I haven’t used Excel in ages, but I wanted to play around with straight lines, and I knew it would be quicker and easier than figuring it out in Electric Quilt 8.
This seemed like the perfect design for a little subtraction – letting the design cross the page, but taking out a few bits and pieces here and there, so it’s not completely symmetrical. Almost like it started out complete and has been worn away in places over time.
One of the disadvantages of Excel is that I can’t easily play around with colour. I think I’d have to select all the cells of each colour to change them. Which definitely falls into the ‘too hard’ basket, hence only one colourway today 🙂
I played around with an idea of picture frames recently – simple strips to outline squares. And then coloured it in a ridiculously bright palette, because that makes me happy.
I like the idea of a pattern that has large shapes like this, so you can use feature fabrics without having to cut them up too much. I have a bunch of Erin Michaels’ paint-by-number fabrics stored away that I don’t want to cut into, because I love them so much. (So much!! I have a secret love of paint by numbers. I even have a Pinterest board!) Anyway, one of these days I need to design a pattern where I can use them. It’ll need to be a pattern where I don’t actually have to cut up any fabric hahaha.
I tried a few more sedate colourways for this design, including a blue and yellow one that felt distinctly Swedish.
I realised that it reminded me of IKEA colours… and then the shapes reminded me of IKEA flatpack furniture 🙂
I played around with this concept a bit more, and tried different blocks and arrangements, but nothing jumped out at me as being amazing. Sometimes simpler is better. At least for now.
A very basic block this week, which is just an excuse to play with colour and arrangement.
Now, diagonally bisecting a star block is not new. Sometimes I’m confident that a Sunday sketch is unique, or different, or surprising, or unexpected. This is not one of those times. I scoured Pinterest and didn’t find anything exactly the same, but this design is so basic that I’m convinced it’s out there. So you may have seen something like this before. For example, Suzy Quilts has a gorgeous pattern called Stars Hollow with blocks that feature a white sawtooth star against a diagonally bisected, coloured background. (If you’ve seen other similar designs, comment on this post and I’ll add links.)
Anyway… my purpose for posting this today is because I was interested in all the different ways this simple block can be arranged and coloured using my usual restricted palette of 1–2 colours (1–3 if you count white, which I guess we have to). So here goes.
I find the first design striking because it almost looks like a block in shadow – with light coming from the bottom right, angled up to the darkness at the top left. It’s super-simple but a bit complicated too.
But then I tried introducing a second colour (I usually ignore white, but I guess that’s technically the second colour (even though it’s not a colour…), making green the third colour):
The top half of each star is the same as before – white on blue – but the bottom half is now green instead of blue. I find that this colouring helps me to delineate those diagonal stripes a bit more easily, which then makes me want to make them even more obvious:
In both those designs, I recoloured the stars so that their tops and bottoms create clear diagonal stripes. I prefer alternating a single colour with white; I found that two stripe colours (the background behind the stars) was a little overwhelming.
Then I went back to the original block design, which had a solid top half and a white bottom half. By alternating the colouring for each block, I could still hang on to those clear diagonal stripes.
I also tried another design that kept the diagonal stripe but made it a bit more subtle. I started with the original block again, but recoloured some of the star tops and bottoms.
And finally, I mixed things up a bit more by alternating blocks with all-solid or all-white backgrounds, then colouring them to bring back those stripes.
I always love seeing how a single block can produce so many different designs just using different colour placement. I think that’s one of the things that makes quilting so interesting for me – seeing how a single design can be interpreted in so many ways.
These designs could be translated into quilt patterns using triangle-in-a-square blocks, half-square triangles, and squares. That’s it!