Tagged: drunkard’s path

Sunday sketch #314

This is one of my favourite Sunday sketches in a long time. It combines two of my favourite things: a simple yet effective design, and an understated palette that I’ve used before. It feels a little retro, a little modern. I love it.

Colouring the blocks slightly differently introduces horizontal lines and makes it clearer where blocks begin and end.

And then rotating the blocks introduces new shapes and movement.

That last one’s maybe a bit too trippy, but I love the first two designs! Although I can’t decide which I prefer… I like the simplicity of the first one, until I see the second one and realise I like the added horizontal lines… but maybe less is more?! Arrghh. (This indecision is probably the main reason I don’t make more quilts!)

These designs could be made into quilts using quarter- or half-circles (or drunkard’s path units), half-square triangles and rectangles. I love the limited palette of just three colours, but perhaps the design is simple enough that it could work with a broader palette?

Sunday sketch #313

We’re having a chilly winter in Melbourne this year, so I’m already dreaming of spring! This week’s sketch is also a good excuse to use my happy palette of warm yellows, pinks and oranges.

These cute flower blocks are offset by a half-block in each row, which elongates each flower ‘stem’ by extending it into the space between the two blocks beneath.

In the first version, I’ve used the same colouring for all the upper and lower ‘leaves’ in the blocks, with different colours for the flowers. But of course, the leaves can have a mix of colours too.

That’s a bit busy for my liking; here’s a version with all the blocks coloured in the same way. I’m not sure if it’s the limited palette or the darker greens that really help to highlight the repetition in those skinny curves and vertical lines.

Then I tweaked the design of the flowers themselves – this next design’s a bit more like a tulip, I think. This variation also creates a lovely diagonal movement from top left to bottom right, thanks to those new teardrop-shaped red ‘petals’.

This week’s sketch would be tricky, but not impossible, to translate into an actual quilt. It would take a combination of half-square triangles, drunkard’s path blocks, and skinny curved inset strips.

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!