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!
Sunday sketch #347
Here are the diamonds I mentioned last week. I’ve simplified the inside of the block by removing the half-square triangles (they’re just coloured as squares now), which also removes the internal octagon. (This is all compared to the past few week’s sketches; if you’ve no idea what I’m on about, start with Sunday sketch #344 and go from there!)
This first version feels like overlapping lace to me… that circular movement, and all the dark blocks overlaid on a white background.
Making the internal stars white instead of dark blue helps to lighten the whole design, although I feel like the overlapping effect isn’t as prominent. As usual, I can’t decide which one I prefer.
And here’s a throwback to last week’s design, with the internal octagon shape back again and the diamonds coloured in the opposite way to the background.
I like how an element that wasn’t even really obvious in previous versions of this block is now the most prominent. It just goes to show the difference that colour (and colour placement) can make in a design.
I’m sure I could go for another few weeks, tweaking this design to create new sketches, but you get the idea. If a block has enough elements, you can add and subtract small components to make a big difference to the overall design. And then one design sparks another, which sparks another… ad infinitum.
I’d love to see some of these designs as actual quilts. They’d be easy to construct – they’re just half-rectangle triangles, half-square triangles and triangle-in-a-square units – and they’re all block-based, so you could batch-sew similar components and/or pieces of the same colour. (I love planning how I’ll approach a new project 🙂 )
Sunday sketch #337
I don’t have too many designs up my sleeve at the moment, and when I sat down recently to draw something new, I ended up rehashing an old sketch.
This week’s design is a reworking of Sunday sketch #318, which I posted in July. I introduced some curves, which actually make the whole design simpler to construct as a quilt.
The shapes kinda remind me of Christmas crackers too: long rectangles (or cyclinders) capped by triangles at both ends.
Like the original sketch, this one illustrates the Bezold effect – an optical illusion where a colour (in this case, orange) looks slightly different depending on which colours are next to it. I didn’t know there was a name for this until Carolina Oneto mentioned it in a comment on my Instagram post for Sunday sketch #324 (obviously it’s an effect I use a fair bit!).
Anyway, this sketch could be made into a quilt using flying geese, half circles (or quarter-circles or drunkard’s paths units) and squares. I think it’d be much easier to make than the original sketch on which it’s based!