I try to find inspiration everywhere. When I see an interesting shape or feature, I’ll take a photo of it on my phone or sketch it in my dot pad. I’ve also got a whole Pinterest board of quilty inspiration, along with a folder of screenshots on my laptop.
Recently when reading a New York Times Style Magazine article on couture week in Paris (why not!), I spotted a beautiful design in a short veil in Christian Dior’s autumn 2018 haute couture collection:
Such a simple idea, yet so stunning. I started playing around with it in Electric Quilt 8. I didn’t recreate it exactly, but used the idea as the basis of a cross-based, criss-crossed design. Here’s what I came up with:
In the original, the diamond shapes have a cross at every corner, whereas mine have only 2. It took me awhile to tweak the block design, but I wanted to make sure that the diagonals lined up properly, creating straight lines from one block to the next.
The design works in the reverse colourway too (and at a slightly smaller scale):
Isn’t it lovely?
These blocks could be made using a variety of squares, rectangles and triangles. Paper piecing might help to get the diagonal strips just right.
The repeating shape in this week’s sketch reminds me a little of a churn dash block: it’s got a square in the centre, half-squares around the outside, and lots of sharp points poking out in all four directions… but it’s also quite different.
The repetition of the units also creates fantastic secondary shapes inside. So much movement! I wanted to see how else I could use the same block, so I tiled it normally.
Depending on which way the blocks were made, the repetitive unit could be an X or an (angular) O block. Alternating colours help to differentiate the blocks:
But isn’t it interesting how the block design disappears behind those small squares at the junction between 4 blocks? Those secondary shapes really come to the foreground and push the coloured pieces to the background. It looks less like the sides of each block are a really interesting shape, and more like they’re just straight rectangles overlaid with small squares. What started out as an edgy, quirky block in the top design now isn’t so eye-catching!
These blocks could be made easily using rectangles and triangles. Since a lot of the cutting might be on the bias, you could paper-piece for accuracy.
After creating Sunday sketch #77, I used the same block in different orientations to create this week’s design.
I’d love to try making this in two really vivid colours, like hot pink and orange, or red and purple. I think the best method to use would be foundation paper piecing (using very large bits of paper!). I haven’t done much paper piecing, but I’m so tempted to try this one!