Sunday sketch #13

I’ve been playing with Adobe Illustrator a bit lately. As I explained to a friend recently, I learn about 5 new things every time I use it… and promptly forget about 3 of the things I learned last time. It’s complicated! Still, I’m making progress.

I found* the perfect inspiration for some Illustrator practice this week: a fantastic minimalist print by Melinda Wood Designs, which she sells through her Etsy shop:


(*thanks to Quilt by Starlight, who pinned it to one of her many awesome Pinterest boards).

I love the simplicity and boldness of Melinda’s design, not to mention its geometry. I immediately wanted to use those intersecting triangles to create something in Illustrator. After figuring out how to make equilateral triangles and how to fill individual parts of shapes, I came up with the following repetitive design…


I wasn’t sure about those empty hexagons, so I tried filling them with smaller triangle frames:


Hmm, maybe too busy.

I decided to simplify the design by concentrating on those triangular frames to create a secondary pattern of 6-pointed stars. But how the %&$#@ could I do that in Illustrator? It took me awhile, but I figured it out.



And finally, all in one colour with contrasting frames. This one reminds me of Islamic geometric patterns.


Don’t look too closely, or you’ll see how rough my Illustrator skills are!

Adding in a second colour helps to differentiate those 6-pointed stars.


I’m not sure how best to construct a quilt from these patterns – probably either foundation paper piecing or traditional piecing using diamond and triangle templates. There’d be points where 6+ fabric pieces would be coming together, which would require some nifty seamwork and/or a super-hot iron to avoid lumps.


Thanks to Melinda for kindly allowing me to refer to her artwork in this post. I’m not affiliated with her store in any way – I’m just a new fan of her work, which you can also see on Instagram.






Sunday sketch #12

Last week I wrote about using single units in an ordered or random arrangement. It’s amazing how many designs you can get out of one shape. Last week it was a triangle; this week it’s a kite. I always seem to start with the random arrangement first.


Within each 2-by-2 square on my Rhodia pad, the sharp end of the kite can point in any one of 4 directions: north-east, north-west, south-east or south-west. That creates a lot of potential combinations for this simple repeating shape. Some pretty interesting secondary patterns can emerge as well – can you see those wide-headed, narrow-tailed arrows in the middle design below?


The third design, above, reminds me of the sawtooth leaves of some Banksia species.

Even more possibilities…


I’m tempted to design some kind of sampler quilt with rows or blocks of these different repetitive patterns. The kite unit could be made in a number of ways; I’d probably opt for paper piecing for precision.


Sunday sketch #11

A common theme to my designs is the repetition of simple shapes. Here, an isosceles triangle lying at an angle within a square.


The design could be coloured to reveal the alternating bow-ties or each group of 4 triangles arranged in a square formation (which are easiest to spot in the top left or bottom right of the frame).

The same shape arranged randomly produces a completely different effect.


I’m not sure which one I prefer! I’m a big fan of regularity and consistency, but I also like the ‘ordered chaos’ that arises when a single unit is arranged in unexpected ways.

Each unit could be constructed from an isosceles triangle, 2 half-rectangle triangles (for the sides) and a half-square triangle (for the base). But in the interests of precision (second only to my love of consistency), I think I’d go for paper piecing.