Usually I pick up my sketch pad only when I’ve got an idea in my head that I need to work out. I wait until inspiration hits before I start sketching, otherwise I might sit for ages with no good ideas. Luckily, finishing one design usually gives me ideas for the next one… and so on, and so forth.
But when I’m not feeling overly inspired, I often set myself ‘rules’ for designing. They can help narrow down the infinite number of possibilities when facing a sketch pad with a pen in hand.
Can you tell what the rules were with this week’s sketch?
I knew I wanted to play with half-square triangles. So I decided that:
- the half-square triangles needed to be the same size
- the half-square triangles needed to angle in the same direction
- the half-square triangles needed to be in columns of 5
- each column had to be connected to another one (of the same colour) in some way – even if just the tippy top of one half-square triangle was touching the next one.
I started with the blue half-square triangles, and then added the yellows (another rule: the yellow columns needed to face the other way, while still adhering to all the previous rules).
Because the yellow and blue half-square triangles face different directions, they can nestle amongst each other without completely overlapping. They can butt up against each other, with their backs aligned; interlock while facing each other; or just hover near one another, creating interesting interstitial negative space. The areas where the blue and yellow meet closely almost look green.
I tweaked the design at the end, to balance the coloured areas and whitespace, so I might’ve broken some of my rules in a few places. That doesn’t bother me so much. The point of the rules is not to follow them religiously, but to use them as a foundation for building new ideas.
I thought about making this one for potential submission to QuiltCon 2020* but ultimately decided it’s not impactful enough. After I designed it, I went hunting to see if I could find anything like it. Although I didn’t see anything too similar, I decided that there are too many other random-HST-like designs out there, and that this one isn’t that exciting after all. Although I do still love it…!
* I’ve never designed anything specifically for QuiltCon before, but I really enjoyed getting Frequency (called ‘Sound Maze’ by Modern Patchwork) into the show last year and into the QuiltCon magazine. I don’t expect to have such luck again, but I like the idea of setting myself a lofty goal: purposefully designing and making a modern quilt that’s worthy of QuiltCon. We’ll see if I can come up with anything by November!