Perhaps I stared too long at a clock this week, but I suddenly had an idea for a block featuring a circle cut in half and half again. (Or maybe I was inspired by last week’s split quarter-square triangle block.)
I imagined using some bright colours in the design, but instead settled on this dark green with an orange. I love the bright pop of colour against the murky background.
You can see if I rotate the circles, new secondary designs (squares) appear.
Or I can rotate the designs to create ’empty’ squares where the filled squares were.
Or just rotate randomly to create a bit of disorder. (Although if you look closely, you’ll see there is order here: the first and third rows are the same, as are the second and fourth rows. This makes each quadrant of 4 circles the same, too.)
This is just a single block in a 4 x 4 layout, surrounded by a wide border on all sides. It could be created in four quadrants, or perhaps one semicircle and two quadrants. There are lots more ways you can rotate the blocks, or use colour to create secondary designs. Endless fun!
A very basic design this week, which immediately brings to mind arches and tunnels.*
Whenever I sit down to sketch without any particular design in my head, I start by playing around with basic shapes – circles, squares, triangles, rectangles. This is the first thing I came up with this week – a few lines, a few curves. A cute colour palette that makes me happy.
It’s not a groundbreaking design – someone somewhere will have already made a quilt just like this, I’m sure. (I even searched Pinterest for examples, but no luck. Laura Ward’s ‘Getting over the hump’ quilt uses arches of different scale and a limited colour palette, and Tula Pink’s Gothic Arches quilt pattern repeats the same shapes at different scales… but I can’t find an example of curved arches repeated like this… if you know of one, tell me and I’ll update this post!)
Anyway… my goal with the Sunday sketches is to explore geometry, practice playing with new shapes, make designs that make me happy… and inspire others to do the same. Sometimes even the most basic designs tick those boxes.
The blocks can be rotated to create a secondary shape – those black lozenges cut across with coloured triangles. The horizontal breaks between the rows feel like they’re descending slowly to the right… is that just an optical illusion?
I also tried a version in which the blocks don’t have that horizontal strip of colour at the bottom. This allows the arches and tunnels to sit directly on top of each other. In some cases, the background colour of one arch flows into the foreground colour of the tunnel above it. I don’t really plan colour placement when I’m colouring designs like this… I just work with one colour at a time and try to space things out so they feel comfortable to me. Occasionally I’ll avoid placing the same colours next to one another, but other times I just let it happen.
One advantage to removing the horizontal strip is that when blocks are rotated, the lines flow from one to the other without interruption.
And, because all these tunnels and arches make me think of aqueducts, I made a design with blocks of different size – a bit like the Pont du Gard.
These blocks are all made with triangles (somewhere between half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles), curves (two adjacent drunkard’s path units or a single semi-circle) and strips. It would require lots of repetitive piecing, but I find that those quilts are often the fastest to sew!
* My husband helpfully suggested that I paint this design on a wall and wait for someone to crash into it hahahaha. Yes, it’s a bit Wile E. Coyote / Road Runner-esque…!
Last week’s Sunday sketch included 10 versions of a single design, showing how much a pattern can vary by changing only the colour palette or placement. This week’s Sunday sketch continues on that theme using the same design. Here are 10 more variations!
Let’s start with a two-colour quilt design as a palate (palette!) cleanser 🙂
Just as a reminder of the shapes I’m working with in this design… there are ‘flower’ shapes (shown below in yellow) and the shapes created at their intersections (shown in pink). Both types of shapes have a star in their centre.
Even working with just two colours, there are plenty of ways to vary the design.
The basic versions of the design often let secondary shapes emerge… which I’ve highlighted below in pink. Can you see them in the design above as well?
Or I can take all the shapes within those secondary ‘circles’, and use the reverse colourway (yellow on dark blue, rather than dark blue on yellow). This is a bit more psychedelic…
Back to the more regular pattern… I removed the centres of the stars (colouring them in using the colour of the star’s arms). Those secondary patterns are still clearly visible if you get your eye in.
And then I played more with the star shapes… alternating the level of detail…
…and the colour.
Regular readers know that I often prefer the symmetrical, two-colour versions of my designs. So this next version is one of my favourites. I love how the four corner stars poke out of the overall design.
And the secondary shapes are still there. Highlighted here in white, just for effect.
It’s funny how the feel of this design changes, too. Some of the versions feel quite ‘modern’ to me, while others seem much more ‘traditional’. I’ve often struggled to define ‘modern’ when it comes to quilting, and I don’t necessarily agree with some of the definitions out there. (Also, I’ve often thought about setting up two brands to sell the same quilt patterns… one brand to sell the ‘traditional’ version, and the other to sell the ‘modern’ version. I’d love to know the overlap between those two customer bases!)
Anyway, I digress.
Like Sunday sketch #238, this design is just two blocks alternating in an 11 x 11 grid. One block is two half-circles facing each other; the other is an arrangement of 4 kite blocks. The only difference between all these versions is the colours – what they are, and where they go. And I have a million more variations on this design… well, maybe not a million, but certainly another 30 or 40 (at least). The possibilities are almost endless!