Tagged: drunkard’s path

Sunday sketch #329

The curvy pinwheels are still going strong… once again, they’re the main feature in this week’s Sunday sketch. But instead of diagonal lines, each block has two curved lines (moving in the same direction as the HSTs in Sunday sketch #327). So now we’ve got some tropical flowers!

Colouring adjacent blocks creates the flower shapes, with one of the two half-circles in each block contributing to the centre pinwheel. I find that colouring in the pinwheel itself helps to ‘anchor’ the four blocks together; leaving them all the same as the background colour gives a different feel, I think (although I still like it). All the dark pinwheels in this version keep my eye moving too much; it takes me too long to decide where to rest my gaze.

I also alternated the colouring to feature the flowers and then just the pinwheels. I could’ve maybe done a larger layout of this one to show off the design a bit better (and to get rid of that annoying thin line running along the right side and bottom of the image… that’s an artefact of exporting a PDF from Electric Quilt; it happens occasionally and it bugs me).

Anyway, this week’s design just needs curves – and lots of them. Large quarter-circles and smaller half-circles (which you could make using two smaller quarter-circles, or drunkard’s path units).

This design might work well with some large-scale floral prints? I am a big fan of kitschy floral prints, so maybe this is the design my secret stash has been waiting for??


Sunday sketch #328

The block in last week’s Sunday sketch featured two half-square triangles whose long faces (or hypotenuses, for all you math fans out there) faced each other. By swivelling each HST by 90 degrees, I created a diagonal line running across the whole block, which (when rotated) introduces new lines to the whole design. Here, I’ve coloured one side and left the other side as the background colour.

Here it is in a palette closer to last week’s.

Because the design ends up looking like alternating blocks that are set on point, it lends itself to two-colour palette. I like colouring the outermost units so that the minor feature (in this case, the curvy pinwheels) are highlighted and feel like they’re floating against the background; otherwise, the design feels a bit ‘blocked in’ to me.

I like how the horizontal and vertical lines in the curvy pinwheels suggest another (subtle) grid across the whole design that balances out the diagonal grid, while the curves keep everything feeling more gentle and less harsh. (Sometimes I wonder if any of the things I write make sense, but I reckon there must be other people who feel the same in reaction to shapes.)

This design reminds me a bit of Sunday sketch #215 (another favourite of mine) – a simple combination of curves and HSTs that creates a diagonal checkerboard effect. I wish there were enough hours in the day (and money in the bank) to make all the quilts!


ps. I messed up when drafting this post, and ended up publishing it immediately instead of scheduling it. Doh! So some readers will have been confused on Friday 23 September when they got the automated email. Consider yourselves lucky to have witnessed only the second scheduling mistake in over 6 years of Sunday sketches 🙂

Sunday sketch #326

So, here’s a funny story… I designed this week’s Sunday sketch a few years ago, and loved it so much (SO MUCH!) that I held back on posting it so I could make it into a quilt first. Often I’ll get excited about a design and fall down a rabbit hole of fabric selecting and online ordering… and then I lose interest (it’s the paradox of choice). But with this one, I actually made it!

Here’s the sketch (check out the acid yellow!)…

And here’s the actual quilt!


It’s a little hard to tell in that pic, but I bound the quilt in the acid yellow. Thanks to Valerie of Sweet Gum Quilting for the horizontal 1/2″ straight-line quilting, which I love.

So anyway, after I bound the quilt, I packed it away so I could take a proper photo eventually… and then forgot all about it. Oops. Which is kinda crazy, cos I still LOVE this design. It’s so simple, yet it works so well with a huge range of palettes.

With a dark background…

…and a light one.

This is a 5 x 5 block layout with a 5-colour palette, and each block contains three elements (the middle square, the star arms, and the background squircle). That combination means that each colour can be used once per row and per column in each of the three elements. Although if you look closely enough, you’ll see that I had to break that rule in a few places.

Including white in the 5-colour palette means that a few stars don’t have a background squircle. I like how that opens up the design a bit and adds some negative space for the eye to rest. (The sashing between the blocks helps with that too.)

You can see that despite all the possible block permutations (3 elements x 5 colours), there are still a few blocks that are repeated in the previous versions. I tried again with the colour placement to avoid repetition, but it’s not easy! These next two versions feel a smidge ‘heavier’ to me, but maybe the larger number of unique blocks just makes the design seem busier?

Of course, you could avoid the difficulty of colour placement by using fewer colours and going with just two blocks in an alternating layout.

I also like alternating the ‘full’ star blocks with the ‘bare’ star blocks, which lightens the design a bit more.

I know I’ve only used solid colours in these variations, but I think this design is one that would work really well with prints, particularly a coordinating range of fabrics.

This week’s sketch could be made into a quilt using quarter-circle (or drunkard’s path) units, triangle-in-a-square units (or half-rectangle triangles), squares, and sashing. I know a lot of people don’t like using sashing, but I like how it opens up a quilt design and lets the blocks breathe a little. OK, that sounds weird, but basically quilts feel less crowded to me when they have sashing.

Anyway, I’m not sure I’ve ever re-made the same quilt design before, but I’m very tempted to make another one of these quilts. It was awhile ago that I made it, but I’m pretty sure it came together quickly, as there are only a few basic shapes you need to make. As usual for me, the longest part was deciding on the colour palette.