New designs: Swiss Daisy and Edelweiss

Swiss Daisy  paper piecing quilt block pattern by Piece By NumberAdded a couple of new patterns to the shop last week, the first in admittedly quite some time.  (The day job is taking up way too much of my life lately…)  Swiss Daisy, left, grew from two quite different inspirations.  The first was a camera lens aperture:  the very delicate, overlapping metal leaves that can be adjusted to let in just the right amount of light for a photograph.

The second inspiration was Mary Ann Beattie’s extremely clever paper piecing pattern of a sunshine (apparently no longer on the web), in which she cut through the foundation during the construction to allow all the sunshine’s rays to be sewn with a single foundation unit.  This got me thinking about the possibilities of cutting the foundation to achieve certain designs, and I wondered if some variation of this idea could be used to create the camera aperture design.  A little drafting in EQ, some experimenting with fabric at the machine, and eureka!  A center octagon, framed by overlapping triangles, becomes possible to sew using a single foundation piece, with no applique.  How cool is that?

quilt layout example using the Swiss Daisy paper piecing quilt block pattern by Piece By NumberHaving gotten this far, I decided to develop the design into an 8-petaled flower, rather like a daisy. I found that alternating blocks of light and dark daisies yields a fascinating reverse swirling effect, a near-tessellation of larger flowers.  These larger flowers evoked for me the elusive, delightfully irregular edelweiss blossoms, flowers I have only seen for real at local nurseries but never in the wild, despite my living in Switzerland for more than 13 years.  So I named the block “Swiss Daisy”, because a cluster of these special daisies transform so easily into a meadow of edelweiss.  (Though truth be told, real daisies in Switzerland are no different than daisies in France, Germany, or Italy. :-)  )

Edelweiss paper piecing quilt block pattern from Piece By NumberBut what if a quilter wants only one edelweiss blossom, for example, for a flower sampler quilt? This possibility led me to draft the Edelweiss block, with its darker green corner diamonds suggesting leaves. Sweet! The block is effective in many color schemes, with often a more geometric than floral feel depending on choice of color or fabric design.

I love how the one design led so naturally into the second one, yet both blocks stand on their own as distinct designs with different possibilities. They share some similarities in construction techniques, though Edelweiss can only be constructed in multiple units, whereas Swiss Daisy is a true single-unit foundation pattern (a multiple unit version is also given in the pattern).  (Note:  both patterns are for intermediate- to advanced-level paper piecers.  For more images of the blocks and quilt possibilities, see Swiss Daisy and Edelweiss.)