Sunday sketch #324

Quite a simple design this week, although there’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.

This is a block-based design of square blocks in a standard 6 x 6 layout. (It might look like a 4 x 4 layout because the outermost blocks aren’t fully coloured in).

Each square block has two ‘snowball’ corners: one small (in dark blue) and one large (in white). Their sizes are designed so the diagonal lines flow from block to block across the whole quilt. Apart from creating movement, it gives the impression of larger shapes within the design (triangles, squares, diamonds…).

Here’s an even more minimalist version.

The same block / layout can be coloured differently to highlight, for example, just those small dark triangles. This version doesn’t feel overly interesting to me, but I love this palette (which I created fairly randomly in ElectricQuilt8 using the Kona cotton solids colour libraries). I’ll have to use it again.

I originally designed this week’s block on point. This layout reminds me a bit of Sunday sketch #301 (although there are plenty of differences once you take a closer look).

I really like the visual effect – the repetition of the dark triangles, the horizontal lines, the apparent overlap between adjacent larger triangles… but for some reason, this design still feels like it falls short somehow. Something’s missing for me, although I haven’t put my finger on what it is yet. That doesn’t matter… it’ll hang around in the back of my head until I figure it out one day.

In the next version, I’ve played with the background and foreground colours a bit. I love how using the background colour as the middle part of the block makes the top and bottom row look like parts of the design are floating.

This week’s design could be made with squares and more squares. Doing the snowball corners (I’m not sure if that’s the actual name for when you overlay a small square onto the corner of a big square, sew a diagonal seam, trim, and fold back to reveal the new corner?) would create a bit of wastage, but you could save up the cut-off corners for another project. The alternative would be to make multiple small and large HSTs, then piece them into a square using rectangles as well. That approach would mean more seams within the blocks… which means more cutting, sewing and pressing. It might also use more fabric too? (Those seams add up.)

I based this week’s design on the sweater worn by Noreen Vanderslice on season 2 of Fargo. As soon as I saw it, I needed to recreate the design as a quilt. That was my starting point, and then I kept playing until I reached versions I was happy with. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that I think about quilting all the time, and I’m inspired by lots of different things. But this week’s designs are definitely less ‘inspired by’ and more ‘copied from’ and then ‘derived from’. The distinction between inspiration and derivation is not always clear, but in this case it’s pretty obvious (to me, at least).

Also, this doesn’t feel super-original to me as a quilt design. I don’t recall seeing it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been done before. I even used a similar diagonal-snowball approach in Sunday sketch #160, which was published as the ‘Flight Pattern’ quilt pattern in the 2020 QuiltCon magazine. If you know of a quilt design like this, let me know and I’ll update this post!




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