When I say the grid, you probably think of something like the image above: a rendition of the electrical grid in the United States.
Or you might think of a street grid, or the computer grid, or any other type of connected web.
I also think of the grid we use in making our quilts. Above is an example of a regular grid, using a 9-patch variant. This style of quilting — that of using repeated blocks set in a grid — didn’t become popular until the 1840s, as earlier quilts were more whole-cloth, medallion, or broderie perse styles.
The name of our Gridster Bee is a nod to the idea of the grid, and since I’ve had some non-sewing time, I did some research about the grid, finding its origin in the way that text was laid out on the printed page. (Note: Where the quotes are unattributed, I could find no source for them.)
This method of intersecting lines and angles, known as the Van de Graaf canon and used medievally, was popularized by Jan Tschichold in his books discussing classical book design, and became the standard for book layout. You can see the proportions at work in the magazine layout (above) on the right.
Some myths about the grid:
- Grids are a design trend
- Grids impede creativity
- Grids are confining, and can only be used for certain designs
- The grid is a static, even, regular subdivision of the surface both vertically and horizontally
There are all types of recognizable grids, such as those above, and in the images below:
(pencil cubbies in Switzerland)
(subway tiles in Lisbon)
(more designs from Spain and Lisbon)
(circular grid, both above and below)
(Golden Spiral • from here)
I love the grid, as ultimately, the function of the grid is to help determine and define proportion, such as the last two quilts, which seem to have some unseen glue holding them together. That’s why some quilts that seem to use no grid at all can either make us shake our heads in confusion, or can capture our gaze.
And that’s why we’re the Gridsters — not just those in the bee — but all of us in the quilt world.
And a little bit of news.
I wake up everyday and see this:
On some of my harder days, it has crossed my mind that I won’t ever sit there again, happily stitching away, and I feel so far away from the quilting world that I love. Cue the tears and the Sturm und Drang. And then I received this:
Guess the universe doesn’t want me to give up yet. (If you’ll be there at Quilt Festival-Chicago, please take a photo of my quilt, and tag me on IG [occasionalpiecequilt].) And I was also asked by our guild, The Raincross Quilt Guild, to present a Trunk Show on May 16th. I’m pretty excited about this, and have been working on my program notes.
So…guess I’ll be a good girl and keep all my Physical Therapy appointments so I can get back to quilting.