Tagged: half-rectangle triangles

Sunday sketch #242

This week’s series of designs is all about retro windmills. And pinwheels. Can you say that ten times fast…?

I came up with this design very quickly in EQ8. I started with an idea of adding a curve to a half-rectangle triangle (why not?), and then playing with placement. I made a square block with two of those shapes facing each other, then repeated them, and rotated them. Then tried to find some retro colour schemes that would fit this mid-century-modern-ish design!

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-1

The design offers lots of colouring options (from simple to more complicated). This one reminds me of cotton swabs. I can’t decide if this one’s really my favourite….

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-4

More complicated colouring just seems to detract from the simple yet striking design.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-2

Rotating the blocks provides even more colouring options. Check out the pinwheel shapes that emerge when you turn each block 90 degrees. (The windmill shapes are still there too.)

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-3

The design works in many different combinations of three colours (or two plus white).

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-5

I can create a similar effect with just the pinwheels instead. Same blocks, small variation.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-6

Turning the blocks again can produce a slightly chaotic design. I like this one – at first glance it seems disordered, but when you look more closely, you can see that it’s actually a regular, repetitive layout. The windmill shapes are still there; there are just fewer of them (only four complete windmills per colour), with hints of others around the outside.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #242-7

I stuck with the slightly offset layout, just for something different. But many of these designs would work in a square layout with smaller, matching borders (or none at all).

Each block is made up of drunkard’s path blocks or semicircles, plus two half-rectangle triangles. A chain-piecing dream!

Quilt pattern: Fanfold

I am over-the-moon, beside-myself excited that my quilt, Fanfold, is featured on the cover of the 2021 QuiltCon Magazine. WOW!!!


Geometriquilt: Fanfold quilt pattern

The pattern for Fanfold is one of 10 in this year’s magazine. This is the second time I’ve had a pattern in QuiltCon Magazine; the last time was Flight Pattern in 2020. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the magazine once again! The editorial team are fantastic to work with, and it’s such a privilege to be able to share my work with other modern quilters around the world. I’m so chuffed!!

Fanfold is a simple but striking design that came from Sunday sketch #4, which I posted waaaay back in July 2016. At the time, I had been quilting for less than 2 years, and I still wasn’t super-confident. My designs followed my skills, so they featured a lot of squares and triangles. (The first time I posted a design using curves was two years and more than 100 sketches later!)

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #4-2

You can see that I reworked the design slightly for submission to QuiltCon Magazine. I kept the overall shape of the zig-zagged columns. I kept the spacing, so that adjacent columns never actually touch. And I kept the off-set placement of the zig-zags in the overall frame. But I flipped the whole thing around, so the zig-zags are on the right of the frame. And I added another column. And – most importantly – I added dimensionality to the columns by using two colours instead of one; the zigs (ha!) are coloured one way, and the zags another.

Here’s how I re-drew the design in ElectricQuilt 8, adding colour:

Geometriquilt: Fanfold

The design was actually super-easy to make. The quilt top came together so fast! The shapes are made from half-square triangles and two types of half-rectangle triangles (2:1 and 3:1). Probably the longest part was just figuring out how many I needed of each colour. Then I cut, chain-pieced, pressed, trimmed using my Bloc-Loc rulers (lifesavers!), pieced into columns, added large pieces of background fabric, and ta-da! Finished quilt top!

I used Kona Cotton Solids (my favourite) in Carrot, Primrose and White. But one of the great things about this design is that you could make it in any colour for the background, with another 2 colours (or 1 colour plus white) for the zig-zags. Lots of opportunity for personalisation!

Fanfold was custom quilted by Valerie Cooper from Sweet Gum Quilting. There’s no way that my own quilting would’ve been good enough to get this quilt on the cover of a magazine, so I’m very grateful for Valerie’s work! I am all about focusing on my strengths and outsourcing the other stuff to people more skilled than me.

I did learn one new skill with this quilt though. I ended up adding a faced binding, rather than my usual standard binding. It was a bit stressful, as I’d never done one before, but I found tutorials from the Silly BooDilly and Cotton & Bourbon super-helpful (just don’t combine them… ask me how I know). Facing really does give a different look to finished quilts, one that’s probably more suited to a ‘show’ quilt. It also worked well with this quilt, as it meant that the zig-zags could run to the very edge of the quilt without being cut off by the binding.

