This week’s design is a few steps further on from Sunday sketch #272 – you can probably see the same wedge shapes around the outside of each block, but the inside is now a cross shape that connects some of the wedges on opposite sides.
In the first version, I’ve used 2 colours + white in each block, against a dark blue background.
I used sashing to separate the blocks, but here’s the same design without sashing. It’s pretty energetic; probably a bit too energetic for me.
I find that using a common colour for the centre crosses helps to reduce the chaos a bit.
Or you can dial back the number of colours. Here I’ve used 2 shades of the same colour in each block. It instantly feels a bit calmer (the cool palette probably helps too).
Or even 2 shades of one colour across the whole design – again with the white centre crosses and the dark background and sashing.
It even works as a two-colour design – with the blocks in either an alternating colourway…
…or the same colourway.
(Doesn’t it feel like one of those folded paper cutouts? I wonder if you could recreate this design with a single sheet of paper and a pair of scissors….)
Like last week’s designs, this one would probably require paper-piecing (foundation or freezer paper) to get the wedges just right. The centre square of each block could be pieced normally (with some strips and squares), but the wedgy sides and corners would benefit from some paper-piecing and/or templates.
And here it is in my go-to happy palette: pink, orange and yellow! I can never resist.
It’s possible to remove the sashing, of course. I like the new shapes that emerge when there’s no sashing – like the octagons at the vertices between the blocks, and the hourglass shapes that join adjacent blocks.
The sashing does give you somewhere to rest your eye though, which is maybe needed? I think I prefer the version with sashing, but the non-sashing version definitely draws me in too. I can’t decide!
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you probably know that one of the hardest parts of designing for me is choosing a colour palette. I often use the same palette (pink, orange, yellow!) or limit myself to 3–4 colours.
Often, the number of colours is dictated by the number of elements in the block. The block in this week’s designs has 4 elements, which I’ve coloured in grey here so you can see them:
So for this design, I chose a palette of 4 colours (well, 3 plus white). And then I set myself a rule: in each row and each column, each colour could be used only once for each element. Of course, this only works because I used a 4 x 4 layout (if I’d added a 5th row or column, I would’ve had to repeat a particular element/colour combo at least once).
So – can you see how I’ve followed this rule in the versions below? Pick an element and a colour and check if it appears more than once in any column or row. For example, in the next version, look at the inner stars – how many green ones can you see? And where are they? What about white ones? Or yellow ones? Or blue? Do the same for the other 3 elements. They’re all distributed evenly across the whole design. It’s like some kind of Sudoku for quilt design haha.
It takes awhile to be able to balance colours and elements in this way, but it always makes me inordinately happy when I manage it. It also means that in this 4 x 4 layout, all 16 blocks are coloured differently. There are no repeats. (Really! You can check!)
If you remember permutations in maths, you’ll know that 4 colours can be ordered in 24 ways (4 x 3 x 2 x 1; that’s assuming you don’t want adjacent elements to have the same colour), which means there are another 8 unique block colourings that we could use in this quilt. Adding them would break my rule of not repeating the colours of certain elements in a single row or column, but we can’t have everything 🙂
Here are a few other colour combos. Changing where the lightest/darkest colours appear also changes the overall look a little bit.
I think this design reminds me a little of crocheted granny squares. I’ve never done crochet, but my mum made loads of crocheted blankets when I was a kid. I wish I still had one of them!
To make this design into a quilt, you’d probably need to use paper piecing to get the wedge shapes. Otherwise, you’d have to create templates to cut pieces precisely for standard piecing. I really love this design, so I’m very tempted to create my own freezer paper piecing templates to give it a go. I’ll post pics to Instagram if I do!
I’ve had an idea in my mind for a while now – something about diamonds embedded in other shapes. It’s not fully formed in my brain… so I’ve been playing around a bit in EQ8 with diamond shapes.
This isn’t the idea I had in mind…! But I liked it enough to pursue it for awhile. The main shape is a bit like the triangle-in-a-square block from Sunday sketch #243 (and subsequent weeks), although the tip of the triangle doesn’t reach the top of the block here. This block has the same versatility though, and the addition of the thin border and sashing provides another spot for using colour.
I had to use acid yellow again! I mentioned on Instagram lately that I think it needs to be in every quilt design from now on….
So there are loads of ways to rotate and colour these blocks. Lots of layout options!
And the same layout can be coloured in different ways, leading to a quite different look and feel.
It can also be pared back in terms of palette, with only 4 colours instead of 5.
And the shapes can be grouped in different ways (using colour again) to give the impression of larger blocks.
Lots of options! These designs would all be pretty easy to make – I think freezer or foundation paper-piecing would be the way to go. (That’s what I’d prefer, to get the thin sashing nice and straight and even.) And one benefit of a design with lots of the same block is that you can save lots of time by chain piecing.
So, this doesn’t solve the problem of the other diamond design I need to work out…! If I can get the vague idea in my head into , you’ll be the first to see 🙂