ARLS: a quilter’s journey

In 1994, I started studying symmetry because I wanted to understand the structure of patterns. I learned the rules, I bent the rules, I broke the rules. I developed a method to generate endless patchwork patterns from a single patch. I designed a patch that I have used exclusively for over 25 years.

The patch was a square divided into thirds with lines running through it. No matter how the patch was rotated, the lines would connect with lines in other patches. Each arrangement of patches generated a different pattern.

I started working with large-scale Celtic knots ten years ago. I developed a method to transfer the paths of a knot to fabric and weave them together. I wrote several books about it.

Several years ago, I encountered a board game that caused a stir because I recognized the playing pieces immediately. The playing pieces were squares divided into thirds; the lines running through the squares looked like Celtic knots! I hadn’t thought about knot work subject to the rules of symmetry until that moment.

I drafted several pieces and created Knots and Unknots (from leftovers of the Knots). I set them aside for several years.

July, 2020, I revisited the drafted blocks, drafted some more, and created two pieces, “All Roads Lead Somewhere,” and “Road Trip.”

Since then, I have drafted more blocks, and reordered them (twice). I think I’m ready to share them with you.

The designs can be used three ways: as coloring pages, as a pattern library (and additional coloring pages), and as appliqué templates. You don’t need me to tell you how to color. I think you will love the pattern library. There are endless patterns, and I will show you some neat tricks to see them. There are more than enough pattern to keep you busy stitching with your appliqué method of choice.

Next up: Tools . . .

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