Sunday sketch #327

I’ve been reusing many of the same elements in recent designs – I seem to be stuck on semi-circles at the moment (think Sunday sketches #314 and #317). Expect to see them for the next few weeks, as this week’s Sunday sketch led to a whole series of related designs. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s where it started:

So it should be fairly easy to see what the block is here – a sort of four-patch with two diagonally facing (‘kitty corner’ for you US folks) half-square triangles, and two diagonally facing semi-circles. Rotating the blocks creates nice curvy pinwheels alternating with quarter-square triangle units on point.

Rotating the blocks again can create an entirely new design – quite a wacky one, but I like it! My choice of colours here also helps create that transparency effect.

Taking away the half-square triangles changes the look once again. I don’t love either of these next two designs – I feel like the checkerboard background obscures the curves. But it’s always fun to play, even if the outcome isn’t what I expected.

Speaking of playing, I kept going with these shapes, so I’ll show you the iterations in the coming weeks.

This week’s designs could be made into quilts using half-square triangles and half-circles (or two drunkard’s path units or quarter-circles). It’s a block-based design with a limited palette, so lots of chain-piecing of similar units. I always say that! 🙂

 

Quilt pattern: Paperdrop

I’m excited to announce the release of Paperdrop, a quilt pattern that I developed in partnership with Latifah Saafir for the launch of her new HuRTy ruler.

A multicoloured quilt hangs against a pink wall. The quilt features half-rectangle triangles in 6 different colours against a black background.

Latifah approached me awhile ago to see if I’d be interested in designing a quilt pattern for her new ruler. Umm, YEAH! Latifah’s quilts are some of the first modern quilts I ever saw, and were a revelation to me – I had no idea there were fabrics or designs out there like that. Her work was instrumental to me choosing to pursue modern quilting. So of course I jumped at the chance to work with her.

The HuRTy 1 (there are two more in the pipeline!) makes 2:1 and 6:1 half-rectangle triangles up to 12″ high. So we got to work coming up with ideas – lots and lots of ideas – for quilts featuring 2:1 HRTs (probably the size most people are familiar with). But we kept coming back to an old Sunday sketch of mine from 2017: Sunday sketch #31.

A black and white hand-drawn sketch on paper, featuring half-rectangle triangles descending in ribbons down the page.

I never made this one, because I wasn’t entirely sure how to construct it (as it’s shown in the sketch, it would require a lot of partial seams). Also, although I’ve designed quite a few sketches with HRTs, I don’t often make quilts with HRTs. I’d use the two-at-a-time construction method and get annoyed at how much fabric I’d be trimming off. But I couldn’t make large HRTs with the one-at-a-time method, because the ruler I’d co-opted for the task (the side piece from a triangle-in-a-square ruler) wasn’t big enough. The whole process was too annoying.

Paperdrop is a great design for using the HuRTy, because it requires ‘A’ and ‘B’ HRTs – in other words, HRTs facing both directions. The HuRTy is designed specifically for cutting and trimming both directions of HRT (and even for trimming off the little corner bits so you can line up your triangles for piecing). Suddenly making HRTs isn’t annoying anymore!

The Paperdrop quilt pattern is available from Latifah’s website, along with the HuRTy and two other HRT-based quilt patterns. There’s a lookbook with different versions of all the quilts, FAQs with more info on The HuRTy, videos on how to use the ruler, and more. And during launch week, there are some awesome discounts!

My version of Paperdrop uses all Kona cotton solids and was quilted by Valerie Cooper of Sweet Gum Quilting.

Head over to Latifah’s website now for Paperdrop pattern and The HuRTy ruler!

 

Sunday sketch #326

So, here’s a funny story… I designed this week’s Sunday sketch a few years ago, and loved it so much (SO MUCH!) that I held back on posting it so I could make it into a quilt first. Often I’ll get excited about a design and fall down a rabbit hole of fabric selecting and online ordering… and then I lose interest (it’s the paradox of choice). But with this one, I actually made it!

Here’s the sketch (check out the acid yellow!)…

And here’s the actual quilt!

 

It’s a little hard to tell in that pic, but I bound the quilt in the acid yellow. Thanks to Valerie of Sweet Gum Quilting for the horizontal 1/2″ straight-line quilting, which I love.

So anyway, after I bound the quilt, I packed it away so I could take a proper photo eventually… and then forgot all about it. Oops. Which is kinda crazy, cos I still LOVE this design. It’s so simple, yet it works so well with a huge range of palettes.

With a dark background…

…and a light one.

This is a 5 x 5 block layout with a 5-colour palette, and each block contains three elements (the middle square, the star arms, and the background squircle). That combination means that each colour can be used once per row and per column in each of the three elements. Although if you look closely enough, you’ll see that I had to break that rule in a few places.

Including white in the 5-colour palette means that a few stars don’t have a background squircle. I like how that opens up the design a bit and adds some negative space for the eye to rest. (The sashing between the blocks helps with that too.)

You can see that despite all the possible block permutations (3 elements x 5 colours), there are still a few blocks that are repeated in the previous versions. I tried again with the colour placement to avoid repetition, but it’s not easy! These next two versions feel a smidge ‘heavier’ to me, but maybe the larger number of unique blocks just makes the design seem busier?

Of course, you could avoid the difficulty of colour placement by using fewer colours and going with just two blocks in an alternating layout.

I also like alternating the ‘full’ star blocks with the ‘bare’ star blocks, which lightens the design a bit more.

I know I’ve only used solid colours in these variations, but I think this design is one that would work really well with prints, particularly a coordinating range of fabrics.

This week’s sketch could be made into a quilt using quarter-circle (or drunkard’s path) units, triangle-in-a-square units (or half-rectangle triangles), squares, and sashing. I know a lot of people don’t like using sashing, but I like how it opens up a quilt design and lets the blocks breathe a little. OK, that sounds weird, but basically quilts feel less crowded to me when they have sashing.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever re-made the same quilt design before, but I’m very tempted to make another one of these quilts. It was awhile ago that I made it, but I’m pretty sure it came together quickly, as there are only a few basic shapes you need to make. As usual for me, the longest part was deciding on the colour palette.