Quite a simple design this week, although there’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.
This is a block-based design of square blocks in a standard 6 x 6 layout. (It might look like a 4 x 4 layout because the outermost blocks aren’t fully coloured in).
Each square block has two ‘snowball’ corners: one small (in dark blue) and one large (in white). Their sizes are designed so the diagonal lines flow from block to block across the whole quilt. Apart from creating movement, it gives the impression of larger shapes within the design (triangles, squares, diamonds…).
Here’s an even more minimalist version.
The same block / layout can be coloured differently to highlight, for example, just those small dark triangles. This version doesn’t feel overly interesting to me, but I love this palette (which I created fairly randomly in ElectricQuilt8 using the Kona cotton solids colour libraries). I’ll have to use it again.
I originally designed this week’s block on point. This layout reminds me a bit of Sunday sketch #301 (although there are plenty of differences once you take a closer look).
I really like the visual effect – the repetition of the dark triangles, the horizontal lines, the apparent overlap between adjacent larger triangles… but for some reason, this design still feels like it falls short somehow. Something’s missing for me, although I haven’t put my finger on what it is yet. That doesn’t matter… it’ll hang around in the back of my head until I figure it out one day.
In the next version, I’ve played with the background and foreground colours a bit. I love how using the background colour as the middle part of the block makes the top and bottom row look like parts of the design are floating.
This week’s design could be made with squares and more squares. Doing the snowball corners (I’m not sure if that’s the actual name for when you overlay a small square onto the corner of a big square, sew a diagonal seam, trim, and fold back to reveal the new corner?) would create a bit of wastage, but you could save up the cut-off corners for another project. The alternative would be to make multiple small and large HSTs, then piece them into a square using rectangles as well. That approach would mean more seams within the blocks… which means more cutting, sewing and pressing. It might also use more fabric too? (Those seams add up.)
I based this week’s design on the sweater worn by Noreen Vanderslice on season 2 of Fargo. As soon as I saw it, I needed to recreate the design as a quilt. That was my starting point, and then I kept playing until I reached versions I was happy with. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that I think about quilting all the time, and I’m inspired by lots of different things. But this week’s designs are definitely less ‘inspired by’ and more ‘copied from’ and then ‘derived from’. The distinction between inspiration and derivation is not always clear, but in this case it’s pretty obvious (to me, at least).
Also, this doesn’t feel super-original to me as a quilt design. I don’t recall seeing it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been done before. I even used a similar diagonal-snowball approach in Sunday sketch #160, which was published as the ‘Flight Pattern’ quilt pattern in the 2020 QuiltCon magazine. If you know of a quilt design like this, let me know and I’ll update this post!
This week’s design is a little bit related to Sunday sketch #313, although with lots of differences too. I guess they’re related more in concept than in execution.
The design features a square block, set on point, in a standard layout. The blocks are made mostly from half-rectangle triangles, with two half-square triangles and a single quarter-circle (or drunkard’s path unit). That first colouring, above, makes me think of cactus flowers. The ones below are more like wheat stalks.
Note that the first three versions have sashing between the blocks; the version below doesn’t. There’s enough whitespace in the blocks themselves to not let the design feel too busy, although I think I still prefer the versions with sashing. I do like a lot of ‘resting’ space in designs though.
The previous versions have coloured all the blocks the same, but of course you could use a different colour per block. And I’ve used gradating colours within each block, but that’s not necessary either. I avoided trying that though (see comment on busy-ness, above!).
This week’s design could be made into a quilt using half-rectangle triangles of different sizes/ratios, squares, half-square triangles, and quarter-circle (drunkard’s path) units.
I think this is the sort of block that you could mix in with other flower blocks for a more random garden-y feel. The same block on repeat is maybe too much for a whole quilt? But it would work well to break up other botanical blocks. I guess I need to design a bunch of flower blocks to test that out! 🙂
I love creating block-based designs where lines from adjacent blocks combine to create new shapes. I guess that’s how secondary shapes emerge, but sometimes alternating block colouring can create secondary patterns too.
In the first version of this week’s sketch, alternating the colour placement in adjacent blocks creates a diagonal plaid effect. The colouring means that the features connected horizontally are that dark peachy-pink, while the same connected features running vertically are in light pink.
Changing the colour placement a bit eliminates the plaid effect. In the next version, both the block colouring and placement are the same (blocks are identical but every second one is rotated 90 degrees). Now light pink corners are touching dark pink sides, and vice versa.
There are enough different elements in this design that you can pick out single shapes to highlight.
Or several shapes.
Or avoid focusing on any particular shapes, and just colour all the blocks in the same two tones. That simple colouring helps to highlight those diagonal lines, too.
These designs could be made into quilts quite easily using flying geese units, squares, and triangle-in-a-square blocks.