Tagged: oval drunkard’s path

Sunday sketch #302

I’ve used lots of hard angles lately, so let’s relax with some groovy curves this week!

This is a block-based design: the version above uses a 4 (across) x 6 (down) layout. (I liked the idea of stopping the design before the bottom edge of the frame, kinda like the design is dripping down the page.) Anyway, in the design above, the inner blocks each have four colours (with the tiniest of background colour in their corners), while the outer blocks have three colours plus background. I’ve coloured the blocks to create those big S shapes that extend between blocks.

The S shapes are made from two types of curves: quarter-circles (or drunkard’s paths) and elongated 2:1 curves (twice as long as they are wide – which I first encountered using the long drunkard’s path templates from Jenny Haynes of Papper, Sax, Sten).

Combining these two shapes gives some really organic, flowing movement across the entire quilt design. You can put your finger down, trace along a curve, and it’ll just keep meandering round the page. I love it.

I also love how the use of colour can suggest transparency, just because of how the curves seemingly overlap.

All those swirly, globular shapes remind me of a lava lamp.

This design could be made into a quilt using just curves (and some borders). I use templates for curves: for cutting the pieces and for trimming the final units. I like Jenny’s templates because they’re oversized, so you can be a little off with your sewing and still trim down to a perfect drunkard’s path or long oval drunkard’s path unit. (I don’t get anything from Jenny for spruiking her awesome templates! I just like telling people about products I like 🙂 )

Sunday sketch #254

Recognise the pinwheel flags from last week? Here’s where they started.

I’ve been playing with elongated curves lately. I was prompted by the oval drunkard’s path templates from Jenny Haynes / Papper, Sax, Sten, which I got awhile back. They’re 2:1 curves, so twice as high as they are wide (standard drunkard’s path blocks are 1:1 – the same width and height).

I wasn’t sure how to make 2:1 curves in Electric Quilt, but I figured out that you can draw a standard curve, then select it and drag it the box around it to create new dimensions. I’m not sure I got the dimensions quite right in this design, but I got sidetracked by the concept of using curves in this way. It’s a concept I’ve tried a few times recently – you might’ve seen Sunday sketch #251, and I’ll post some other designs like this in the future.

Anyway – alternating blocks help to introduce a bit of negative space, so the whole design doesn’t feel too crowded.

The great thing about a four-colour palette is how many combinations are possible. Here are a few.

It gives a slightly different feel to the design if you switch the order of the alternating blocks, so that the curved blocks are in the corners.

I used sashing between the blocks, so it’s possible to use all curved blocks throughout the design without making it feel too crowded…

…but I still prefer the alternating arrangement of curved and non-curved blocks.

I love the oval drunkard’s path shape! It lends a bit of wonkiness and an informal feel to the overall design. I’m looking forward to trying out the Papper, Sax, Sten templates and coming up with more curvy designs. This one could be made using the templates, triangle-in-a-square units, and squares.