I would first like to extend a heart felt THANK YOU to Carol Bryer Fallert for allowing me to use her quilts to do this exercise. Check out her gallery at

Progressive Rhythm (The Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d ed, pg.16)

“…uses the repetition of an element to deliberately move the viewer’s eye in a specific direction. It is a pattern in which the viewer can see a sequence that is predictable. (The Quilter’s Book of Design, 2d ed, pg. 16)

“In visual art, a progressive rhythm might consist of any repeated element growing or shrinking in size, shape, or number.” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)
Example: “The expanding rays of a Mariner’s compass block as it reaches outward.” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)

“A progressive rhythm is often found in nature when the size or shape of something gradually increases or decreases.” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)
a musical theme that “grows in complexity, volume, and instrumentation with repetition.” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)

“gradually diminishing pattern of ocean waves as your eye moves toward the horizon” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)

Commonplace in nature, but not always readily apparent (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 107)

Cut in half, the inside of an artichoke shows a growth pattern. (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 107)

Chambered nautilus cut in cross section. (Pentak & Lauer, pg. 107)

This quilt reminds me of a plants growing upward to the sky (Yes, it is called feathers but it looks like my hostas and other shade plants as they are anchored in the ground.)  The horizontal curved lines are like puffs of wind moving the feathers/ leaves back and forth across the quilt. I feel this is a good example of progressive rhythm as eyes focus in an upward movement but you also focus on the curved undulating horizontal lines.  I think of a warm summer breeze ruffling the leaves of my plants.

  The feathers/ leaves echo the same shape but are of differing size increasing in curving line, smaller on the outside and largest in the center.  Each feather/ leaf sways with the horizontal waves of wind progressively across the quilt.

Syncopated Rhythm
“…gives surprising emphasis to a beat that is normally weak and adds unexpected interest.” (Art+Quilt, pg. 80)
“A syncopation or syncopated rhythm is any rhythm that puts an emphasis on a beat, or a subdivision of a beat, that is not usually emphasized…Syncopation is one way to liven things up. The music can suddenly emphasize the weaker beats of the measure, or it can even emphasize notes that are not on the beat at all.” (Connexions

The concept of syncopation might be heard easily in music but it was hard to explain visually. To me syncopation is represented by the changing of size or color of repeating elements.

The syncopation in this quilt is represented by the changes in the sizes of the elements…. The circles change size, the triangle points change size, even the waves change size as they move to the outside of the quilt top. The size changing cause emphasis on those elements, the largest elements being the strongest beat that is emphasized.

The colors changing from warm to cool also indicates syncopation; the darker colors indicate a strong emphasis and attracting of attention, “the strong beat.”


WORD PRESS UPDATE:   It seems that WORD PRESS had updated their site.  It has also become very busy which means it became hard to upload pictures and blog in the time frame I have available.   So I may be blogging less as working at two in the morning does not work out well.  We will see.

I will be posting the remaining lessons in the future…. I am so far behind….. Sandy and Jaye also posted PATTERNS this week and have another design lesson posting next week.



I would like to say that I do not own all the books mentioned by Jaye or Sandy, I do read up on the elements and principal of design in the books that I do own. I am really enjoying following along with Jaye and Sandy as they explore design.

Happy Quilting,


3 thoughts on “CONTINUATION OF DESIGN HOMEWORK: part 2–RHYTHM from Jaye and Sandy

    1. I am hoping to; I am waiting for my registration booklet. If my gf comes with me she wants to take some classes too… some we will take together and some we will take separate. I hope to be there over a week… visiting and attending the show.

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