Tagged: square

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 #351

The colour palette this week makes me so happy that I found it really difficult to pare down the list of designs to share. I’ll walk you through the slight variations between each one, and you can decide which one(s) you prefer!

This is a fairly simple block-based design that looks like it’s set on point but isn’t. I’ve never sewn an orange peel block before, but I can do drunkard’s path units (quarter-circles), so I figure it’s just one more step, right?

In this first version, I’ve used colour for the circles and either white or dark blue for the inner four-pointed concave stars.

I can mix those colours around though, to produce slight variations that feel heavier or lighter. On the left, the coloured circles that previously had inner dark stars are now dark circles with inner coloured stars. On the right, I’ve stripped colour out from alternate blocks.

Or I can darken those stars in the coloured circles instead.

I often like changing up the outside edges of designs. Instead of colouring those outer circles, I’ve opted here to focus on the stars. I love this effect. Other minor changes in colour placement help to lighten the overall design.

And then I removed the stars from the outer edges, to focus on that blocky checkerboard pattern instead. I like this one too!

And finally, removing the outermost dark squares smoothes the edges of the blocks, making the design look like square blocks on point (which it actually isn’t). This is probably my least favourite version of the design, but I still like it enough to include!

This week’s designs are made using orange peel units, squares and triangles (which could be made from quarter-square triangles too). As always, I think the hardest part would be deciding which version to make, and then settling on a colour palette!


Sunday sketch #349

A quick, cute design this week, and an excuse to talk about colour placement.

This design is set on point, and just features squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units). In the version above, the squares are coloured the same as the background, and the curves are in white, yellow, orange (light, medium or dark) or pink.

Even though each row features squares of background colour, they look like they’re two zig-zagging lines twisting round each other – like a double coil of white plus another colour. I’m not sure what optical illusion is at play here; it’s not really a transparency effect, because white plus any of these colours wouldn’t produce that background colour. But somehow the brain just seems to imagine that those squares are connecting the curves on either side to create a long, winding coil.

The design works horizontally too.

And in a more limited palette.

The design doesn’t have the same effect with a different colour placement though. Below I’ve used different placement in each row, and you can see how it changes the whole effect – in some places, the transparency is there but less effective; in other cases, it’s gone completely, leaving quite a clunky design in its wake.

The first row above features a transparency effect: the white and red zig-zags overlap in pink squares, which makes sense. I feel like it’s a bit ‘heavier’ than the second row. The third and fifth rows lose that effect completely, and feel very clunky (and boring) to me. The fourth row retains the zig-saggy feel (for the most part), but using red to colour in the squares where the white and pink ‘overlap’ doesn’t quite work, so feels a bit wrong.

So anyway, if a pattern featured a design like this, I think it would be important to tell people how the overall effect might change with different fabric placement. Something that looks great on paper might end up looking very dodgy in fabric if you weren’t careful.

Of course, the same design can be coloured completely differently, to avoid any of these problems 🙂

These designs could be made into quilts by arranging squares and quarter-circles (or drunkard’s path units) on point. The last version uses half-square triangles instead of squares. All fairly straightforward!