Sunday sketch #333

I started this week’s sketch on my dot pad, but I’ll show you where I ended up first.

This palette’s one that I’ve had in my head for awhile – that murky, blue-y green (teal I guess? but darker?), and that bright orange. I love it! Anyway, I didn’t start with that palette either, but I’ll explain how I got there.

I started by playing with triangles of different size. These shapes kinda look like (conical) martini glasses. By shading the components differently, it creates an overlapping effect. I decided to explore the idea more in Electric Quilt 8.

It’s pretty clear from the sketch that the easiest way to recreate the hand-drawn sketch is to break down the triangles into half-square triangles. So that’s what I did. Although I coloured the first version in a palette of four colours (against a white background).

This design feels busier than I’d normally like. I decided that big triangles that weren’t overlapped shouldn’t include the smaller triangle from the adjacent shape, so they’re solid. And just something about this version feels… I dunno, not quite right. I don’t like how the predominant lines are the diagonals connecting the hypotenuses of the larger triangles. And there’s way too much going on with that palette.

So I made a few tweaks: I set the half-square triangles on point, so the triangle shapes now appear to be in rows and columns. That removes those diagonal lines; they’re now horizontal, which is somehow less imposing. And I reduced the palette by one colour. It’s still pretty busy, but a bit more manageable now.

I often like to set designs against large white borders – almost like an artwork framed by a mat board. But I think this version would actually look better without the borders, so the repetition fills the quilt top. I like this version a lot more…

…but it’s still not what I had in mind originally. So I kept tweaking. I reduced the palette once again, to a pair of colours for the triangles against another colour in the background (I’ve used this light grey, blue and black combo before, most recently in Sunday sketches #314 and #315). And I found a fantastic combo with acid yellow – I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it!

Finally, I started removing triangles to create some negative space and introduce some more interesting movement. I don’t usually plan this; I just pull things out until I like how the design feels.

And then I found this colour combo, which I stuck with.

I liked that version a lot, but the middle of the design felt a bit heavy compared to the rest. I decided to break up the columns of triangles in the middle – adding a bit of negative space. It was also an opportunity to add more large orange triangles. I think that naturally draws the eye from orange triangle to orange triangle, helping to create more movement in the design.

I also added a floating shape at the bottom right. This breaks my rules a bit – every other shape touches at least one other – but I’m allowed 🙂

These sketches could be made into quilts using half-square triangles and squares. You might need a design wall to keep everything organised until you were ready to sew rows or columns together.

This week’s sketch reminds me a lot of Sunday sketch #308. It’s got the same columns of repetitive, overlapping shapes. And the shapes themselves are very similar, with a large component and a small component that touch at a point. These are two of my favourite Sunday sketches (I know I say that all the time)!


  1. Marjorie

    Love the color scheme. I painted my house this year and the color is “marine blue” according to an artist neighbor and the door trim is kinda rusty orange. LOVE IT! I have white trim so that’s my 3rd color. It looks great and is very unusual for house colors.

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