This is my last Sunday sketch for 2020… and the fact that I opted for muted colours is maybe a reflection of the type of year it’s been…!
I started by sketching some overlapping stripes, then moved from my dot pad to EQ8 to take it further. Whenever you get overlapping shapes, there’s an opportunity to introduce transparency by playing with colour. But sometimes I think I take it too far… it can get a bit overworked and come off as forced. So I’m constantly trying to balance design aesthetics with the ‘too far’ factor. Not sure which side of that fence I landed on today, but I wasn’t in the mood to explore further, so here we are.
I did try some different colours, some of which are in my usual palette. Here, I opted to avoid the transparency effect by using black to mark the overlap between the red and khaki rectangles.
And here’s the black doing the same job for a red and pink version.
Translating these designs into a quilt pattern would be easy-peasy… it’s all just stripes (long rectangles). The hardest part would be making sure all the edges lined up properly. I’d probably tackle that by piecing the design in 5 columns, then adding the large border pieces.
Update (30 December 2020): A friend pointed out that this design is similar to the Fruity Stripe fabrics from Melody Miller’s Clementine range for Ruby Star Society (manufactured by Moda Fabrics). There are definite similarities! The fabric’s stripes are angled, whereas mine are arranged horizontally. And both the width and the length of the overlap varies in the fabric, whereas they are consistent in my design. But both designs use the overlap as an opportunity to play with transparency. Not surprisingly, Melody’s colour choices are infinitely better than mine 🙂
I continued on last week’s theme of blocks made up of thin lines. I stuck with the curvy block and added a few more, then jumbled them up. I wanted to design the blocks so that there’d be instances of (some of) the lines continuing from one block to the next. And I separated the blocks using sashing of the same thickness.
I played around with colours for ages, but didn’t find anything that I liked as much as the black and white.
The whole design feels quite whimsical to me, hence the candy colours, I think.
Or each block could be coloured differently. This gives the whole design quite a different feel (maybe also because my choice of colour palette’s not so hot).
Or monochrome. I picked a vibrant yellow, and then reversed it, but of course this would work for any combination of two colours.
This design reminds me a bit of breeze blocks, those concrete blocks that let air through. (Speaking of which, check out how quilter Ben Millett created 4″ breeze-block-like units earlier this year, here and here. I’m hoping he makes them into a quilt!)
My design could be made into a quilt pattern – with blocks in whatever arrangement you wanted – using a combination of normal piecing (for straight bits) and paper piecing (for curves) for accuracy. Lots of variation and versatility!
One of the artists I follow on Instagram is Stanislaw Wilczynski (@digimatism). He’s a tattoo artist, based in Moscow, who combines suprematism, minimalism and composition to create ‘digimatism’: “pure, non-evocative, abstract shapes created by means of digital technologies”. Basically, simple yet stunning geometric tattoos. Some of his designs use small angled lines repeated (apparently) at random, which inspired me to create this week’s design.
This design could be pieced fairly easily by designing a 2 x 2 block with a diagonal stripe down the middle (maybe using paper piecing for accuracy). Rotating the block would allow you to change the direction of the stripe, and the blank spaces between some of the stripes could be achieved by adding 2 x 1 rectangles between the blocks. The blocks are arranged in columns, which could be separated with sashing.
I decided to play around with the design a bit more, adding a few more lines in.
I set myself a rule for adding lines: each new line had to be perpendicular to the two lines it was connecting. I didn’t want any angles other than right angles in there. Not every line is joined up with another; I tried to balance the length and position of the new joins across the whole design. Although I can see some areas that are busier than others.
Like the first design, this one could be made into a quilt using paper-piecing – although it could be pretty cumbersome and time-consuming to figure out all the different blocks and their placement. Perhaps it’s just useful as a thought experiment instead 🙂