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!
I changed my mind about the Sunday sketch I was planning on sharing this week. I decided it was too close to a pattern that another quilt designer has already published. There were slight variations – I used half-rectangle triangles, whereas they used half-square triangles, and the placement of the shapes was different – but the ‘feel’ of the two designs was definitely the same. Purely coincidental, but too close for comfort, at least for me. Sometimes I think it’s useful to share such designs, as an opportunity to discuss serendipity in creativity and to celebrate fellow quilters’ work. But in this case, I’d want to discuss it with the other quilter first.
So anyway, here’s one I prepared earlier 🙂 Much earlier, in fact! I first posted this design on Instagram in October 2015 (long before the Sunday sketch series started!) as part of Blossom Heart Quilts‘ #myDIYblockdesign challenge. Alyce had just published her DIY Block Design e-book, and challenged readers to create their own blocks. I had just started quilting, so was keen to practice as much as possible. I used Excel (!) to design a series of blocks using half-square triangles, and this is one of them!
I recently revisited this design, using EQ8 to redraw and recolour it. Whenever I create a block-based design, I always try the reverse colourway for alternate blocks.
The design also works well in two colours, with an optional third to tie the blocks together using that repeated square within and between the blocks.
Or the blocks can be coloured slightly differently, again using just two colours. This approach definitely makes the design busier; I think it might be better with two fabrics that contrast a little more than this pink and red….
This design is a simple one (so much so that it wouldn’t surprise me if this was a traditional block): it’s all half-square triangles and a few squares. You could also make it using half-snowball units, quarter-square triangle units, and square-in-a-square units – which would maybe add a bit of work but cut down on a few seams.
There should be a name for when the same shape appears in the foreground and the background in a repeating pattern. It hasn’t happened for awhile – the last one I can spot on my Instagram feed was Sunday sketch #110, posted in August 2018. Sunday sketches #102, #103 and #104 are also good examples (I was obviously hung up on that theme then!).
In this week’s design, the pointy crosses – the ones in that light and dark teal – come to the foreground. The coral shapes recede to the background.
But look closer: those coral units are the exact same size and shape – a pointy cross. Each of the background shapes is made from the corners of the adjacent 4 blocks, but they end up being the same as the main shape that appears in the centre of the block.
Together, they make a checkerboard grid on point. The white squares help to break up the repetition, and the slightly different colouring of the two sets of shapes helps to distinguish them further.
Alternating the block colouring helps to define the boundaries between blocks, and disguises the similarity between the foreground and background shapes even more.
Again, those white squares help to break up the colour and the busy-ness of this design.
As a block-based quilt, this one would be relatively easy to make. It’s just half-square triangles, flying geese units, a square-in-a-square unit, and some squares and rectangles. It’d be great for playing with transparency.