Tagged: square in a square

Sunday sketch #308

I was so excited when I created this week’s sketch, I set it aside thinking I might actually make it into a quilt… I even bought fabric! But I’ve since been distracted by many other designs and ideas… and even used some of the fabric for something else. That happens more often than I’d like to admit…!

You can probably see how this sketch evolved from last week’s. I wasn’t going to post that one last week – I much prefer this design, and I didn’t think it was really necessary to show the precursor – but I ended up sharing it so I could talk about how easily different people can come up with similar designs.

But back to this week’s design. This version chops the ends off those chevron-y bits, and instead turns them inward, creating what look like squares that are on point and overlapping. The flying geese units topping each square are still there, and there’s still the opportunity to play with foreground and background colours (and negative space). Instead of there being a vertical straight line between blocks, there are now columns of smaller squares.

A more restricted palette helps to play on the repetition in the design and introduce some more movement, I think. Those internal background squares help to join diagonally adjacent shapes of the same colour, so your eye zig-zags back and forth across the design.

Those smaller flying geese can go uncoloured (or take the background colour), which changes the main shape into something with a cut-out rather than an extension.

It’s pretty much just another excuse for my usual palette of rose pink and bright orange.

There are a few different ways that this design could be made into a quilt. I’d probably make columns of flying geese and alternate them with columns of quarter-square triangle units or square-in-a-square units. My default is always to imagine designs in solid fabrics, but I think this could work with the right prints.


Sunday sketch #301

The similarities between this week’s design and last week’s Sunday sketch are probably pretty obvious. Those square-within-a-square motifs are still there, but now connected by triangles instead of small squares.

The added angles from the triangles lend more movement to the design. And they present more opportunities for interesting block placement.

I like a dark background, but I also prefer the darker triangles – so back to a white background it is!

I like the balance between the straight edges on one side of the design, and the staggered, overhanging triangles on the other side.

This week’s design is a fairly straightforward one – just alternating blocks, set on point. Half of the blocks are square-within-a-square units, and the other half are half-square triangles. I’ve only used three colours here, but you could probably get away with more. I reckon a scrappy approach might work too. Try it and see? (Then let me know!)

Sunday sketch #300

I’m not gonna make a big deal about this week being Sunday sketch #300, but… #300! I say it every 100 sketches or so, but I never thought this weekly habit would last this long. Thank you for following along with me!

So this week’s sketches use a motif that appeared in last week’s sketch: a square within a square. Not the start-of-an-economy-block kind of square-within-a-square, where the inner square is set on point in relation to the outer square. Just a regular small square taking up one quarter of a big square. Anyhoo…

So I decided to play with that shape some more, cos it’s kinda cool just on its own.

In these designs, I’ve laid out a 12 x 12 grid in which the square-within-a-square units alternate in rotation – half of the units have the small square in the top right, while the other half have the small square in the bottom left.

Sometimes with really simple, repetitive motifs like this, I like to crowd the design with loads of them so you start to see movement and secondary shapes and recurring lines, etc. But it’s also nice to pare them right back, so you get a really simplistic representation instead.

And then I started playing with orientation. (See my note below about the similarity of this version to the Thrive Quilt pattern from Suzy Quilts.)

And then with scale again.

And then with other types of movement.

I didn’t play with colour, but that’s obviously something else you could vary. And there are opportunities to introduce transparency by using a colour on the small squares that combines the colours of the adjacent squares.

This series of designs led to an entirely different series of related designs that I’ll post soon. Oh, and those designs led to other ones too. These are versatile shapes, and it’s really easy to make small tweaks to create large variations.

But back to this week’s designs. They could all be made into quilts using just squares and rectangles. And because of the repetition, they’d really suit chain piecing. It’s probably the sort of top you could cut and piece in a day (famous last words!).

Note: There are definite similarities between some versions of this week’s design and the Thrive Quilt by Suzy Quilts. Whereas I use a 4-patch square-in-a-square block, Suzy’s pattern uses a 9-patch that takes that block one layer further (basically surrounding a square-in-a-square with two more sides). We both alternate the blocks to create a zig-zag effect, and we both make the small squares a feature. But I started with a different orientation and I’ve used colouring in a different way (alternating adjacent blocks). Despite the similarities, I’ve posted these versions to show the iteration between last week’s designs and next week’s.