Tuesday, 20 July 2021

a new challenge

a new challenge : Asymmetrical v Symmetrical

Kaja from sewslowly recently discussed our various preferences to working asymmetrically or symmetrically with our quilts. Her new challenge for AHIQ is to pick whichever of these is furthest from your comfort zone and see what you can do.
I did a little research and to put things simply - "Something is symmetrical when it is the same on both sides. A shape has symmetry if a central dividing line (a mirror line) can be drawn on it, to show that both sides of the shape are exactly the same".

Hmm, well I think I definitely tend to make more symmetrical looking quilts, 
here's a few that stand out to me...

More research was required to further define asymmetry for me because, while I have made a few quilts that were definitely more improv in style, where that cohesive balance took a bit of work, I can't say I've ever made an asymmetrical {modern} quilt as such. 
But what I did find were a few examples of asymmetrical balance within my own quilts. Here are a few quilts that I think have an asymmetrical composition of the more traditional patchwork blocks, like New York Beauty, Flying Geese, Log Cabins, Rail Fence, etc.

And like Janie from crazyvictoriana I knew if I shared these you'd get all excited, share your quilts, and maybe join in the challenge too . . .

This first quilt was made from a selection of orphan blocks. To me it's improv, as I didn't use a pattern nor did I have any idea how the finished quilt was going to look. 

Again, this feels like improv to me, no pattern, just an overwhelming desire to work with the colour "grey". The asymmetrical balance in this quilt could be viewed as chaotic or visually interesting & exciting, depending on your point of view!

 symmetrical arrangement of asymmetrical blocks ↑
↓ asymmetrical arrangement of symmetrical blocks, yes?

And finally, leftover low volume blocks put together improv style using the 'magic numbers' formula. I love an inconsistently balanced quilt.

I think I mostly have the asymmetrical/symmetrical labeled right, let me know what you think.
Asymmetry is one topic I do find interesting, and definitely The. Most. Challenging. So I'm off now to deal to my present pink project, my 'predictable' quilt - it's been giving me headaches but I feel very much like it could fit somehow into the asymmetrical section of Kaja's challenge!

Wish me luck ­čĄ×


  1. I agree that the Predictable pattern layout is asymmetrical. Love the colors in it and I'm sure you'll create another beauty!

  2. While I am not a fan of improv and asymmetry, it is an interesting topic. I think asymmetrical refers to a design that does not sit centred in the middle of the quilt. Your Predictable quilt is symmetrical because the design is centred, even though you have improv blocks in it. If the quilt in your first photo was pieced with the centre off to one side, it would be asymmetrical. Moderncraft's Snowflake pattern is asymmetrical too.


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