Sunday sketch #345

This week’s sketch uses the same basic block as last week’s, but different colouring creates quite a different effect.

I’ve replaced the half-square triangles from last week with squares (which really just means colouring the two half-squares in the same colour), which eliminates the octagon surrounding that inside star. All the other shapes are the same, but I’ve only used two colours per block, and alternated the block colouring to create a checkerboard effect. Then I just removed some of the blocks to open up the space a bit.

The next version is the same, but the central squares are coloured the same as the surrounding internal stars. It’s a very small difference but I feel like it makes quite a difference to the overall feel. Or maybe that’s just me?

Adding in another colour and reintroducing one of the shapes from last week – those half-square triangles at the corner of the outer stars – brings that curvy movement back into the design. Lots of swoopy waves extend diagonally across the quilt in both directions, as well as making larger circular shapes throughout. Your eyes can go round forever following the lines.

It’s the same if we take those corners away completely (by just colouring the outer triangle of the half-square triangles in the background colour of the block). The swoopy lines are still there, creating what feel like shadowy shapes in the ether.

And again, the central squares can be coloured the same as the inner stars. (I can’t decide if I want to call them internal stars, inside stars or inner stars, so I think I’ve gone with one of each in this post….)

Like last week’s sketch(es), this week’s sketch(es) could be made into a quilt using squares, triangle-in-a-square units and half-square triangles. All pretty basic shapes that are fairly easy to cut and piece.

I love showing the variety you can achieve with a single block, just by making small tweaks to colour and colour placement. There’ll be more next week!


Sunday sketch #344

The next few weeks’ Sunday sketches are all related – in fact, they all use what’s essentially the same block, just coloured differently and with some pieces removed or inserted. That process of addition or subtraction is one of the easiest ways to iterate a quilt design, particularly if you’re using software rather than paper and pen.

This week’s sketch isn’t what I started with, but it’s one of the versions in which the least number of block elements are coloured in. In the coming weeks, I’ll add to and subtract from the block using colour. Don’t worry – it’ll make more sense when you can see what I mean.

A quilt design with a 5 by 5 layout of the same block coloured differently. The colour palette is yellow, orange, light pink, dark pink and dark blue, all against a white background. The block features a star within a star, both of which are made using basic geometric shapes.

Don’t you love the curvy movement created by those outer triangle-in-a-square units touching at their tips? Round and round we go!

If you’ve followed me for long enough, you’ll know that I like to stick to certain rules when it comes to colour. In cases where the design can feel ‘busy’, I’ll use one colour for the same element in every block, for consistency. Here, I’ve coloured the inside star in white, the same as the background colour. (Does that inside star have a name…? It’s not a sawtooth star, but I’m not sure what it’s called.)

Anyway, I also like to select a colour palette that allows the right number of permutations for the design. In this case, I have 5 rows and 5 columns, with 3 ‘elements’ in each block (not counting the internal star, which I’ve already decided to leave white): the outside star, the octagonal surround of the inside star, and the centre block. So if I choose a palette of 5 colours, I can make sure that each different element appears in each colour only once in each column and row. It’s also nice if the colouring of any one block isn’t repeated. I don’t always manage it, and I didn’t completely succeed in this case. See if you can spot where I broke my own rules?

This combination of bright warm tones and dark blue is always a favourite. The reverse works well too.

A quilt design with a 5 by 5 layout of the same block coloured differently. The colour palette is yellow, orange, light pink, dark pink and white, all against a dark blue background. The block features a star within a star, both of which are made using basic geometric shapes.

This is a fairly basic design, using squares, triangle-in-a-square units, and half-square triangles. It’s got similarities to Sunday sketch #154 (the same triangle-in-a-square units and half-square triangles create the external star in this design) and #272 (replace the wedges with triangles and the two designs are very similar).

Often with designs like this, I’ll do a bit of a search to make sure there aren’t already a million designs like it. I can never be absolutely sure, of course – the internet’s a big place – but I don’t want to miss anything obvious. I don’t see anything like it on my ‘Quilts: Stars‘ or ‘Quilts: Triangles‘ Pinterest boards, but I haven’t added to them in awhile. Maybe I’m just reminded of my own sketches 🙂 As always, if you know of a quilt pattern that’s similar to a Sunday sketch, let me know and I’ll update the post accordingly. I like knowing what’s out there, and it’s fun to look at two designs and examine their similarities and differences.


Sunday sketch #343

I was digging through my old sketches and found this one, which I created when trying to come up with new half-rectangle triangle designs. It’s a bit like Sunday sketch #320, but sufficiently different to be worth posting, I think.

(This is maybe not a great colour combination to have chosen, as it can create chromostereopsis – a chromatic aberration where blue and red in proximity can give the impression of depth in an image or be harder to view. Or just seem a bit wonky. Sorry. I was too lazy to change it.)

Did you notice that the negative space within the design creates the same shapes in blue as there are in red? I love it when that happens.

So the half-rectangle triangle parts of the design are very similar to Sunday sketch #320, but the half-square triangles are oriented differently here, and the layouts are also different. It’s funny how such similar blocks can create designs that are quite unalike.

I’ve alternated the block colouring in the next version, so the four corners aren’t spiky anymore.

This design reminds me of a plant in Australia called Sturt’s desert pea, which has bright red leaf-like flowers that extend vertically from a black centre point.

Arranging the blocks on point helps to position the ‘flowers’ vertically. I like how all the lines from the HRTs create movement across and down the design.

The blue shapes in the middle might be easier to see in that last version.

This week’s sketch could be made into a quilt using 2:1 half-rectangle triangles, half-square triangles and squares. I’ve only shown two-colour versions here, but I guess it could work with a larger palette?