I went to a concert recently and started daydreaming about quarter-square triangles as I listened to the music (as you do). As soon as I got home, I started playing with EQ8. I didn’t end up with the original design that I’d imagined, but I managed to create many more. Here’s the first series.
I almost always start with a two-colour quilt, try the reverse colorway, and then can’t decide which one I prefer.
The four quadrants of this design lend themselves to four colours too. And with such a happy design (well, it feels happy to me!), it’s hard to avoid my usual colour scheme of yellow, orange, red and pink.
The design also looks super-cute in a radiating rainbow-ish colour scheme.
I also tried the mixed-up version, which highlights the structure of the QST blocks. It’s a bit busier/messier than the previous designs, but I don’t mind it. I think it would look nice in a really gentle palette.
And finally, another way of colouring the blocks using only three colours instead of four (or two). You can vary the movement around the quilt design by changing which side of the QST is a large solid triangle (pink) and which is a pair of smaller triangles (blue and white).
These designs could all be made into quilts using quarter-square triangles and a few squares. If for some reason you don’t like QSTs, you could use half-square triangles and squares on point, with triangles to fill in the gaps at the edges.
This sketching session produced loads more designs along similar themes, so look out for more QSTs in the coming weeks!
I love designing block-based quilts, and I love it even more if I can design a block with borders that aren’t visible. In other words, you can’t easily tell where one block ends and the next one begins. That sort of ‘borderlessness’ usually requires colour / fabric to provide a bridge between blocks. I was happy with how Northern Lights (which I renamed ‘Cloudburst’ for QuiltCon submission) achieved that, but I’m still try to recreate the effect.
This week’s two-colour design uses a single block repeated 16 times. They’re all coloured in exactly the same way, but every second one faces the opposite direction (i.e. rotated 180 degrees from the ones next to it).
The design ends up looking a bit like a DNA helix on an angle, with the positive and negative spaces taking on a similar form.
Using different colours for the blocks helps to show the borders between them.
Like Northern Lights / Cloudburst, this design would probably be easiest to make into a quilt using paper piecing to get the accuracy needed.
I changed my mind about the Sunday sketch I was planning on sharing this week. I decided it was too close to a pattern that another quilt designer has already published. There were slight variations – I used half-rectangle triangles, whereas they used half-square triangles, and the placement of the shapes was different – but the ‘feel’ of the two designs was definitely the same. Purely coincidental, but too close for comfort, at least for me. Sometimes I think it’s useful to share such designs, as an opportunity to discuss serendipity in creativity and to celebrate fellow quilters’ work. But in this case, I’d want to discuss it with the other quilter first.
So anyway, here’s one I prepared earlier 🙂 Much earlier, in fact! I first posted this design on Instagram in October 2015 (long before the Sunday sketch series started!) as part of Blossom Heart Quilts‘ #myDIYblockdesign challenge. Alyce had just published her DIY Block Design e-book, and challenged readers to create their own blocks. I had just started quilting, so was keen to practice as much as possible. I used Excel (!) to design a series of blocks using half-square triangles, and this is one of them!
I recently revisited this design, using EQ8 to redraw and recolour it. Whenever I create a block-based design, I always try the reverse colourway for alternate blocks.
The design also works well in two colours, with an optional third to tie the blocks together using that repeated square within and between the blocks.
Or the blocks can be coloured slightly differently, again using just two colours. This approach definitely makes the design busier; I think it might be better with two fabrics that contrast a little more than this pink and red….
This design is a simple one (so much so that it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a traditional block): it’s all half-square triangles and a few squares. You could also make it using half-snowball units, quarter-square triangle units, and square-in-a-square units – which would maybe add a bit of work but cut down on a few seams.