Tagged: half-square triangles

Sunday sketch #349

A quick, cute design this week, and an excuse to talk about colour placement.

This design is set on point, and just features squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units). In the version above, the squares are coloured the same as the background, and the curves are in white, yellow, orange (light, medium or dark) or pink.

Even though each row features squares of background colour, they look like they’re two zig-zagging lines twisting round each other – like a double coil of white plus another colour. I’m not sure what optical illusion is at play here; it’s not really a transparency effect, because white plus any of these colours wouldn’t produce that background colour. But somehow the brain just seems to imagine that those squares are connecting the curves on either side to create a long, winding coil.

The design works horizontally too.

And in a more limited palette.

The design doesn’t have the same effect with a different colour placement though. Below I’ve used different placement in each row, and you can see how it changes the whole effect – in some places, the transparency is there but less effective; in other cases, it’s gone completely, leaving quite a clunky design in its wake.

The first row above features a transparency effect: the white and red zig-zags overlap in pink squares, which makes sense. I feel like it’s a bit ‘heavier’ than the second row. The third and fifth rows lose that effect completely, and feel very clunky (and boring) to me. The fourth row retains the zig-saggy feel (for the most part), but using red to colour in the squares where the white and pink ‘overlap’ doesn’t quite work, so feels a bit wrong.

So anyway, if a pattern featured a design like this, I think it would be important to tell people how the overall effect might change with different fabric placement. Something that looks great on paper might end up looking very dodgy in fabric if you weren’t careful.

Of course, the same design can be coloured completely differently, to avoid any of these problems 🙂

These designs could be made into quilts by arranging squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units) on point. The last version uses half-square triangles instead of squares. All fairly straightforward!



Sunday sketch #346

If I was any good at planning ahead with my quilt designs, I would’ve posted a Valentine’s-related sketch this week, but… I’m not, so I haven’t. Instead, you get the latest in a series of related sketches (check out Sunday sketches #344 and #345 to see where it started).

The original inspiration for this series of sketches was a strip of three triangle-in-a-square units, which I included as part of my first design for Tara Glastonbury’s #quiltfromabrief series that she’s currently doing on her blog and in Make Modern magazine. You can see my design on Instagram – and at the bottom left, that strip of three triangles. It’s not something I’ve used much before (one on its own, definitely, but not three together). Ooh, the possibilities!

So this is the first design in the series where all the triangles are actually coloured in. You can see the similarities with the past two weeks’ sketches – that inner star, surrounded by an octagon, with an outer shell of half-square triangles (and now triangle-in-a-square units). And, of course, with so many elements in the basic block, there are loads of colouring options.

I always like the simplicity of a two-colour design (or three, if you count white), but multiple colours are good too.

And here it is in the same warm palette I’ve used before.

I think this design is quite ‘traditional’ (as opposed to ‘modern’) in a lot of ways, and I can certainly amplify that through colour placement.

Flipping the blue and white gives a somewhat similar look and feel…

Whereas flipping the green and blue produces a transparency effect that really highlights the circular movement around the design. I love this one! It’s one of my favourite versions. But it definitely feels traditional. Not that that’s a bad thing 🙂

A checkerboard background retains a lot of the circular motion, but is getting a bit too busy for me.

I also ‘opened up’ the designs a bit by adding more background colour (white) within each block – changing the corner pieces around the octagon to the background colour creates a square within the block and makes those corner triangle-in-a-square units a bit more obvious.

Funnily enough, I think the two-colour version feels busier than the multicoloured version. I’m not sure why.

I feel like this last version also emphasises those diamonds created by the triangle-in-a-square units between adjacent blocks. I’ll play with those more next week!


Sunday sketch #345

This week’s sketch uses the same basic block as last week’s, but different colouring creates quite a different effect.

I’ve replaced the half-square triangles from last week with squares (which really just means colouring the two half-squares in the same colour), which eliminates the octagon surrounding that inside star. All the other shapes are the same, but I’ve only used two colours per block, and alternated the block colouring to create a checkerboard effect. Then I just removed some of the blocks to open up the space a bit.

The next version is the same, but the central squares are coloured the same as the surrounding internal stars. It’s a very small difference but I feel like it makes quite a difference to the overall feel. Or maybe that’s just me?

Adding in another colour and reintroducing one of the shapes from last week – those half-square triangles at the corner of the outer stars – brings that curvy movement back into the design. Lots of swoopy waves extend diagonally across the quilt in both directions, as well as making larger circular shapes throughout. Your eyes can go round forever following the lines.

It’s the same if we take those corners away completely (by just colouring the outer triangle of the half-square triangles in the background colour of the block). The swoopy lines are still there, creating what feel like shadowy shapes in the ether.

And again, the central squares can be coloured the same as the inner stars. (I can’t decide if I want to call them internal stars, inside stars or inner stars, so I think I’ve gone with one of each in this post….)

Like last week’s sketch(es), this week’s sketch(es) could be made into a quilt using squares, triangle-in-a-square units and half-square triangles. All pretty basic shapes that are fairly easy to cut and piece.

I love showing the variety you can achieve with a single block, just by making small tweaks to colour and colour placement. There’ll be more next week!