I love the look of skinny strips in quilt piecing. A few quilters have used this technique to great effect recently – Steph Skardal has done a bunch of stuff with straight strips, while Jenny Haynes (also known as Papper Sax Sten) has mastered curvy strips. (I’m hoping to take one of Jenny’s workshops soon!) And lately I’ve discovered Sarah Bond using angled strips to create elongated triangles and diamonds. Sarah’s been running workshops on her technique recently: check out #precisionpieceddiamonds on Instagram. (As much as I love seeing quilt teachers’ own work, it’s even better seeing the amazing variety in their students’ work – which I also think is a sure sign of a good teacher.)
Anyway… I was playing with long strips recently, and created this week’s diamond-y designs. I didn’t set out to recreate Sarah’s approach, but given the similarities, I just had to reference her work.
In my case, I’ve overlapped the large diamond shapes, which creates smaller secondary diamonds. They can be coloured in differently for effect, or left ‘blank’.
Even with a limited palette, there are plenty of combinations and permutations of colour – for the strips themselves and the shapes they enclose.
But sometimes simple is best.
I’ve never actually sewn with skinny strips – I kinda assume I wouldn’t get them as straight or precise as I’d like (and even the slightest smidge of wonkiness would drive me nuts). But I think the best way to do these would be using paper piecing. If you’re interested, you should check out workshops and tutorials from Sarah Bond, Jenny Haynes and Steph Skardal!
What do you think of the 2021 Pantone Color(s) of the Year? (Me? Meh.)
The Pantone Color Institute picked yellow (‘Illuminating’) and grey (‘Ultimate Gray’) for its colours this year. (It’s not the first time they’ve chosen two instead of one; in 2016 they selected baby pink and baby blue (sorry… ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’). Ugh.)
Anyways… I figured I’d try the yellow/grey combo in a design! I’m always on the lookout for new colour combinations. (And the first quilt I ever made was in yellow and grey prints, so I have a soft spot for this palette.)
I’ve been experimenting with block-based designs based on only two blocks – it’s an interesting visual exercise, and a good way to find unexpected secondary shapes.
I’m always fascinated by how colouring a design differently can give a quilt pattern a whole new look. But what’s great about this design is that colouring the pieces in the same way, but in a different palette, also produces a different effect. In the version above, the grey diamonds create a ripple effect of concentric (almost) circles. But in the version below, when the colours are switched, the white diamonds don’t have quite the same effect.
But this design is also a perfect example of how colouring the pieces differently can create a completely different look and feel. I added another 2 rows and columns of alternating blocks to the design below, but it’s the same checkerboard arrangement of only 2 blocks. It somehow seems a bit more complicated when colours are split between blocks, pulling some together and pushing others apart.
And we can complicate things even further…
Look at all that movement! And all of it comes from colour placement; it’s the exact same design as the version before it. I love it!
This design could be made into a quilt quite easily, as it’s just 2 square blocks repeated in an alternating arrangement. One block comprises 2 diamond shapes (or 4 triangle-in-a-square units). The other block is a cross block with a square in the middle, which could be constructed in a number of ways.
New Year, new Sunday sketch! Happy 2021!
Onwards and upwards – a theme that fits well with this week’s sketch. I created a block of 2 diamonds, which have sharp chevrons – those pointy arrow shapes – at opposite ends. Flipping and rotating the blocks then creates movement between the diamonds and the chevrons, depending on how you colour them.
I had a hard time deciding on which was my favourite, but I like how the angles create hidden mountains in this first design.
This next design was my other favourite – it’s a bit more chaotic (although also following certain rules and order).
The designs can also be rotated so the diamonds lie horizontally rather than vertically. Suddenly the vertical zig-zag created by the border between light and dark shapes is more obvious.
The design can be simplified further by focusing just on the fine arrows. I like this version; it’s more delicate, and it allows other secondary shapes and movement to emerge.
Speaking of chaos, the blocks can also be rotated. Having said that, there’s clear order in this design: the blue arrows occasionally converge in a foursome, as do the larger white kite shapes.
The background of each block can also be coloured, introducing a bit more energy and movement.
And, of course, the design can use more than 2 colours. Here I’ve added green to highlight some of the diamonds. I first coloured all the diamonds on the diagonal…
…and then tried colouring diamonds vertically. I’m not sure which I prefer!
These designs are all based on a regular arrangement of diamonds. You could use a template to cut the diamond shapes (and piece them in diagonal columns), or just make each diamond from two triangles (and piece them in rows). The arrows/chevrons would probably be easiest to do well using foundation paper piecing (for accuracy).