This week’s design isn’t overly original, but I enjoyed playing with this concept and felt like sharing it.
I’ve played with these split quarter-square triangles and split quarter-rectangle triangles before – see Sunday sketches #166 and #188, for example (two of my favourite sketches!). I really love these shapes and how they create movement in a design.
I also love how your eye is drawn to different sets of lines, depending on colour palette and placement. In the top design, I look at those diagonal lines first, but in the bottom one, my eye’s drawn to the vertical lines instead.
Split quarter-square triangles are easy to make – just cross a half-square triangle with a solid square. Ditto for the split quarter-rectangle triangles, although I must admit I’ve never actually made one. I’d probably paper-piece them instead, just to be more precise (and save all the fabric wastage I often seem to get when I make HRTs two at a time).
I love this week’s design – super-simple, but super-cute too. Sometimes the most basic designs have the biggest visual impact!
A limited palette (just yellow and white) makes it easier to see those curves winding their way across the design, connecting each block. They’re also visible in the reverse colourway. Honestly, I could make all the quilts in this yellow. I love it!
Two main elements pop out when you look at the design: the pinwheels and the background checkerboard. That still offers up lots of opportunity for different colour placement, even with a limited palette. Here I’ve only used two colours (yellow and pink) plus white.
Keeping the checkerboard consistent and changing some of the pinwheels…
Or keeping the pinwheels consistent and changing some of the checkerboard…
Or changing both the checkerboard and the pinwheels (and introducing one more colour)…
Saturating the design more, but keeping a few pinwheels white…
Or even fewer white…
Or none at all…
Replacing the yellow in the previous version gives you a monochrome version again, but slightly different than the first one. The outermost blocks are pinwheels rather than checkerboards, so the whole design now has a square edge. This emphasises the internal horizontal and vertical lines, too.
And, finally, a little bit of whimsy to end on. I was going to show what a section of the previous version looks like against a coloured background, but decided to keep these extra curves in. I like how they’re a little reminder of the internal curves.
Another reason why those little curves stayed in is because of how I designed the block in this Sunday sketch… and cos I was too lazy to change it when I realised there was an easier construction method.
Originally, each block was made from two drunkard’s path units and two half-square triangles (with each pair in opposite corners). When drawing in EQ8, I didn’t bother separating the drunkard’s path unit from the HST, to make it easier/quicker to colour in. But that meant that some HSTs are still attached to curves, so I couldn’t get that straight edge I was after. But I’m actually glad – those curves are a lovely little design feature!
Anyway, in hindsight, it would probably be easier to alternate two block types: one made from four drunkard’s path units (the pinwheel), and the other made from a quarter-square triangle (to create the checkerboard). If you chain-pieced a bunch of curves, I reckon a quilt made from this design would come together in no time.
Remember in last week’s post, I mentioned liking a star shape that emerged from the quarter-square triangle design? Well, I decided to take that star, which is based on a 3×3 grid, and use it in its own design.
I separated the stars with some thin sashing, using small squares to fill in the negative space where the horizontal and vertical sashing meets.
Of course, you could fill in that middle square too.
But I also like the idea of filling the empty square with a different colour, to mix things up a bit. This is my favourite version. This is also a bit of a quirky colour palette for me, but I really like it.
I think the design works without the sashing, but only when the blocks are coloured in a way that distinguishes each one from its neighbours… otherwise I think it looks too busy.
The design works in a more limited colour palette, too. Here I’ve used 2 colours plus the background, and just alternated the central 4 half-square triangles with the outside 4 quarter-square triangles to add a bit of interest.
And if you have the same reservations I do about using white/light backgrounds for quilts, you can use a dark background instead.
This design could be made into a quilt using half-square triangles, squares and quarter-square triangles. Plus a bit of sashing – or not!