It’s been a couple of months since I posted a hand-drawn sketch. I’ve been sketching less lately. Often I start with a dot pad and quickly move to EQ8 when I’ve decided on a motif that I want to explore further. Other times, it’s just easier to start with EQ8. Hand-sketching can require a level of concentration and thought that I don’t always have. But of course, concentration and thought take practice, and they’re easy to lose if you don’t nurture them with time and attention. A gentle reminder to myself that I should make time to sketch, even when there seem to be easier alternatives.
Anyway…! Here’s what I was working on when I last opened my dot pad.
I’ve explored this idea of ‘folded ribbons’ before – see Sunday sketches #74, #75 and #76, for example – and it’s the sort of thing that could spark a thousand more designs. But this time, I wanted to play with the idea of the ‘folded’ bit being a feature, creating its own path.
I ended up designing quite a few variations, with different canvas shapes (square-ish above; rectangular-ish, below), or numbers of lines in each group, or proximity of lines.
Imagine using a really bold print for those lines in the foreground. Wouldn’t that pack a punch?
I’m still working through this idea in my head and on paper, so I may have more of these to show you sometime soon (assuming another design idea doesn’t grab my attention in the meantime!).
This design could be translated into a quilt pattern using long strips (and some careful cutting to maintain the proper angles) or even a lot of triangles.
Recently I created a bunch of related designs that I figured I’d just post together, since they’re so similar. They’re all based on triangles – mostly half-square triangles, but also some flying geese and some elongated diamond shapes (rhombi!).
I wanted to recreate the feel of my Heartbreaker quilt pattern – those long diagonal lines created by adjacent half-square triangles – and ended up sketching one design after another on my Rhodia dot pad. There really are no limits to how you can use those shapes in that way.
I love the energy and movement in these designs, and the way they evoke electricity pylons, or maybe cranes, or building scaffolding.
I plan to keep sketching more along this theme. I’d love to try making one of these designs into an actual quilt. I’d prefer to use piecing, although I think you could also make these designs using appliquéd bias strips (if you had a very steady hand or a long straight edge!).
When I get a particular design idea in my head, I almost always create a repetitive, consistent version first before branching out with more improv variations. It’s like I need to follow the rules before breaking them. This week’s design is no exception: after using the same V-shaped series of lines in Sunday sketches #147 and #152, I tried a more random approach.
Like last week’s design, this one would require a bit of skill either piecing very skinny strips or appliquéing strips nice and straight (neither of which I’d be very good at!).
I could continue this design theme by extending the lines in either direction, angling them again to create another arrow, moving the arrows closer together or further apart, or staggering the beginning/ends of the lines, so they don’t all have the same length. Lots of possibilities!