There should be a name for when the same shape appears in the foreground and the background in a repeating pattern. It hasn’t happened for awhile – the last one I can spot on my Instagram feed was Sunday sketch #110, posted in August 2018. Sunday sketches #102, #103 and #104 are also good examples (I was obviously hung up on that theme then!).
In this week’s design, the pointy crosses – the ones in that light and dark teal – come to the foreground. The coral shapes recede to the background.
But look closer: those coral units are the exact same size and shape – a pointy cross. Each of the background shapes is made from the corners of the adjacent 4 blocks, but they end up being the same as the main shape that appears in the centre of the block.
Together, they make a checkerboard grid on point. The white squares help to break up the repetition, and the slightly different colouring of the two sets of shapes helps to distinguish them further.
Alternating the block colouring helps to define the boundaries between blocks, and disguises the similarity between the foreground and background shapes even more.
Again, those white squares help to break up the colour and the busy-ness of this design.
As a block-based quilt, this one would be relatively easy to make. It’s just half-square triangles, flying geese units, a square-in-a-square unit, and some squares and rectangles. It’d be great for playing with transparency.
I had an idea for a block this week. Two pairs of diagonal strips with angled ends, overlapping in the middle to create an ‘X’ shape. Don’t ask me where the idea came from – I must’ve seen an ‘X’ somewhere and wondered if I could do something with it.
One of the things I love most about quilt designing is the fact that a single block can create a million quilt patterns, just by rotating or colouring it differently. Case in point…
OK, that’s 4 (well, 2 colourways of 2 designs). I made more, but I just liked these 4 together. They’re all a 6 × 6 layout of the same block, using only 4 colours (I know, I know – black and white aren’t colours). Some use transparency; some don’t.
I actually love the idea of creating a single quilt with all 4 of those designs, with the same colour palette to pull them together. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The best thing about this design might be how basic the actual block is.
Given its symmetry and structure, I bet it’s a traditional block that’s been used before – it’s probably even got a name. It’s like a variation on a sawtooth star. Obviously, with different colouring, this block could be used to create completely different designs that don’t look anything like the ones above.
Making these designs into actual quilts would be pretty easy. You’d just need 4 flying geese blocks, 4 half-square triangles, and one square-in-a-square for the centre for each block.
Recently I created a bunch of related designs that I figured I’d just post together, since they’re so similar. They’re all based on triangles – mostly half-square triangles, but also some flying geese and some elongated diamond shapes (rhombi!).
I wanted to recreate the feel of my Heartbreaker quilt pattern – those long diagonal lines created by adjacent half-square triangles – and ended up sketching one design after another on my Rhodia dot pad. There really are no limits to how you can use those shapes in that way.
I love the energy and movement in these designs, and the way they evoke electricity pylons, or maybe cranes, or building scaffolding.
I plan to keep sketching more along this theme. I’d love to try making one of these designs into an actual quilt. I’d prefer to use piecing, although I think you could also make these designs using appliquéd bias strips (if you had a very steady hand or a long straight edge!).