Category: Sunday sketch

Sunday sketch #342

This week’s sketch is a direct progression of Sunday sketch #341. Instead of half-circles, I’ve used flying geese, and instead of larger circles in the inside of those black squares, I’ve introduced more squares. The colouring’s much the same, and there’s still a ton of movement, with lots of secondary shapes created by all those horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines.

The good thing about introducing flying geese is that their angles match those already in use in the design – so the sides of the geese are parallel to other lines in the design. Same with the central white squares. That helps to keep the whole design feeling coherent and less cluttered.

Here it is in a standard layout (with the blocks not on point).

I also tried replacing the flying geese with another shape – a triangle-in-a-square unit – but… nah. I don’t think it works well at all.

I’m not entirely sure why I don’t love these variations very much… they just feel a bit too busy and chaotic for me. The triangle-in-a-square units just add too many new angles that aren’t repeated elsewhere in the design, and it all feels very pointy and sharp. No thanks. But hey, I’m happy to share them anyway, because that’s what the Sunday sketches are all about: exploring design ideas, playing with shapes, and inspiring you to do the same.

These designs could be made using squares, half-square triangles, flying geese and rectangles. The standard layout above is an 8 x 8 grid, so 64 blocks total. Although you wouldn’t have to construct blocks before constructing the whole quilt – you could just make all the individual units and then piece them together in rows or columns. All the colouring is the same in all blocks, so you could chain-piece your way through them in no time.

Sunday sketch #341

This week’s sketch might look like a 4 x 4 grid, but it’s actually 8 x 8 (with a border). Each block is a 4-patch made up of one square, two half-square triangles, a half-circle and a rectangle. Tile and rotate the blocks, and the diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines start joining up to make new shapes. And so much movement!

Alter the block rotation, and those diagonal black squares shift up and over. I love how such a simple design can have so much going on.

The diagonal black squares are kinda empty, so let’s fill them with something. More curves seems apt.

Or maybe curves without so much colour. That’s better.

Another thing I often try with block-based designs is setting the layout on point – basically a layout where the square blocks are all rotated by 45 degrees. I really love this variation – all the elements and movement are still there, but with slightly fewer blocks (13 instead of 16), it just feels a little lighter I think.

We can fill those inner circles back in…

…or leave the squares empty.

I love so many things about this sketch. The back and forth, scribble-like movement of the curves across the whole design; the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines that emerge to create secondary shapes; the symmetry and simplicity… it just ticks alll the boxes for me. It’s the kind of design where I think ‘OMG THIS IS THE BEST DESIGN I’VE EVER DONE!’ hahaha, so I’ll be interested to see what other people think 🙂

This one’s definitely going on my list of things to (possibly) make in 2023.

Sunday sketch #340

New year, new sketch!

This design started out as something a bit more complicated, with some half-square triangles in there too. But I realised all the squares and rectangles were interesting enough on their own, so I pared it back.

Undoubtedly someone somewhere has designed something very like this. But I like playing with these sorts of designs anyway. My goal with this sketch was to use a standard layout of repeated blocks, but to colour every block differently using a palette of only three colours. Each block had to be coloured sensibly and symmetrically, with all four quadrants matching. I’m pretty sure all 16 blocks are uniquely coloured, but I haven’t checked with a fine-tooth comb 🙂

It’s a bit like Sunday sketch #310, where I coloured the same block differently to create an eye-catching, improv-y design. It’s a fun way to sketch without needing to design a brand new block (any one will do, as long as it has enough elements to enable multiple block variations).

Certain palettes give more of a transparency effect in some parts of the design, depending on the value and saturation of the colours.

In the next versions, the palette’s the same but the colour placement is different.

I find it hard to come up with interesting palettes featuring just three colours, so I often use the same combinations over and over again. Like bright pink, orange and white… or light pink, charcoal and off-white.

This week’s sketch is pretty straightforward, and would be easy to make into an actual quilt. It’s just squares and rectangles. The hardest part would be deciding what colour to put where (and then keeping track of the order once you start cutting and piecing!).