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.
If I could only ever design using one shape, I’d have to choose the half-square triangle. I just love it. Whenever I’m sketching aimlessly with no fixed idea in mind, I almost always start with some HSTs. They’re a bit edgy, but a bit tame; totally basic, yet versatile enough to lend themselves to some really sophisticated designs.
Recently, I sketched this idea…
It’s no great shakes, right? Not terribly interesting in black and white, but I decided to recreate it in Electric Quilt 8 to see if some colour would perk it up a bit. Well…
It’s funny what a pop of colour can do! I wasn’t overly inspired by this design on paper, but I really love it mocked up in a bright, fun colour palette.
It also works in monochrome, too… I cropped it slightly, so that it’s almost square and more symmetrical.
It’s not so clear, with the white background of the design against the white background of this page, but the half-kite shapes (made up of one HST and one half-rectangle triangle) on the sides balance each other out nicely. I reckon a contrasting binding (red against the white shapes; white against the red shapes) would look pretty cool on this one.
This design would be super-easy to make in monochrome, as each 2×3 block is made from 4 HSTs and 1 HRT. There’s an even number of blocks and half blocks, so you could use the 4-at-a-time HST method (or even 8-at-a-time!) and chain-piece your way to a finished quilt top in no time.
The multicoloured method would take a bit more planning, but nothing too difficult. Just a little bit of patience and a lot of coloured pencils 🙂