Sunday sketch #352
This week’s design is an iteration of last week’s; I’ve basically just removed the curves and added large squares in their place. Oh, and I lightened the whole design by swapping the colouring of the light and dark elements.
One issue with this sketch is that the elements that look like blocks – basically a large coloured square with four smaller units at the corners – overlap with each other at those corners, which makes colouring in a little difficult. Apart from the very first ‘block’ at the top left (I’m putting ‘block’ in quotes because technically, the way I designed this sketch, they’re not blocks), every other block is ‘missing’ at least one of its elements in its own colour; the adjacent block(s) overlap with their own colour(s). I don’t think it’s super-obvious here, and I’ve tried to follow the rule that the ‘block’ to the left/top takes precedence in terms of colouring, but… I don’t love the fact that this is a feature of this design. It just means an extra step of thinking when it comes to colour, which I try to avoid 🙂 I also think it would be a pain to try and explain in a pattern, for example. (Which makes me realise that even though I haven’t decided whether or not to publish my own patterns, I do tend to think about these things whenever I’m designing a sketch.)
Anyway. Those internal spaces feel a little ’empty’ to me, so I tried filling them with more squares. I feel like the dark squares are too dark, but the coloured squares make the overall design feel a little too jumbly (is that a word?).
Maybe another shape would fit in there? The curves worked last week because they don’t introduce any straight lines to compete with the squares, and squares work this week because… well, they’re just more squares, and the new lines they create are parallel to the existing lines. So I’m not sure what else could work in there.
Anyway, here are a few versions where I’ve swapped the light and dark elements back to their original placement from last week. Instead of the inner squares being dark, they’re in colour, and the large bars framing each of the coloured squares are black. (Actually I used charcoal here, to lighten the whole design just a smidge.)
Again, those internal spaces feel a little empty to me. Here are two versions with the dark and colour squares instead.
This week’s sketch, like last week’s, was originally designed using two different blocks in a standard layout, not the same block on point (despite how it looks). But obviously, once I’ve removed the curves from last week’s design, this version could be made much more easily using a single block that’s set on point. In that case, you’d be using a modified nine-patch block, and all you’d need are squares and rectangles, with some triangles for the empty spaces along the edges and at the corners.
This is one of those designs where I was fairly sure it must’ve been done before – I mean, it’s just a modified nine-patch. I did a quick search on Pinterest and Google and didn’t find anything exactly the same, but that’s by no means exhaustive. I’d be surprised if there isn’t something similar out there in quilt land. If you know of a pattern like this week’s sketch, let me know and I’ll update this blog post!
Sunday sketch #341
This week’s sketch might look like a 4 x 4 grid, but it’s actually 8 x 8 (with a border). Each block is a 4-patch made up of one square, two half-square triangles, a half-circle and a rectangle. Tile and rotate the blocks, and the diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines start joining up to make new shapes. And so much movement!
Alter the block rotation, and those diagonal black squares shift up and over. I love how such a simple design can have so much going on.
The diagonal black squares are kinda empty, so let’s fill them with something. More curves seems apt.
Or maybe curves without so much colour. That’s better.
Another thing I often try with block-based designs is setting the layout on point – basically a layout where the square blocks are all rotated by 45 degrees. I really love this variation – all the elements and movement are still there, but with slightly fewer blocks (13 instead of 16), it just feels a little lighter I think.
We can fill those inner circles back in…
…or leave the squares empty.
I love so many things about this sketch. The back and forth, scribble-like movement of the curves across the whole design; the horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines that emerge to create secondary shapes; the symmetry and simplicity… it just ticks alll the boxes for me. It’s the kind of design where I think ‘OMG THIS IS THE BEST DESIGN I’VE EVER DONE!’ hahaha, so I’ll be interested to see what other people think 🙂
This one’s definitely going on my list of things to (possibly) make in 2023.
Sunday sketch #340
New year, new sketch!
This design started out as something a bit more complicated, with some half-square triangles in there too. But I realised all the squares and rectangles were interesting enough on their own, so I pared it back.
Undoubtedly someone somewhere has designed something very like this. But I like playing with these sorts of designs anyway. My goal with this sketch was to use a standard layout of repeated blocks, but to colour every block differently using a palette of only three colours. Each block had to be coloured sensibly and symmetrically, with all four quadrants matching. I’m pretty sure all 16 blocks are uniquely coloured, but I haven’t checked with a fine-tooth comb 🙂
It’s a bit like Sunday sketch #310, where I coloured the same block differently to create an eye-catching, improv-y design. It’s a fun way to sketch without needing to design a brand new block (any one will do, as long as it has enough elements to enable multiple block variations).
Certain palettes give more of a transparency effect in some parts of the design, depending on the value and saturation of the colours.
In the next versions, the palette’s the same but the colour placement is different.
I find it hard to come up with interesting palettes featuring just three colours, so I often use the same combinations over and over again. Like bright pink, orange and white… or light pink, charcoal and off-white.
This week’s sketch is pretty straightforward, and would be easy to make into an actual quilt. It’s just squares and rectangles. The hardest part would be deciding what colour to put where (and then keeping track of the order once you start cutting and piecing!).