I love this week’s design – super-simple, but super-cute too. Sometimes the most basic designs have the biggest visual impact!
A limited palette (just yellow and white) makes it easier to see those curves winding their way across the design, connecting each block. They’re also visible in the reverse colourway. Honestly, I could make all the quilts in this yellow. I love it!
Two main elements pop out when you look at the design: the pinwheels and the background checkerboard. That still offers up lots of opportunity for different colour placement, even with a limited palette. Here I’ve only used two colours (yellow and pink) plus white.
Keeping the checkerboard consistent and changing some of the pinwheels…
Or keeping the pinwheels consistent and changing some of the checkerboard…
Or changing both the checkerboard and the pinwheels (and introducing one more colour)…
Saturating the design more, but keeping a few pinwheels white…
Or even fewer white…
Or none at all…
Replacing the yellow in the previous version gives you a monochrome version again, but slightly different than the first one. The outermost blocks are pinwheels rather than checkerboards, so the whole design now has a square edge. This emphasises the internal horizontal and vertical lines, too.
And, finally, a little bit of whimsy to end on. I was going to show what a section of the previous version looks like against a coloured background, but decided to keep these extra curves in. I like how they’re a little reminder of the internal curves.
Another reason why those little curves stayed in is because of how I designed the block in this Sunday sketch… and cos I was too lazy to change it when I realised there was an easier construction method.
Originally, each block was made from two drunkard’s path units and two half-square triangles (with each pair in opposite corners). When drawing in EQ8, I didn’t bother separating the drunkard’s path unit from the HST, to make it easier/quicker to colour in. But that meant that some HSTs are still attached to curves, so I couldn’t get that straight edge I was after. But I’m actually glad – those curves are a lovely little design feature!
Anyway, in hindsight, it would probably be easier to alternate two block types: one made from four drunkard’s path units (the pinwheel), and the other made from a quarter-square triangle (to create the checkerboard). If you chain-pieced a bunch of curves, I reckon a quilt made from this design would come together in no time.
This week’s design came out of the same sketching session that produced Sunday sketch #207. You can see that they use a lot of the same shapes (half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles). Whereas Sunday sketch #207 used a single small motif repeated over and over, this design is a 6 x 6 layout of a spiky block that’s rotated up or down, creating more spiky secondary shapes.
This design could be rotated so the bands of coloured shapes extend vertically instead, but I prefer the horizontal layout. I can see the hint of diagonal lines extending between the blocks, thanks to the angles of some of those shapes. And for some reason, they’re less clear in the vertical layout (at least to me).
With a design like this, which extends to two sides of the frame (rather than all four), adding a border (like the binding on a quilt) gives a slightly different feel.
The reverse colourway also works (without binding, this time).
I was playing with this design when Libs Elliott announced the release of her latest range of fabrics, Phosphor, which is due in stores in August. It looks like a great collection of super-saturated, vibrant colours with a faint denim pattern. I downloaded the image files from Andover Fabrics and imported them into my EQ8 fabric library. Here’s Dayglow mixed with Kona Storm. This pic doesn’t do it justice!
I love working with solids and basics, so I’m looking forward to seeing these fabrics in person.
This design uses mostly half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles, although there’s one triangle in the block that’s non-standard. Paper-piecing would probably be the easiest way to get the angles right without complicated cutting and measuring. Of course, the design could be tweaked to replace that non-standard shape with a half-rectangle triangle, but it gives a slightly different look overall, and I preferred this one. Sometimes the easiest way is not the best way 🙂
The logical progression from last week’s Sunday sketch was to flip the design around, so that the curves are on the inside and the sharp edges are on the outside.
I mentioned last week that I’ve been playing with pale colours in EQ8 to try and recreate a scrappy, low-volume look. I don’t like using prints in EQ8 – they’re just a bit too much for my brain to handle 🙂 But I love the look of scrappy quilts so I’m pleased to have found a design compromise.
I tried this approach in a few colour palettes. Warm tones, which makes the design look very sunny (literally)!
And some paler tones too.
Of course, a quilt made from this design doesn’t need to be scrappy. There are other ways of using colour to define the different elements, such as highlighting those squares between the blocks.
Oops, I can see one half of a flying geese unit that I didn’t colour in, at the bottom left. Argh, and another one, in the block above it! Haha I missed that when creating the design, exporting the PDF, saving the PDF as a JPEG, and cropping the JPG to use in this post. It’s funny how it can take awhile to see something so obvious. Oh well. That’s life.
Like last week’s design, this week’s Sunday sketch is made from drunkard’s path units, flying geese or half-square triangles, and squares.