I think most of us have the impression a grid is made up of squares, but other general words come to mind including network, lattice, matrix, reticulation. It all depends on how you’re using the concept, but I suspect the most common one has been used to make maps and charts which for centuries have been drawn out on some grid scheme, though not always rectangular. Long a student of geography, I understand the different ways a mapmaker can present known locations of geographical information in a system that relates everything on some system of reference. These different systems are called projections, chosen for the usefulness of their final result to the task in hand. You can check them out right here – and some will amaze.
I confess it, I am a gridaholic who usually thinks in rows of squares, but occasionally breaks out into triangles 🙂
I like the order contained in rows of repeated patterns, although within each of my repeat units there are always variations that make each unit unique compared with all the others around it. This is of course, anathema to makers of traditional quilts. Take these nine patch block patterns for example. Though creatively used with other elements and sometimes in a minor way, each Nine Patch unit is made with precision and accuracy to result in exact repetition of every block. It was this lovely strict order which drew me initially but briefly to traditional quiltmaking. I love traditional designs overall, but have left them to others since the Flying Geese wall hanging I made in c.1989. I am one of many art quilters whose work has evolved from influences of traditional quilt making.
Especially when I’m thinking of new work that I want to include some kind of patterning within repeat units, I take a printout sheet like this one, get my pencil and start doodling. I have this grid on file and can print off a few whenever I want. A bit OCD I guess, instead of just freehand drawing the lines as I do in my sketchbook pages; but somehow it helps me focus my attention onto ‘fillings’. They are just patterns, and could be hand marks, stitch marks, seams, whatever, but things do grow out of my putting them down. It is about a year since I put pencil to this paper, and now certain things stand out, giving me more to think about.
These and some other mark patterns from another sheet, made it onto mylar backed nylon applied to leather in the small sample piece I made and donated to the SAQA anniversary trunk show collection and, pleased with that, I made a 120cm x 90cm size wall quilt.
7″ x 10″ Sample piece submitted to Anniversary Trunk collection, SAQA, 2016.