work and that was when my first “mini-stripe” fabric was born. That fabric is used in the quilt which inspired its creation, Arabic Tiles, yet another hexagon based design.
It was so much fun experimenting and designing quilts using the first mini-stripe fabrics that I included another, in several colors, in my Aruba collection.
This brings me to the point of this blog. As you can see, inspiration doesn’t just appear. It is built on experiences, images and just slowly develops. I had been trying to decide for weeks what type of design to use for this year’s BOM quilt and wanted to include the mini-stripe fabric. Then one day when dusting a shelf, I spotted these two plates and looked at them with new eyes. I knew immediately that they would be the inspiration for the new 2019 BOM.
I studied and studied how the designs were created and after a week of complete concentration and drawing was able to come up with and draft this design. Thank goodness our pattern writer, Elaine, was a genius in breaking the design down into simple piecing of nothing but straight seams and a few in-set seams.
The fun was then in selecting the fabrics and the six different colorways to create the quilt.
Links to the first video and printed lesson will appear in our April 6, 2019 newsletter. It is free to all newsletter subscribers.
Watch this video clip to learn about the BOM and stay tuned for the next blog and the behind the scenes look at creating the program.