A very basic block this week, which is just an excuse to play with colour and arrangement.
Now, diagonally bisecting a star block is not new. Sometimes I’m confident that a Sunday sketch is unique, or different, or surprising, or unexpected. This is not one of those times. I scoured Pinterest and didn’t find anything exactly the same, but this design is so basic that I’m convinced it’s out there. So you may have seen something like this before. For example, Suzy Quilts has a gorgeous pattern called Stars Hollow with blocks that feature a white sawtooth star against a diagonally bisected, coloured background. (If you’ve seen other similar designs, comment on this post and I’ll add links.)
Anyway… my purpose for posting this today is because I was interested in all the different ways this simple block can be arranged and coloured using my usual restricted palette of 1–2 colours (1–3 if you count white, which I guess we have to). So here goes.
I find the first design striking because it almost looks like a block in shadow – with light coming from the bottom right, angled up to the darkness at the top left. It’s super-simple but a bit complicated too.
But then I tried introducing a second colour (I usually ignore white, but I guess that’s technically the second colour (even though it’s not a colour…), making green the third colour):
The top half of each star is the same as before – white on blue – but the bottom half is now green instead of blue. I find that this colouring helps me to delineate those diagonal stripes a bit more easily, which then makes me want to make them even more obvious:
In both those designs, I recoloured the stars so that their tops and bottoms create clear diagonal stripes. I prefer alternating a single colour with white; I found that two stripe colours (the background behind the stars) was a little overwhelming.
Then I went back to the original block design, which had a solid top half and a white bottom half. By alternating the colouring for each block, I could still hang on to those clear diagonal stripes.
I also tried another design that kept the diagonal stripe but made it a bit more subtle. I started with the original block again, but recoloured some of the star tops and bottoms.
And finally, I mixed things up a bit more by alternating blocks with all-solid or all-white backgrounds, then colouring them to bring back those stripes.
I always love seeing how a single block can produce so many different designs just using different colour placement. I think that’s one of the things that makes quilting so interesting for me – seeing how a single design can be interpreted in so many ways.
These designs could be translated into quilt patterns using triangle-in-a-square blocks, half-square triangles, and squares. That’s it!
Remember in last week’s post, I mentioned liking a star shape that emerged from the quarter-square triangle design? Well, I decided to take that star, which is based on a 3×3 grid, and use it in its own design.
I separated the stars with some thin sashing, using small squares to fill in the negative space where the horizontal and vertical sashing meets.
Of course, you could fill in that middle square too.
But I also like the idea of filling the empty square with a different colour, to mix things up a bit. This is my favourite version. This is also a bit of a quirky colour palette for me, but I really like it.
I think the design works without the sashing, but only when the blocks are coloured in a way that distinguishes each one from its neighbours… otherwise I think it looks too busy.
The design works in a more limited colour palette, too. Here I’ve used 2 colours plus the background, and just alternated the central 4 half-square triangles with the outside 4 quarter-square triangles to add a bit of interest.
And if you have the same reservations I do about using white/light backgrounds for quilts, you can use a dark background instead.
This design could be made into a quilt using half-square triangles, squares and quarter-square triangles. Plus a bit of sashing – or not!
I went to a concert recently and started daydreaming about quarter-square triangles as I listened to the music (as you do). As soon as I got home, I started playing with EQ8. I didn’t end up with the original design that I’d imagined, but I managed to create many more. Here’s the first series.
I almost always start with a two-colour quilt, try the reverse colorway, and then can’t decide which one I prefer.
The four quadrants of this design lend themselves to four colours too. And with such a happy design (well, it feels happy to me!), it’s hard to avoid my usual colour scheme of yellow, orange, red and pink.
The design also looks super-cute in a radiating rainbow-ish colour scheme.
I also tried the mixed-up version, which highlights the structure of the QST blocks. It’s a bit busier/messier than the previous designs, but I don’t mind it. I think it would look nice in a really gentle palette.
And finally, another way of colouring the blocks using only three colours instead of four (or two). You can vary the movement around the quilt design by changing which side of the QST is a large solid triangle (pink) and which is a pair of smaller triangles (blue and white).
These designs could all be made into quilts using quarter-square triangles and a few squares. If for some reason you don’t like QSTs, you could use half-square triangles and squares on point, with triangles to fill in the gaps at the edges.
This sketching session produced loads more designs along similar themes, so look out for more QSTs in the coming weeks!