Tagged: half-square triangles

Sunday sketch #306

This week’s sketch has made me realise that I don’t design with flying geese nearly enough!

I started with alternating blocks of half-square triangles and double flying geese. The great thing about pairing these two units is that the two triangles share the same 45-degree angle, so they fit well together.

I actually started with the repetitive elements covering the entire design.

I like this design on its own, but you know I can never stop iterating….

So I removed some of the shapes at the bottom, to introduce some negative space and reinforce the sense that those elongated vertical parallelograms are the main shape in the design (created by a double flying geese unit flanked by two half-square triangles).

Here’s the first version in another colourway:

I don’t like this one as much; I like the dark blue flying geese in the first one! OK then, back to a blue background. Here I’ve removed shapes from the side (or added borders, depending on your perspective).

I also liked the idea of removing any of those white-on-blue flying geese that ended up ‘floating’ against the background when other blocks were removed. I feel like this version shows that gridwork of ‘overlapping’ vertical and diagonal lines more clearly.

There are so many potential variations on this design, depending on what you keep and what you remove.

I’m not always so careful with how I colour things, but in this case I like how the diagonal lines of flying geese alternate white and blue, as does each column and row of flying geese. The design feels very balanced as a result.

These designs can be made into quilts using half-square triangles and flying geese, plus some borders (where necessary). There are only a few colourways for each type of block/unit, so it would be a chain-piecing dream.

I’m actually in the process of making a quilt based on this design, and I can confirm that it’s coming together quickly! Hopefully it’ll look as good in fabric as it does on the screen.


Sunday sketch #301

The similarities between this week’s design and last week’s Sunday sketch are probably pretty obvious. Those square-within-a-square motifs are still there, but now connected by triangles instead of small squares.

The added angles from the triangles lend more movement to the design. And they present more opportunities for interesting block placement.

I like a dark background, but I also prefer the darker triangles – so back to a white background it is!

I like the balance between the straight edges on one side of the design, and the staggered, overhanging triangles on the other side.

This week’s design is a fairly straightforward one – just alternating blocks, set on point. Half of the blocks are square-within-a-square units, and the other half are half-square triangles. I’ve only used three colours here, but you could probably get away with more. I reckon a scrappy approach might work too. Try it and see? (Then let me know!)

Sunday sketch #295

The last day of QuiltCon is today, so you’ve no doubt seen lots of modern quilty goodness online. I’ve got three quilts in this year’s show, one of which is also a pattern in the QuiltCon magazine. I’m bummed not to see them hanging in person, but I’m not quite ready to hop on a plane just yet. Maybe next year?

Anyway, I was feeling like this week’s Sunday sketch wasn’t too modern, but having checked the Modern Quilt Guild’s definition of modern quilting, I guess it fits. It’s got “the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color”, although no “improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, [or] alternate grid work”. The heavy use of half-square triangles (HSTs) feels more traditional to me, despite the bright solids, but apparently “the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting”. So I reckon I’m covered haha!

I created these fishy shapes using HSTs, then embedded one (in colour) within another (in dark blue). I rotated the blocks to create lots of fishy movement, and separated them with thin sashing to avoid the HSTs from adjacent blocks touching (which would create secondary shapes that I didn’t want). Here it is in my usual warm palette:

And in a cool palette:

As with any block-based design, this week’s sketch has lots of layout options. In the design on the bottom left, the blocks are arranged to create a spiky trail of HSTs (on either side of the white sashing) zig-zagging up the design from left to right. On the bottom right, I’ve just pointed the blocks all in the same direction. There’s a lot less movement in that version, but it’s nice to have somewhere predictable to rest your eyes.

Paring back the palette is also possible.

Or amp it up by adding more layers of ‘fish’. Here I’ve embedded two more fish-inside-a-fish, to make four fish per block. It’s probably overkill – imagine making all those HSTs! Not to mention how small they’d have to be (unless you wanted a massive quilt).

This last variation is so energetic, and I love how the areas where four blocks meet create a kind of ‘ripple’ effect – like you’d get after dropping a pebble into a pond.

This week’s sketch could be made into a quilt using lots – and I mean lots – of HSTs, plus a few strips. You’d definitely want to use a technique for making multiple HSTs at once, like the ‘magic 8’ method. I think the earlier variations could work with prints as the central fabric in each block, but I need to try that to find out. I’d still use solids for the big fish and the sashing, though – things would get way too busy otherwise.