I’ve mentioned before that I tend to explore a lot of regular, methodical and systematic variations on a theme before branching out into ‘improv’ or disordered versions of the same idea. It’s just how my brain works: I feel more comfortable tackling things in a structured way before exploring the unstructured. It’s almost like I need to establish the rules before I can decide how to break them.
So, more windows this week, but peering into an array of angled lines of varying thickness. As with most of my ‘improv’-like sketches, I didn’t think this one through too much — just started shading from the top left, deciding what worked best in each rectangle depending on its closest neighbours. Taking it one rectangle at a time helps to keep the whole design balanced in terms of the direction of the angles, the thickness of the stripes, and the amount of shading.
All the angles are 45 degrees (there’s only so much disorder I can handle at once!), so the construction would be fairly simple (following the same general procedure as Sunday sketches #54 and #55). This design would work well with multiple fabrics, and with scraps too.
It’s funny how things come full circle. Lately, in my day job, I’ve been writing about recent discoveries in neuroscience research. It’s a great reminder of two things: the human brain is amazing, and researchers are making ground-breaking discoveries about how it works.
So, synapses firing and neurons connecting led to this week’s branched design.
But the design also reflects a feeling of disruption and distress. I received news this week that a dear family member had suffered a massive stroke. Thankfully he was treated by one of the country’s best specialists, and is showing signs of recovery. It will take time, but I’m trying to hang on to those recent realisations: the brain has an amazing capacity to recover from damage, and researchers – including doctors who work with patients – are making great progress in the field of brain research.
This pattern is all angles – half-square triangles and half-rectangle triangles. It might be easier to paper-piece the skinnier parallelograms. There’s no need to follow this exact layout – you could make a bunch of pieces and just mix them around until you created the desired effect. Disorder and chaos are the goal.
Last week I posted the first in a series of designs using diamonds, a shape I don’t sketch – or sew – very often. The first sketch was an ordered, regular pattern; this one’s more improv.
This design reminds me of the twists and turns of barbed wire, with sharp edges pointing in every direction. The diamonds are 2:1 scale – in other words, they’re twice as high as they are wide. You can see ink spots in some of the long lines where I paused to check I was on the right trajectory!
I don’t always know how a design would (or could) be made into a pattern when I’m sketching. Most of the time, I figure it out after I’ve put the pen down. In this case, I think it would involve a lot of angled strips and diamonds, and maybe even some half-rectangle triangles. Plus some partial seams, and a lot of planning.