Sunday sketch #352

This week’s design is an iteration of last week’s; I’ve basically just removed the curves and added large squares in their place. Oh, and I lightened the whole design by swapping the colouring of the light and dark elements.

One issue with this sketch is that the elements that look like blocks – basically a large coloured square with four smaller units at the corners – overlap with each other at those corners, which makes colouring in a little difficult. Apart from the very first ‘block’ at the top left (I’m putting ‘block’ in quotes because technically, the way I designed this sketch, they’re not blocks), every other block is ‘missing’ at least one of its elements in its own colour; the adjacent block(s) overlap with their own colour(s). I don’t think it’s super-obvious here, and I’ve tried to follow the rule that the ‘block’ to the left/top takes precedence in terms of colouring, but… I don’t love the fact that this is a feature of this design. It just means an extra step of thinking when it comes to colour, which I try to avoid 🙂 I also think it would be a pain to try and explain in a pattern, for example. (Which makes me realise that even though I haven’t decided whether or not to publish my own patterns, I do tend to think about these things whenever I’m designing a sketch.)

Anyway. Those internal spaces feel a little ’empty’ to me, so I tried filling them with more squares. I feel like the dark squares are too dark, but the coloured squares make the overall design feel a little too jumbly (is that a word?).

Maybe another shape would fit in there? The curves worked last week because they don’t introduce any straight lines to compete with the squares, and squares work this week because… well, they’re just more squares, and the new lines they create are parallel to the existing lines. So I’m not sure what else could work in there.

Anyway, here are a few versions where I’ve swapped the light and dark elements back to their original placement from last week. Instead of the inner squares being dark, they’re in colour, and the large bars framing each of the coloured squares are black. (Actually I used charcoal here, to lighten the whole design just a smidge.)

Again, those internal spaces feel a little empty to me. Here are two versions with the dark and colour squares instead.

This week’s sketch, like last week’s, was originally designed using two different blocks in a standard layout, not the same block on point (despite how it looks). But obviously, once I’ve removed the curves from last week’s design, this version could be made much more easily using a single block that’s set on point. In that case, you’d be using a modified nine-patch block, and all you’d need are squares and rectangles, with some triangles for the empty spaces along the edges and at the corners.

This is one of those designs where I was fairly sure it must’ve been done before – I mean, it’s just a modified nine-patch. I did a quick search on Pinterest and Google and didn’t find anything exactly the same, but that’s by no means exhaustive. I’d be surprised if there isn’t something similar out there in quilt land. If you know of a pattern like this week’s sketch, let me know and I’ll update this blog post!



Sunday sketch #351

The colour palette this week makes me so happy that I found it really difficult to pare down the list of designs to share. I’ll walk you through the slight variations between each one, and you can decide which one(s) you prefer!

This is a fairly simple block-based design that looks like it’s set on point but isn’t. I’ve never sewn an orange peel block before, but I can do drunkard’s path units (quarter-circles), so I figure it’s just one more step, right?

In this first version, I’ve used colour for the circles and either white or dark blue for the inner four-pointed concave stars.

I can mix those colours around though, to produce slight variations that feel heavier or lighter. On the left, the coloured circles that previously had inner dark stars are now dark circles with inner coloured stars. On the right, I’ve stripped colour out from alternate blocks.

Or I can darken those stars in the coloured circles instead.

I often like changing up the outside edges of designs. Instead of colouring those outer circles, I’ve opted here to focus on the stars. I love this effect. Other minor changes in colour placement help to lighten the overall design.

And then I removed the stars from the outer edges, to focus on that blocky checkerboard pattern instead. I like this one too!

And finally, removing the outermost dark squares smoothes the edges of the blocks, making the design look like square blocks on point (which it actually isn’t). This is probably my least favourite version of the design, but I still like it enough to include!

This week’s designs are made using orange peel units, squares and triangles (which could be made from quarter-square triangles too). As always, I think the hardest part would be deciding which version to make, and then settling on a colour palette!


Sunday sketch #350

I didn’t set out to do another basic design using a warm palette this week… but when a design uses multiple colours, I tend to gravitate to the pinks and oranges in Electric Quilt 8. I use the Kona solid colours as my default fabric library, and I guess those colours have the best mix of shades. It’s either that, or cooler blues and greens, and I was feeling warmer this week.

Anyway… I’ve spent a bit of time with quarter-rectangle triangles lately, for a few reasons. One: the release of Latifah Saafir’s HuRTy ruler, which she and I used to create the Paperdrop quilt pattern, is giving me more ideas of how to use half-rectangle triangles and quarter-rectangle triangles. And two: I’ve spent the last week or two seeing pics of Avalanche, one of the four quilts I had hanging at QuiltCon in Atlanta and which is entirely made from quarter-rectangle triangles.

In this week’s design, I’ve just set the blocks on point and coloured some of the triangles in the background colour to introduce some negative space. Otherwise it all feels a bit crowded.

Here’s a multicoloured version. There’s obviously opportunity for transparency here, but I tried not to use it too much; I like the idea of just mixing a bunch of different colours together and letting the contrast create movement in the design.

This last version reminds me a little of Sunday sketch #146 – some zig zagging, lots of angles, and a similar palette.

This week’s designs use quarter-rectangle triangles and some borders. Given the complicated colour placement, it might be easier to use paper piecing (which is how I made Avalanche), although if you were organised enough, you could probably make the QRTs the usual way without too much fuss. I haven’t used the HuRTy ruler to make QRTs yet, but I really want to!