Tagged: quarter-circle

Sunday sketch #349

A quick, cute design this week, and an excuse to talk about colour placement.

This design is set on point, and just features squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units). In the version above, the squares are coloured the same as the background, and the curves are in white, yellow, orange (light, medium or dark) or pink.

Even though each row features squares of background colour, they look like they’re two zig-zagging lines twisting round each other – like a double coil of white plus another colour. I’m not sure what optical illusion is at play here; it’s not really a transparency effect, because white plus any of these colours wouldn’t produce that background colour. But somehow the brain just seems to imagine that those squares are connecting the curves on either side to create a long, winding coil.

The design works horizontally too.

And in a more limited palette.

The design doesn’t have the same effect with a different colour placement though. Below I’ve used different placement in each row, and you can see how it changes the whole effect – in some places, the transparency is there but less effective; in other cases, it’s gone completely, leaving quite a clunky design in its wake.

The first row above features a transparency effect: the white and red zig-zags overlap in pink squares, which makes sense. I feel like it’s a bit ‘heavier’ than the second row. The third and fifth rows lose that effect completely, and feel very clunky (and boring) to me. The fourth row retains the zig-saggy feel (for the most part), but using red to colour in the squares where the white and pink ‘overlap’ doesn’t quite work, so feels a bit wrong.

So anyway, if a pattern featured a design like this, I think it would be important to tell people how the overall effect might change with different fabric placement. Something that looks great on paper might end up looking very dodgy in fabric if you weren’t careful.

Of course, the same design can be coloured completely differently, to avoid any of these problems 🙂

These designs could be made into quilts by arranging squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units) on point. The last version uses half-square triangles instead of squares. All fairly straightforward!



Sunday sketch #330

I made one more addition to last week’s block. There’s now a curve running diagonally through it; the two quadrants of the block with the half-circles now have a larger quarter-circle too, which connect to create a curve that extends across the block. And makes the whole design very groovy.

These designs remind me of those swirly endpapers that you sometimes see in old books. Or the designs you can make with water marbling. They might be a bit over the top for a quilt, but I couldn’t resist playing anyway.

Here’s the same block, just rotated.

I used these colours because I recently finished making a quilt with a similar palette (but a less psychedelic design). I think they work here though! Very in-your-face, but in a good way.

These designs could be made into quilts using curves, curves and more curves. Some smaller, some larger. I always use templates for cutting/piecing curves; my favourites are Jenny Haynes’ (which you get find here), because her cutting templates are oversized. That means any dodgy sewing doesn’t really matter (like my complete inability to match up the beginnings and ends of the convex and concave pieces), because I can just trim the units down to the perfect size later using her squaring template. Game-changer!

Anyway, this week’s Sunday sketch is the last in a series of four related sketches that all use blocks featuring those small, diagonally placed semi-circles (or half-circles) and another element (or two). It’s fun to see how little tweaks can have such a big effect!



Sunday sketch #329

The curvy pinwheels are still going strong… once again, they’re the main feature in this week’s Sunday sketch. But instead of diagonal lines, each block has two curved lines (moving in the same direction as the HSTs in Sunday sketch #327). So now we’ve got some tropical flowers!

Colouring adjacent blocks creates the flower shapes, with one of the two half-circles in each block contributing to the centre pinwheel. I find that colouring in the pinwheel itself helps to ‘anchor’ the four blocks together; leaving them all the same as the background colour gives a different feel, I think (although I still like it). All the dark pinwheels in this version keep my eye moving too much; it takes me too long to decide where to rest my gaze.

I also alternated the colouring to feature the flowers and then just the pinwheels. I could’ve maybe done a larger layout of this one to show off the design a bit better (and to get rid of that annoying thin line running along the right side and bottom of the image… that’s an artefact of exporting a PDF from Electric Quilt; it happens occasionally and it bugs me).

Anyway, this week’s design just needs curves – and lots of them. Large quarter-circles and smaller half-circles (which you could make using two smaller quarter-circles, or drunkard’s path units).

This design might work well with some large-scale floral prints? I am a big fan of kitschy floral prints, so maybe this is the design my secret stash has been waiting for??