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:

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(*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…

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

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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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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?

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

Even more possibilities…

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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.

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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.

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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.