Tagged: squares

Sunday sketch #303

One of the most fun (funnest?) parts of quilt designing – for me, at least – is creating designs with interesting or unexpected secondary shapes. They’re the shapes that emerge in the spaces between the main (primary) shapes.

In this week’s designs, I just started with a circle and replaced one quadrant with something different – in this case, a 9-patch block coloured to look like two steps.

There was no real reason or inspiration behind the choice of a 9-patch – I just needed something different, and that was the first idea that came to mind. As soon as I started rotating the block in Electric Quilt 8 though, I liked how those steps combined with the curves and steps of adjacent blocks to make interesting secondary shapes.

I tried using a limited colour palette to let the secondary shapes blend into the background as negative space…

…and also tried colouring the primary and secondary shapes differently for emphasis.

I also kept rotating the blocks to create new and interesting shapes. The version below led me off in a new direction for loads more sketches, some of which I’ll share next week.

I love the feathery movement in this last one, and the balance between the undulating curves and the up/down steps. Definitely lots more potential in this design! Check in next week to see where I take it.

This week’s designs are just quarter-circles (drunkard’s path units) and 9-patches. Basic elements that combine to make more than the sum of their parts, I think.


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.

Sunday sketch #297

Last week’s sketch was so groovy – I just had to keep playing with the tessellation.

In this week’s designs, the curvy cross from Sunday sketch #296 appears without the interstitial stars, and in an expanded palette that avoids the need for alternate colouring.

It looks a bit like a camouflage pattern to me. Not that I really want to be thinking about military clothing right now.

The arrangement of stars can be mixed up a bit…

…and of course there’s nothing stopping you from using more colours. I’ve stuck to a palette of three colours for most of these designs, but four works too.

Like last week’s sketch, this week’s designs could be made into a quilt using drunkard’s path units (or quarter-circles) and a few squares. Lots of repetition in piecing, but I don’t mind that.