No, your eyes are not deceiving you – this week’s design features prints! I don’t think I’ve ever designed a Sunday sketch using prints before?! But I couldn’t help it this week.
(I probably should’ve posted this one before Christmas, since it’s kinda a festive palette somehow.)
This design is very much like Sunday sketch #224, but using squircles – squares with rounded off corners – instead of circles, and with the internal lines placed off-centre.
Because the lines within the squircle are off-centre, rotating the blocks changes the size and location of the secondary shapes. In the version above, there’s a big square in the centre, surrounded by rectangles and four smaller squares. In the version below, the small square’s in the middle, and the rectangles and four big squares surround it.
Of course, the design also works in solids, too.
The easiest way to make this design into an actual quilt would probably be to combine quarter-circle units with squares and rectangles as necessary. But that would mean three of the four parts of each squircle were made up of multiple pieces of fabric – so you’d get seams between pieces of the same fabric. That’s fine for solids, but not for plaids (which I’ve used in the top version). So I think I’d create templates for those pieces, so you could add a rounded corner to each one. I’m not entirely sure how I’d do that (I don’t think it’d be quite as easy as you might first imagine), so it might be worth me playing around with sometime. I do have some plaids that I need to use up, so this might be the design for them!
This week’s block-based design combines straight lines and curves to create unexpected secondary shapes within and between blocks.
The diagonal lines in the four flying geese around the centre square create a square on point within each block. And the outer quarter-circles in each block create circles with the blocks next to them. Lots of movement to draw your eye and keep things interesting!
The fact that there are several elements within each block also presents lots of opportunity for colour play. In these first two versions, I’ve used a palette of 4 colours. Each block has 4 main elements: the curvy bits, the outer part of the flying geese, the inner part of the flying geese (which together create a square on point), and the inner square. So I can use one colour per element per block – which helps to balance the colour nicely across the whole design. (This is an approach I’ve used before – making sure that each element/colour pair appears only once in each row or column. It’s an easier way for my analytical brain to balance colour across a design.)
But there are plenty of other ways that this design could be coloured. You could use just one colour per block (plus white, which helps to tie the whole design together, and the dark background colour).
Or, of course, white as a background colour.
A pared-back palette also works; two main colours can be alternated across blocks for a bit of visual interest.
With (at least) 4 elements per block, lots of different colour placements are possible. I find that it can help to reduce the chaos if at least one element is coloured the same across all blocks (here, the middle square uses the background fabric).
Or, every block could be coloured the same way. Depending on the colour choice, this could be a nice understated way of interpreting the design.
This week’s design could be made into a quilt using quarter-circle blocks, flying geese and squares. (Plus borders, if you like to have the design ‘floating’ in the middle a bit, like I do.)
I really love this design (I know I always say that!), but I am so indecisive about a colour palette that I haven’t tried making it yet. Hopefully one day!
On to something a bit different this week! No more wedges for awhile….
It’s back to curves! All drunkard’s path blocks again. Or are these quarter-circles? I have a feeling that the curves in drunkard’s path blocks don’t extend to the edges of the blocks, but I’ve never found a definitive description. Anyhoo, here we go.
I love this sorta teal blue / golden yellow combo. I discovered this cut-out lemon shape when tiling a completely different block, and decided to run with it. I love the secondary shapes that emerge… up top, there’s like a lacework of ‘D’ shapes going to and fro across the design. By just tweaking the direction of the lemons and the cut-outs in the negative space, the lace overlay becomes a series of alternating circles and squares. Can you see them?
The designs look just as good in the reverse colourway. (In the version on the left, I staggered the layout so the lemons sit in the corners.)
I can tweak the direction again, so the lace overlay becomes a series of new lemons, all facing perpendicularly to the dark blue lemons.
I love how much movement a single block with a few curves can give a design. And how many options there are for arranging blocks to create entirely new layouts.
These designs could be made using drunkard’s path blocks (or quarter-circle blocks) and squares. That’s it. I’ve only used two colours here, although obviously you could expand the palette. But with two colours, you’d just have to chain-piece your way through a bunch of curves and – voilà! – you’d have the prettiest quilt top. I really love this one (I know I say that all the time!); I really want to try making it!