I was inspired to play with a kite block recently, and discovered that it can be used to create a million different designs!
I only played with a handful of the usual colours, but even with a limited palette, the design variations seemed endless.
And a zig-zaggy one to end on! I love how the right shading can make this design look a bit 3D.
All these designs are just a grid of kite blocks on repeat, with the ‘kite’ pointing in different directions and coloured differently. I’d probably use paper-piecing to get precise blocks, which would help to keep the long lines (created by multiple blocks) straight, with nicely matched seams. Get into a chain-piecing workflow with a bunch of printed papers, and you’d have one of these designs sewn up in no time.
Remember last week‘s stars within stars? After drawing the block nine times to create last week’s sketch, I realised I could play around with the outer star design a bit more:
One of the benefits of hand-drawn sketches is that I get to spend time contemplating what I’m drawing. I’m moving slowly, and often repeating the same shapes again and again, which leaves a lot of time for thinking.
I decided to fill those stars in with something else…
Squares on point fit nicely. As always, I like the secondary shapes that pop up between the drawn shapes. Here, there are four nice crosses in the middle – not quite Celtic crosses, and I’m sure they have a name, which escapes me now. They also have enough space to fit something in… like, perhaps, more of those squares on point:
I love how the addition of one simple element can change the whole look of a design. For me, the stars and crosses have now receded into the background, and those squares pop out. If I tiled the crosses now instead of the stars, the stars would become the background feature.
Hand-sketching doesn’t always provide the immediate gratification that’s possible through EQ8* or other on-screen methods, but it does force me to move more slowly in my designing and to think differently about what I’m doing and why. I doubt I would have noticed the possibilities in this design if I hadn’t pored over it, and redrawn it again and again. Even knowing that, it still takes me some effort to close the laptop lid and sit down with my trusty dot pad and gel pen! But I’m working on it.
Similar to last week, these designs could be made into quilt patterns using kite in a square, triangle in a square, and square in a square units.
* having said that, nothing in EQ8 is ‘immediate’ so far, but I’m slowly getting to grips with it….
Back to hand-drawn sketches! This the first week in a looooong time when I’ve posted an actual pen-and-paper sketch rather than something I created on the computer. After a fairly long hiatus, I finally forced myself back to the sketch pad this week.
I started with a fairly rough sketch I’d made of a star block awhile ago. I decided I was happy with it as-is, but repeated it to see what came up. Don’t these look like poinsettias?
From this sketch, I continued to iterate the design, and I’ll post some of the resulting sketches over the next week or so. That process of accidental discovery is something that’s been missing from my software-enabled sketching, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Each method definitely has its advantages, but (in my experience, at least) hand-drawn sketching leads to far more creative output.
Still, EQ8 can be useful for colouring in blocks (although still kinda clunky in certain ways):
This design could be made using a combination of squares, rectangles, flying geese or half-square triangles, kite in a square, and triangle in a square.