For some reason, I took the notion to design a banana block. Yep – a block with two sets of curves that, together, basically resemble a banana. So I did that, but then mixed the blocks up so the bananas were facing different directions, and then coloured the design in such a way that the bananas aren’t so obvious anymore.
Now they look a bit like stacked coins, or maybe eyes peeking out. I originally coloured the design in yellows and oranges (and even brown! I don’t think I’ve ever used brown before). I couldn’t decide which one I preferred, so here’s both.
The original block featured two bananas, either facing one direction, back to back, or together to create a circle. I mixed them up in a 6 x 6 grid, and coloured the bananas differently in each block – one in that rich orange with a pale pink inner curve, and the other vice versa.
Then I decided to try single bananas, facing this way and that. I think I prefer this version; it’s less busy. Who needs that many bananas?!
Two things about me and bananas:
- I developed an intolerance to bananas in my late teens, after a lifetime of LOVING them. Now I can’t eat uncooked bananas… they make me really sick. Thankfully cooked banana (i.e. banana bread!) is OK. Phew!
- Whenever I say ‘banana’, I pretty much always have to say ‘this shit is bananas’ and then sing ‘B-A-N-A-N-A-S‘ from Hollaback Girl. Either in my head or out loud. Usually out loud. 🙂
This design would probably need templates to get the curves just right for making a quilt. I’m not sure I need to make a banana quilt right now, but it’s always good to have options!
I’m pretty sure I once said that the half-square triangle was my favourite quilt shape. But I think I’m changing my mind. I am loving half-rectangle triangles at the moment!
I feel like half-rectangle triangles just have more energy somehow. That sharper angle just gives it a more zig-zaggy zing somehow. OK, that sounds a bit wacky. But hopefully you know what I mean 🙂
The motif in this design – which is a bit like a bolt of electricity crossing the page* – has sooooo much potential. I created a bunch of designs along this theme, but these ones were some of my favourites.
* I say ‘page’, because I started off sketching this on paper, before moving over to EQ8 to speed things along.
Anyway, here are some more designs along the same theme. First up – the zig-zags arranged horizontally, in a limited colour palette.
Or arranged in a cascade. The design on the left follows a regular pattern in only two colours, while the one on the right has a more irregular pattern and an expanded palette of four colours. Funny how just a few small changes can make such a big difference!
Or back to the original, simplest version, with a vertical rather than a horizontal orientation. I probably should’ve put a border around this one to make it clearer against the white background of this webpage, but you get the gist.
These designs can be translated into quilt patterns using HRTs, HRTs and more HRTs! And some rectangles and/or long strips, too.
This week’s design came out of the same sketching session that produced Sunday sketch #207. You can see that they use a lot of the same shapes (half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles). Whereas Sunday sketch #207 used a single small motif repeated over and over, this design is a 6 x 6 layout of a spiky block that’s rotated up or down, creating more spiky secondary shapes.
This design could be rotated so the bands of coloured shapes extend vertically instead, but I prefer the horizontal layout. I can see the hint of diagonal lines extending between the blocks, thanks to the angles of some of those shapes. And for some reason, they’re less clear in the vertical layout (at least to me).
With a design like this, which extends to two sides of the frame (rather than all four), adding a border (like the binding on a quilt) gives a slightly different feel.
The reverse colourway also works (without binding, this time).
I was playing with this design when Libs Elliott announced the release of her latest range of fabrics, Phosphor, which is due in stores in August. It looks like a great collection of super-saturated, vibrant colours with a faint denim pattern. I downloaded the image files from Andover Fabrics and imported them into my EQ8 fabric library. Here’s Dayglow mixed with Kona Storm. This pic doesn’t do it justice!
I love working with solids and basics, so I’m looking forward to seeing these fabrics in person.
This design uses mostly half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles, although there’s one triangle in the block that’s non-standard. Paper-piecing would probably be the easiest way to get the angles right without complicated cutting and measuring. Of course, the design could be tweaked to replace that non-standard shape with a half-rectangle triangle, but it gives a slightly different look overall, and I preferred this one. Sometimes the easiest way is not the best way 🙂