Tagged: nine patch

Sunday sketch #352

This week’s design is an iteration of last week’s; I’ve basically just removed the curves and added large squares in their place. Oh, and I lightened the whole design by swapping the colouring of the light and dark elements.

One issue with this sketch is that the elements that look like blocks – basically a large coloured square with four smaller units at the corners – overlap with each other at those corners, which makes colouring in a little difficult. Apart from the very first ‘block’ at the top left (I’m putting ‘block’ in quotes because technically, the way I designed this sketch, they’re not blocks), every other block is ‘missing’ at least one of its elements in its own colour; the adjacent block(s) overlap with their own colour(s). I don’t think it’s super-obvious here, and I’ve tried to follow the rule that the ‘block’ to the left/top takes precedence in terms of colouring, but… I don’t love the fact that this is a feature of this design. It just means an extra step of thinking when it comes to colour, which I try to avoid 🙂 I also think it would be a pain to try and explain in a pattern, for example. (Which makes me realise that even though I haven’t decided whether or not to publish my own patterns, I do tend to think about these things whenever I’m designing a sketch.)

Anyway. Those internal spaces feel a little ’empty’ to me, so I tried filling them with more squares. I feel like the dark squares are too dark, but the coloured squares make the overall design feel a little too jumbly (is that a word?).

Maybe another shape would fit in there? The curves worked last week because they don’t introduce any straight lines to compete with the squares, and squares work this week because… well, they’re just more squares, and the new lines they create are parallel to the existing lines. So I’m not sure what else could work in there.

Anyway, here are a few versions where I’ve swapped the light and dark elements back to their original placement from last week. Instead of the inner squares being dark, they’re in colour, and the large bars framing each of the coloured squares are black. (Actually I used charcoal here, to lighten the whole design just a smidge.)

Again, those internal spaces feel a little empty to me. Here are two versions with the dark and colour squares instead.

This week’s sketch, like last week’s, was originally designed using two different blocks in a standard layout, not the same block on point (despite how it looks). But obviously, once I’ve removed the curves from last week’s design, this version could be made much more easily using a single block that’s set on point. In that case, you’d be using a modified nine-patch block, and all you’d need are squares and rectangles, with some triangles for the empty spaces along the edges and at the corners.

This is one of those designs where I was fairly sure it must’ve been done before – I mean, it’s just a modified nine-patch. I did a quick search on Pinterest and Google and didn’t find anything exactly the same, but that’s by no means exhaustive. I’d be surprised if there isn’t something similar out there in quilt land. If you know of a pattern like this week’s sketch, let me know and I’ll update this blog post!



Sunday sketch #336

I don’t normally do improv or random, but this week’s Sunday sketch ended up that way (in appearance, if not in design).

This is actually a block-based design, but with multiple elements of each block coloured in a way that kinda hides the repetition.

It started as a much more recognisable design – a wonky nine-patch. Here it is in a standard layout, with 5 colours per block: the dark blue centre, and then 4 colours each for one of the long sides and small corner pieces. Then rotating the blocks creates some fun movement.

But after starting with the standard layout, I played around with the block placement and colouring. I kinda like how a fairly traditional block can feel more modern just with a few tweaks. I’ve seen some quilty conversations lately around the definition of ‘modern quilting’, and examples like this design make me question what counts as ‘modern’. I’m not sure I know.

Anyway, I like how far the first version of this design feels from the others. I can see the origin when I look at it, but I’m not sure it’d be completely obvious to others.

if I was going to make it, I’d probably rework it further to try and obscure as many of those vertical and horizontal lines as possible – they make it a bit too obvious where the edges of the blocks are. There are some areas where the colouring of the pieces makes those borders less clear, and I’d aim to achieve that more consistently across the whole design. I’ll keep playing with it.

I’m not sure if I’d piece a normal nine-patch and trim it down to the wonky version, or if I’d just use templates to cut the wonky shapes and then piece them together. The former would probably be more accurate, but the latter might be less wasteful.