According to Merriam-Webster, an etude is a piece of music for the practice of a point of technique. I think we can apply the term to quilting as well! This month for the EQ8 Block Spotlight, Mosaic 19, I decided to practice the art of framing blocks.
First, let me introduce you to Mosaic 19. It looks a bit like a nine patch star with an economy block or square in square in the center patch. It is a versatile block as many of the designs in the EQ8 Block Spotlight Blog will show. The first thing I did was to change the palette from a somewhat patriotic one, to a cooler palette using Hoffman Fabrics’ Watercolors: Oyster, Bergen (red violet), River Rock (light green), and Stone (darker green). I consider this my major scale.
Then, I played with alternating blocks to see if I could come up with interesting secondary patterns. For me, this is like a pianist warming up with scales. I warm up my design brain with finding complimentary blocks. These two actually were interesting and would make beautiful quilts, but I wanted something with a little more zing. For you music lovers, it was a bit like a harmonic minor key (raised 7th note) – a little more intriguing.
But I was looking for something, well, a little jazzier – a diminished scale. For this effect, I used Serendipity to frame the Mosaic 19 block in a variety of ways. Then, I combined these framed blocks, in alternation, to develop something more stunning. Amazing how Mosaic 19 looks so different when framed! Each of these contains only two alternating frames. the colors of the blocks were consistent, but the frames really change the appearance.
You could also view each of these blocks as an instrument. In which case, we have some amazing duets. So what happens, if we combine several of these instruments to create an orchestra? We would also need a soloist in that orchestra. To create my soloist, I used the Clip and Flip function in Serendipity to create the centerpiece. Each block was surrounded by a plain sash. This gave each block a little breathing room so that you could see it clearly. The border was created by alternating a star sash block with Mosaic 19. This would make an amazing block of the month. Don’t you think?
Have you noticed that there are two techniques in this etude? One is the use of Mosaic 19, particularly in a framed setting. The second is alternating blocks. The secondary designs that are created when you combine two simple blocks can be simply stunning.
I hope you have enjoyed my Etude 19.