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 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.
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.
I love a good tessellation, and this week’s design is a really simple yet striking one. It’s an iteration of Sunday sketch #286, using quarter-circles instead of half-square triangles (or half-circles instead of flying geese).
Each block extends the star-like motif into the four adjacent blocks. So each of those swirly arms starts in one block and ends in another. The simplicity of the design lends itself to a two-colour palette, and I can never get enough of this warm yellow!
I often like to ‘float’ a design within wide borders to kinda set it off, but this design works well in a tiled, edge-to-edge layout too.
The blocks can also be set on point, which makes those four-armed star shapes look just a little bit more swirly.
The design can incorporate additional colours, but I don’t think it’s as interesting, to be honest. I also removed the outer stars in these versions. Maybe they would help?
I still prefer the first version!
These sketches could be made into quilts using quarter-circle units (also called drunkard’s path blocks) and a few squares. You’d have to be pretty confident sewing curves (or willing to get comfy with them). I find bigger curves easier to sew; in the top design, 3″ (finished) drunkard’s paths would make each block 12″ square. That design uses a 6 x 6 block layout (only parts of the outer rows and columns are coloured in to complete the motifs from adjacent blocks) – so, 72″ square. I’m pretty tempted to make this one!