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 🙂
Triangles seem so much more versatile than squares and rectangles. I’ve been playing around with half-square triangles in repetitive patterns that evoke trees* and somewhat Aztec-like designs.
Adding shading helps to differentiate each element. (Note how easy it is to lengthen the overall design by adding one more layer of HSTs per ‘tree’.)
The shading also creates movement by bringing some of the downward-facing ‘trees’ into the foreground (*perhaps I should be calling these stalactites and stalagmites instead?).
Adding colour changes the look and feel again. (Why does this totally make me think of Dr Seuss?)
Greens and reds would obviously make this a very Christmas-y quilt pattern, perfect for the holidays.
The pattern would be relatively simple to construct using long columns of HSTs and solid strips. You could even save some seams by piecing two columns at a time using flying geese.
This awesome collection of 72 quilt blocks was actually generated automatically using a computer program written by Mark Jason Dominus. From what I can tell from his webpage, he was inspired by a girlfriend who was into quilting; when they got married, she made a quilt from these blocks as a present on their wedding day. Like there’s not enough to do in the run-up to a wedding….
These blocks are all based on a half-square triangle (HST). There are a million and one tutorials online about how to make HSTs — check out the Intro to Half Square Triangles from Connecting Threads or HST Tutorial and Maths Formula from Blossom Heart Quilts. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can try the Magic 8 Method on Craftsy.