It’s (almost) the first Wednesday of the month and that means it is time for a discussion about Modern Quilting and this month we are talking about scale.
Scale is basically when you change the size of something while keeping its proportions the same.
This is done in the art world all the time. Think landscapes…an entire mountain could never fit onto a piece of paper…or canvas…and thus the scale is changed. The mountain is scaled down to a size that will fit nicely onto the artist’s surface. And usually this is how most artists use scale…by effectively shrinking items to fit to the dimensions of their canvass. However, some artists take items that are small and make them HUGE.
One of the most well known of these artists is Georgia O’Keefe. She is famous for taking a single flower (or portion of a flower) and painting it GI-NORMOUS.
Of these flowers she said, “I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking the time to look at it – I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”
And make them take notice she did. Her floral paintings have become recognizable around the world…and that is due primarily to their size. The change in scale made all the difference.
But what does this have to do with quilting?
A lot actually…especially modern quilting.
For decades most traditional quilt blocks have remained roughly the same size but many modern quilters have taken to playing with scale.
Either taking traditional blocks and making them tiny:
(this one comes from Hope’s Quilt Designs…and she makes AMAZING tiny block patterns)
or making them huge…even pushing them large enough to make the entire quilt out of one single quilt block:
(This one is from our book The Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting.)
Scale is an element that is easy to change but carries dramatic results…and is an element that we here at Simple Simon especially love to experiment with.
This month we are excited to see how you have worked the element of scale and to share with you a free quilt tutorial that is one of my favorite plays on scale to date.