This week’s sketches are iterations of last week’s. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a series of related sketches. Although I’m not sure two posts in a row counts as a series…!
So last week’s sketches were all based around interlocking crosses – a bit like Brigid’s crosses – with alternating blocks having the reverse colouring. Using random colour placement instead produces a design like this:
And then I just started removing bits. I designed the block using flying geese and a square-in-a-square units, which means there are lots of bits that can be subtracted to create new and interesting designs. Here’s the first design again:
And here it is with alternating blocks removed (actually still there, but with only the centre square showing), to add some more negative space and help you see the individual crosses (or what’s left of them):
I also tried a simpler palette, so you can concentrate on the shapes rather than the colours.
This week’s sketch could be made into a quilt using flying geese, squares, square-in-a-square units and rectangles.
This isn’t one that I’ll be rushing to make, but I enjoyed the process of iterating the design and exploring different shapes and palettes. That’s the kind of experimentation that I like doing with the Sunday sketches – often a little shape or combination of shapes will spark a new idea and a new sketch. For example, I really love this little shape, which is repeated and rotated in the above designs:
It feels a bit like fingertips touching (not that I’m comparing my work to that of Michelangelo or anything..!). Anyway, I’ll keep playing with it and see if I can come up with something new. Watch this space!
I call myself a modern quilter, but not all of my quilts (or my quilt designs) are modern. Some of them definitely lean more traditional. Don’t get me started on how to even define ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ quilts – I honestly don’t know, and I don’t think there’s a clear line that separates them. But sometimes a design just feels less like one and more like the other. It might be the layout, or the blocks, or the colour scheme, or the fabrics.
This week’s designs feel more traditional to me, probably for a few reasons. I picked a muted colour scheme, for one. And the designs are based on a sawtooth star, which dates back at least to the late 1800s. And I’ve gone for a regular, repetitive layout, instead of introducing the negative space or asymmetry that you might expect in a modern quilt.
But hey, enough of my yakkin’. Let’s get started!
OK, so I introduced a little bit of negative space, just to make it seem like this design is on point (it’s not). This is a 5 x 5 layout, with some borders added, and the 4 corner blocks removed. Some of the colours extend from one block to the next, which helps to tie the blocks together.
Here’s the same design with the corner blocks added back in, plus a version with slightly different colouring.
The colouring can also be pared back to highlight less of the foreground and more of the background. This first version feels like lacework letting the light through. And switching the colour of a few of the smaller elements from black to white gives an entirely new version with a whole other feel.
Paring back to just one colour requires filling in different shapes to distinguish the blocks. Now it’s like baubles and stars intertwined. This might make a good Christmas quilt in a different colourway!
Sticking with the two-colour design, we can highlight all the stars in white. The interstitial shapes become square-in-a-square units – some blue on white, and some white on blue. If this design didn’t feel traditional before, it does now!
I like the idea of paring back the design even further, so those square-in-a-square units become more prominent. The version on the left is just the same one as above, without the stars around the edges. In the version on the right, the middle squares of 4 of the white sawtooth stars have been coloured blue, blending them into the background. Suddenly it feels like the whole design is squares on point!
There are so many other ways these designs could be coloured to change the overall look and feel. And so many ways to make the design into an actual quilt: squares and square-in-a-square units; half-square triangles, flying geese and squares; or square-in-a-square units, half-snowball units and squares.
This week’s design is almost identical to last week’s, but with one small change. That tweak has created a whole new design with much more movement and colouring opportunities. Can you see what’s different?
I tried a few other colour combinations, and used transparency in each one.
The difference is that instead of using a simple square as the middle block in each ‘flower’ shape, it’s now a square-in-a-square block.
Remember last week’s chonky flowers? Here they are with square-in-a-square centres:
(Also, I’m in love with that blue and dark grey colour combo.) Here’s some more flowery palettes.
I prefer the chonkier flowers from last week; they’re less refined but just strike me as happier and funnier (and more fun).
But this new design creates opportunities for moving away from ‘flowers’ into other more abstract shapes. There’s now a connection between the different ‘arms’ of each shape – instead of the north/south/east/west arms being separate from each other, they’re now connected to adjacent arms through that centre piece. This creates a bunch of 90-degree ‘V’ shapes that can be coloured separately.
I’m still playing with these shapes, so I may have more related designs to share next week!