I was so excited when I created this week’s sketch, I set it aside thinking I might actually make it into a quilt… I even bought fabric! But I’ve since been distracted by many other designs and ideas… and even used some of the fabric for something else. That happens more often than I’d like to admit…!
You can probably see how this sketch evolved from last week’s. I wasn’t going to post that one last week – I much prefer this design, and I didn’t think it was really necessary to show the precursor – but I ended up sharing it so I could talk about how easily different people can come up with similar designs.
But back to this week’s design. This version chops the ends off those chevron-y bits, and instead turns them inward, creating what look like squares that are on point and overlapping. The flying geese units topping each square are still there, and there’s still the opportunity to play with foreground and background colours (and negative space). Instead of there being a vertical straight line between blocks, there are now columns of smaller squares.
A more restricted palette helps to play on the repetition in the design and introduce some more movement, I think. Those internal background squares help to join diagonally adjacent shapes of the same colour, so your eye zig-zags back and forth across the design.
Those smaller flying geese can go uncoloured (or take the background colour), which changes the main shape into something with a cut-out rather than an extension.
It’s pretty much just another excuse for my usual palette of rose pink and bright orange.
There are a few different ways that this design could be made into a quilt. I’d probably make columns of flying geese and alternate them with columns of quarter-square triangle units or square-in-a-square units. My default is always to imagine designs in solid fabrics, but I think this could work with the right prints.
After saying on Instagram last week that I needed to design with flying geese more… here’s another sketch with flying geese – in this case, big and small and overlapping. I designed this series awhile ago as a stepping stone to another design. I wasn’t going to post it (I’m more interested in the designs that it led to), but I changed my mind as it follows nicely from last week’s sketch.
Also, I saw a lovely quilt pattern on Instagram that reminded me of this design, and I wanted to show how easy it is for two people to arrive independently at similar designs. See below for more on that topic!
So in this design, I’ve connected small and big flying geese, extending the bottom geese into chevrons and then overlapping these shapes. I like how a big group of these shapes look like a collection of buildings, like church steeples maybe.
That perspective can be turned upside down by rotating alternate columns of blocks, which adds a lot more movement to the design.
And the shapes can be extended to the bottom of the design. In this version, they look a smidge different in the very bottom row, as they’ve lost their chevron shape and are just plain flying geese again.
Recently when wandering around Instagram, I saw the Chevron Points quilt pattern from Julie at Running Stitch Quilts. (The pattern was released on Friday 13 May.) You can instantly see the similarities between that quilt pattern and this week’s sketch: the main motif is a chevron topped with a smaller flying geese unit. In Julie’s case, she hasn’t overlapped the motifs; rather, she’s alternated them with negative space. She’s also split each motif down the middle, allowing her to play with colour in a different way than I have. Isn’t her pattern gorgeous?
Often I’ve got a few sketches up my sleeve, and whether/when I post them depends on what I’ve recently posted, what kinds of shapes I feel like talking about, and generally just how I’m feeling about a particular design. If I see something similar to one of my unpublished sketches, I might shelve that sketch rather than posting it. But in this case, I thought it was a great opportunity to show how easily different people can come up with similar designs. I asked Julie if she was OK with me posting these designs and mentioning her pattern, and she graciously said yes. (I would’ve been OK if she’d said no; I know the time and effort involved in designing patterns, and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I’ve got plenty other sketches to choose from.)
There are a lot of quilt designers out there, and only so many shapes to play with, so it’s no surprise to me that two people can arrive at a similar design independently and separately. I find it fascinating! It’s one of my favourite topics of discussion. And, of course, I always love discovering new-to-me quilt designers and quilt patterns.
Next week I’ll share the design that this week’s Sunday sketch eventually led to. With just a few tweaks, it ends up looking quite different from this week’s sketch.
This week’s sketch has made me realise that I don’t design with flying geese nearly enough!
I started with alternating blocks of half-square triangles and double flying geese. The great thing about pairing these two units is that the two triangles share the same 45-degree angle, so they fit well together.
I actually started with the repetitive elements covering the entire design.
I like this design on its own, but you know I can never stop iterating….
So I removed some of the shapes at the bottom, to introduce some negative space and reinforce the sense that those elongated vertical parallelograms are the main shape in the design (created by a double flying geese unit flanked by two half-square triangles).
Here’s the first version in another colourway:
I don’t like this one as much; I like the dark blue flying geese in the first one! OK then, back to a blue background. Here I’ve removed shapes from the side (or added borders, depending on your perspective).
I also liked the idea of removing any of those white-on-blue flying geese that ended up ‘floating’ against the background when other blocks were removed. I feel like this version shows that gridwork of ‘overlapping’ vertical and diagonal lines more clearly.
There are so many potential variations on this design, depending on what you keep and what you remove.
I’m not always so careful with how I colour things, but in this case I like how the diagonal lines of flying geese alternate white and blue, as does each column and row of flying geese. The design feels very balanced as a result.
These designs can be made into quilts using half-square triangles and flying geese, plus some borders (where necessary). There are only a few colourways for each type of block/unit, so it would be a chain-piecing dream.
I’m actually in the process of making a quilt based on this design, and I can confirm that it’s coming together quickly! Hopefully it’ll look as good in fabric as it does on the screen.