The last version of Sunday sketch #303 led me straight to the first version of Sunday sketch #304.
I took those undulating step-and-curve shapes, which look a bit like a cross between a clamshell and a Devo hat, and tiled them across the design.
As always with two-colour designs, I have to show the inverse colourway. (In one of my favourite palettes of Kona Gotham Grey and Seascape… I’m not sure how well they work together in real life, but I love how they look on my screen in Electric Quilt.)
Now, I’ve coloured those elements so they appear in the foreground, but they can also be coloured so that they appear in the background. That brings a different shape – the ones formed in-between – to the foreground. This is just making use of negative space.
I then introduced a new shape. Previously, each block was a circle that had two opposing quadrants replaced by a 9-patch. In the next versions, I replaced one of those 9-patches with two small concave drunkard’s path units. They combine to create a convex, curvy fleur-de-lis-like shape (for lack of a better description).
Isn’t that so pretty?
And again, I can flip the negative space so that the shapes are now created in the background instead of the foreground.
I love the combination of curves and sharp edges, but I wanted to try those curves on their own, too.
What a lovely outcome! The small curves bump along like clouds across the page, while the larger curves swoop up and down. I am smitten with this design. (Eagle eyes may notice that I used the wrong blue on the first of those two designs, but I was too lazy to redo it in Seascape!)
The thing I like about switching up the negative space is that it always takes me a minute to ‘find’ the shapes… in the first version below, I focus on the blue first, then my eyes finally find the black shapes. And in the second version, my eyes settle on the black shapes before seeing the blue ones. It feels like a secret being revealed.
Last week’s and this week’s designs show how easy it is to take one main shape and iterate through a bunch of related designs, ending up with something that looks nothing like the original (compare the last design this week with the first design last week). That’s probably my favourite part of quilt designing.
This week’s designs are made from quarter-circle (drunkard’s path) units and 9-patches, or just quarter-circles (large and small). I think all of the designs shown here are 8 x 8 layouts, so blocks of 8″ (finished) would make a 64″ square quilt. That means the smallest curves would be 4″ (finished), which isn’t too bad (at least, not for me). Or you could size up and do 9″ and 4.5″ curves (which would also make the calculations easier if you were making the version with the 9-patches, which could then be 9″ square (finished) as well). Which is basically a long-winded way of saying that even though the curvy design looks somewhat delicate, the curves don’t have to be super-small or finicky.
I also used curved corners on these designs; I felt like they just worked better. I’m determined to make a curvy-cornered quilt one of these days!
One of the most fun (funnest?) parts of quilt designing – for me, at least – is creating designs with interesting or unexpected secondary shapes. They’re the shapes that emerge in the spaces between the main (primary) shapes.
In this week’s designs, I just started with a circle and replaced one quadrant with something different – in this case, a 9-patch block coloured to look like two steps.
There was no real reason or inspiration behind the choice of a 9-patch – I just needed something different, and that was the first idea that came to mind. As soon as I started rotating the block in Electric Quilt 8 though, I liked how those steps combined with the curves and steps of adjacent blocks to make interesting secondary shapes.
I tried using a limited colour palette to let the secondary shapes blend into the background as negative space…
…and also tried colouring the primary and secondary shapes differently for emphasis.
I also kept rotating the blocks to create new and interesting shapes. The version below led me off in a new direction for loads more sketches, some of which I’ll share next week.
I love the feathery movement in this last one, and the balance between the undulating curves and the up/down steps. Definitely lots more potential in this design! Check in next week to see where I take it.
This week’s designs are just quarter-circles (drunkard’s path units) and 9-patches. Basic elements that combine to make more than the sum of their parts, I think.