Tagged: drunkard’s path

Sunday sketch #304

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!


Sunday sketch #302

I’ve used lots of hard angles lately, so let’s relax with some groovy curves this week!

This is a block-based design: the version above uses a 4 (across) x 6 (down) layout. (I liked the idea of stopping the design before the bottom edge of the frame, kinda like the design is dripping down the page.) Anyway, in the design above, the inner blocks each have four colours (with the tiniest of background colour in their corners), while the outer blocks have three colours plus background. I’ve coloured the blocks to create those big S shapes that extend between blocks.

The S shapes are made from two types of curves: quarter-circles (or drunkard’s paths) and elongated 2:1 curves (twice as long as they are wide – which I first encountered using the long drunkard’s path templates from Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten).

Combining these two shapes gives some really organic, flowing movement across the entire quilt design. You can put your finger down, trace along a curve, and it’ll just keep meandering round the page. I love it.

I also love how the use of colour can suggest transparency, just because of how the curves seemingly overlap.

All those swirly, globular shapes remind me of a lava lamp.

This design could be made into a quilt using just curves (and some borders). I use templates for curves: for cutting the pieces and for trimming the final units. I like Jenny’s templates because they’re oversized, so you can be a little off with your sewing and still trim down to a perfect drunkard’s path or long oval drunkard’s path unit. (I don’t get anything from Jenny for spruiking her awesome templates! I just like telling people about products I like 🙂 )

Sunday sketch #297

Last week’s sketch was so groovy – I just had to keep playing with the tessellation.

In this week’s designs, the curvy cross from Sunday sketch #296 appears without the interstitial stars, and in an expanded palette that avoids the need for alternate colouring.

It looks a bit like a camouflage pattern to me. Not that I really want to be thinking about military clothing right now.

The arrangement of stars can be mixed up a bit…

…and of course there’s nothing stopping you from using more colours. I’ve stuck to a palette of three colours for most of these designs, but four works too.

Like last week’s sketch, this week’s designs could be made into a quilt using drunkard’s path units (or quarter-circles) and a few squares. Lots of repetition in piecing, but I don’t mind that.