I love designing block-based quilts, and I love it even more if I can design a block with borders that aren’t visible. In other words, you can’t easily tell where one block ends and the next one begins. That sort of ‘borderlessness’ usually requires colour / fabric to provide a bridge between blocks. I was happy with how Northern Lights (which I renamed ‘Cloudburst’ for QuiltCon submission) achieved that, but I’m still try to recreate the effect.
This week’s two-colour design uses a single block repeated 16 times. They’re all coloured in exactly the same way, but every second one faces the opposite direction (i.e. rotated 180 degrees from the ones next to it).
The design ends up looking a bit like a DNA helix on an angle, with the positive and negative spaces taking on a similar form.
Using different colours for the blocks helps to show the borders between them.
Like Northern Lights / Cloudburst, this design would probably be easiest to make into a quilt using paper piecing to get the accuracy needed.
One of the artists I follow on Instagram is Stanislaw Wilczynski (@digimatism). He’s a tattoo artist, based in Moscow, who combines suprematism, minimalism and composition to create ‘digimatism’: “pure, non-evocative, abstract shapes created by means of digital technologies”. Basically, simple yet stunning geometric tattoos. Some of his designs use small angled lines repeated (apparently) at random, which inspired me to create this week’s design.
This design could be pieced fairly easily by designing a 2 x 2 block with a diagonal stripe down the middle (maybe using paper piecing for accuracy). Rotating the block would allow you to change the direction of the stripe, and the blank spaces between some of the stripes could be achieved by adding 2 x 1 rectangles between the blocks. The blocks are arranged in columns, which could be separated with sashing.
I decided to play around with the design a bit more, adding a few more lines in.
I set myself a rule for adding lines: each new line had to be perpendicular to the two lines it was connecting. I didn’t want any angles other than right angles in there. Not every line is joined up with another; I tried to balance the length and position of the new joins across the whole design. Although I can see some areas that are busier than others.
Like the first design, this one could be made into a quilt using paper-piecing – although it could be pretty cumbersome and time-consuming to figure out all the different blocks and their placement. Perhaps it’s just useful as a thought experiment instead 🙂
This week’s design is derived from an image that I posted to Instagram almost 3 years ago (I have to link to the post, because I’ve long since lost the image itself). It was a picture of a decorative metal grille that I’d seen on the wall of a restaurant on Melbourne’s Southbank – I walked past it and couldn’t stop thinking about it, so went back the next day to find it and take a photo.
At the time, I had no idea how to translate the design into a quilt pattern. I wasn’t sewing curves then, and I certainly wasn’t designing with them – but I saw this quilt-like pattern and snapped a pic for future reference.
Well, the day finally came when I could figure it out! I was recently scrolling through my Instagram feed, saw this picture again, and realised I now have the skills to recreate it pretty easily in EQ8.
I started off with a simpler version…
…in a few different colour variations.
Then I moved to the more complex version…
… in the same colour combinations (seriously, I love white, black and yellow together! and how cute do the different versions look right next to each other?).
I don’t know if I’ll ever make this design into a quilt, but I like the fact that my skills have developed to the point where I could figure out how to make it. Probably because it’s not unlike Sunday sketch #177, which also features those leaf shapes and overlapping, round-cornered squares.
This design could be made into a quilt pattern using strips/rectangles and curves. You’d need to use templates for the curves, and possibly paper-piece the rest for accuracy. The bold black lines are an integral part of the design; I guess you could appliqué bias strips over a pieced top, but I’d probably opt for piecing the strips as well.