If you’d like to see more of Fanfold, or make the quilt yourself, you can buy the digital edition of the 2021 QuiltCon Magazine on the Quilting Daily website. Print issues will be available closer to QuiltCon Together (Feb 18-22).

If you make Fanfold, let me know! I’d love to see pics! Send me an email or tag me on Instagram (or both, since I don’t always see all notifications).

And if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll register for QuiltCon Together. I’m excited about being able to take part in workshops and lectures from Australia. I hope to get to QuiltCon one of these days, but not this year. Let’s all stay home and stay safe!

Sunday sketch #217

When I sit down to sketch (on paper or in EQ8), unless I have something specific in mind, I’ll often start by playing with old favourites – like a star, or some triangles, or maybe even some curves. It’s like a warm-up, to get my brain thinking about shapes and colours.

This week’s series of sketches came from a star block. But I’m not going to show you the original star block I came up with. Why not? Because it’s boring!

One of the advantages of using Electric Quilt 8 for designing quilts is how easily you can manipulate single blocks. Often I’ll design a block that’s a bit meh, but rotating it, flipping it, or colouring it differently can create something way more interesting. Those sorts of manipulations are much more time-consuming (and paper-consuming!) to do with my gel pen and dot pad.

So I’ll walk you through a bunch of designs that came out of the original boring star block. The boring star block was created from 4 copies of a single mini-block, and it’s this mini-block that I’ve manipulated to create a bunch of new designs.

Here’s the first one. The block is laid out in a 6 x 6 grid, with the blocks all facing the same direction. The two-colour palette (not counting white) helps you to differentiate the single blocks.


Still facing the same direction, but now the pink blocks are in a reverse colourway – the pink and white are switched. It’s a small change but it definitely gives the two designs a slightly different feel.


Switching back to a single colour (black) subtly changes the design again. This one makes me think of sprigs of vegetation out in the desert.


Rotating the blocks introduces a new variation. In the design below, the blocks are rotated 90 degrees with respect to their neighbours. The alternating colours help to create some new shapes and movement.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #217-4

Adding in a third colour (and a border, just for fun) helps to distinguish those spiky internal shapes from the angled border shapes. The blue and pink shapes now feel like two interconnected webs, controlling those spiky black shapes (which have 8 ‘legs’!).

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #217-5

Or the black shapes can come to the foreground, by colouring in the squares that have thus far remained hidden. This also streamlines the blue and pink border shapes, which actually helps to refine its movement (to my mind, anyway).


We can thicken up the blue and pink by switching out the border shapes for the spiky-background shapes instead. We can still see the diagonal movement of the colours, but we get to see more of the colours too.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #217-7

You can get a better idea of where those squares came from (and how they contribute to the actual construction of a quilt from this design) if we colour them differently. I think this design might be my favourite of this series.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #217-8

Or switch blue to white, and add a coloured border to make the pink feel like it’s a background rather than a foreground colour.

Geometriquilt: Sunday sketch #217-9

You could embrace white as a background colour, and use chunky rinds of colour to separate the black spikes.


Or take the focus off the black spikes altogether.


But I kinda like the spikes, so here they’re the focus again. This pared-back design doesn’t need any half-rectangle triangles like the other designs – they could be replaced with solid rectangles here. Much quicker and easier! I think this version would look great in a scrappy palette or a limited palette with scrappy fabrics.


Using a single colour can help to show the construction of a single block. There’s so much going on in this version that I think it needs a super-limited palette to not be too overwhelming (for me, anyway).


And, last but not least, a totally different version that just goes to show the versatility (and serendipity) you can create by changing only block rotation and colour placement.


This is just the tip of the iceberg; I have so many more variations of this design that I haven’t shared here. I just wanted to show how easy it is to make large changes to an overall design by tweaking little bits along the way.

So, each block is constructed using two squares, two half-rectangle triangles, one half-square triangle, and two triangle-in-a-square units. Depending on your colour placement though, you might not need some of these units.