Sunday sketch #272

I recently saw a pic on Instagram that totally inspired me: Jenn McMillan added wedges to a log cabin quilt. I immediately jumped into EQ8 to play with wedges. Here’s what I came up with!

And here it is in my go-to happy palette: pink, orange and yellow! I can never resist.

It’s possible to remove the sashing, of course. I like the new shapes that emerge when there’s no sashing – like the octagons at the vertices between the blocks, and the hourglass shapes that join adjacent blocks.

The sashing does give you somewhere to rest your eye though, which is maybe needed? I think I prefer the version with sashing, but the non-sashing version definitely draws me in too. I can’t decide!

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you probably know that one of the hardest parts of designing for me is choosing a colour palette. I often use the same palette (pink, orange, yellow!) or limit myself to 3–4 colours.

Often, the number of colours is dictated by the number of elements in the block. The block in this week’s designs has 4 elements, which I’ve coloured in grey here so you can see them:

So for this design, I chose a palette of 4 colours (well, 3 plus white). And then I set myself a rule: in each row and each column, each colour could be used only once for each element. Of course, this only works because I used a 4 x 4 layout (if I’d added a 5th row or column, I would’ve had to repeat a particular element/colour combo at least once).

So – can you see how I’ve followed this rule in the versions below? Pick an element and a colour and check if it appears more than once in any column or row. For example, in the next version, look at the inner stars – how many green ones can you see? And where are they? What about white ones? Or yellow ones? Or blue? Do the same for the other 3 elements. They’re all distributed evenly across the whole design. It’s like some kind of Sudoku for quilt design haha.

It takes awhile to be able to balance colours and elements in this way, but it always makes me inordinately happy when I manage it. It also means that in this 4 x 4 layout, all 16 blocks are coloured differently. There are no repeats. (Really! You can check!)

If you remember permutations in maths, you’ll know that 4 colours can be ordered in 24 ways (4 x 3 x 2 x 1; that’s assuming you don’t want adjacent elements to have the same colour), which means there are another 8 unique block colourings that we could use in this quilt. Adding them would break my rule of not repeating the colours of certain elements in a single row or column, but we can’t have everything 🙂

Here are a few other colour combos. Changing where the lightest/darkest colours appear also changes the overall look a little bit.

I think this design reminds me a little of crocheted granny squares. I’ve never done crochet, but my mum made loads of crocheted blankets when I was a kid. I wish I still had one of them!

To make this design into a quilt, you’d probably need to use paper piecing to get the wedge shapes. Otherwise, you’d have to create templates to cut pieces precisely for standard piecing. I really love this design, so I’m very tempted to create my own freezer paper piecing templates to give it a go. I’ll post pics to Instagram if I do!

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