I had an idea for a block this week. Two pairs of diagonal strips with angled ends, overlapping in the middle to create an ‘X’ shape. Don’t ask me where the idea came from – I must’ve seen an ‘X’ somewhere and wondered if I could do something with it.
One of the things I love most about quilt designing is the fact that a single block can create a million quilt patterns, just by rotating or colouring it differently. Case in point…
OK, that’s 4 (well, 2 colourways of 2 designs). I made more, but I just liked these 4 together. They’re all a 6 × 6 layout of the same block, using only 4 colours (I know, I know – black and white aren’t colours). Some use transparency; some don’t.
I actually love the idea of creating a single quilt with all 4 of those designs, with the same colour palette to pull them together. Wouldn’t that be cool?
The best thing about this design might be how basic the actual block is.
Given its symmetry and structure, I bet it’s a traditional block that’s been used before – it’s probably even got a name. It’s like a variation on a sawtooth star. Obviously, with different colouring, this block could be used to create completely different designs that don’t look anything like the ones above.
Making these designs into actual quilts would be pretty easy. You’d just need 4 flying geese blocks, 4 half-square triangles, and one square-in-a-square for the centre for each block.
I haven’t designed a whole lot with chevrons, although I really love the shape. In fact, I think it’s been about two years (!) since I posted a chevron design! Sunday sketch #52, posted back in June 2017, was an idea I had for using up a stack of 5″ Carolyn Friedlander charms (the result of which is still in my WIP pile, mostly because I need more background fabric and I can’t remember the exact shade/manufacturer of white that I used for the blocks I’ve already made… oops!).
Anyway, I recently picked up my A4-sized Rhodia dot pad and just started sketching chevrons randomly overlapping on the page.
Whenever I create an asymmetrical design like this, I still try to keep it balanced. So you’ll often see that a design that starts at the bottom left with end at the top right, or vice versa. And, if you drew a line across the middle (horizontally or vertically), you’d probably find roughly the same number of lines or shapes on each side. It’s how my order-loving brain copes with disorder 🙂
The movement in this design totally reminds me of a flutter of butterflies just randomly flying around, flapping their wings and getting in each other’s way.
I love all the little (and some big) shapes that appear when the chevrons overlap: squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds…. And I love how, when it gets really busy, it’s hard to see where the chevrons end and those shapes begin. It’s all just lines and angles.
This design would be fairly easy to piece, although possibly tricky (or at least time-consuming) to plan out. I figure any design that’s created on a grid can be made in fabric with a few calculations. This one would be quite a few calculations… but it’s doable with a bunch of half-square triangles and quarter-square triangles. It would just take a lot of planning. Especially if you wanted to play around with colour and create the effect of transparency.
It occurred to me awhile after sketching this recent series of quilt designs that they’re almost like Celtic knotwork – just more geometric and with fewer crosses (and cross-overs).
So I’ll dedicate these ‘hearts’ to Ireland – a country that was my home for almost 6 years when I was younger (which feels like a lifetime ago!).