Recognise the pinwheel flags from last week? Here’s where they started.
I’ve been playing with elongated curves lately. I was prompted by the oval drunkard’s path templates from Jenny Haynes / Papper, Sax, Sten, which I got awhile back. They’re 2:1 curves, so twice as high as they are wide (standard drunkard’s path blocks are 1:1 – the same width and height).
I wasn’t sure how to make 2:1 curves in Electric Quilt, but I figured out that you can draw a standard curve, then select it and drag it the box around it to create new dimensions. I’m not sure I got the dimensions quite right in this design, but I got sidetracked by the concept of using curves in this way. It’s a concept I’ve tried a few times recently – you might’ve seen Sunday sketch #251, and I’ll post some other designs like this in the future.
Anyway – alternating blocks help to introduce a bit of negative space, so the whole design doesn’t feel too crowded.
The great thing about a four-colour palette is how many combinations are possible. Here are a few.
It gives a slightly different feel to the design if you switch the order of the alternating blocks, so that the curved blocks are in the corners.
I used sashing between the blocks, so it’s possible to use all curved blocks throughout the design without making it feel too crowded…
…but I still prefer the alternating arrangement of curved and non-curved blocks.
I love the oval drunkard’s path shape! It lends a bit of wonkiness and an informal feel to the overall design. I’m looking forward to trying out the Papper, Sax, Sten templates and coming up with more curvy designs. This one could be made using the templates, triangle-in-a-square units, and squares.
I’m posting a little out of order this week. If you’ve been following for awhile, you know that one sketch will often spark an idea for a second sketch, which will morph into a third sketch, which can lead off in another direction to a fourth sketch… and so on. When this happens, I usually post the designs in order of creation, so I can easily tell the story of how they evolved. But not this week.
You’ll see this ‘pinwheel flag’ motif (for lack of a better description) in an upcoming sketch, where it first started. But I like the simplicity of this variation, so I’m posting it first.
I tried to inject a bit of bright colour into this one, because my default palette with this dark blue is often white and grey….
In the variations above, there are secondary squares created by the closest quadrants of four adjacent blocks… so four white ‘flags’ create a white square, and four blue flags create a blue square.
But the flag colours can be mixed up to avoid creating those squares. I like to create designs that offer choices for colour placement, particularly with a limited palette.
I’ll do a bit more with this block next week. But in the meantime, here’s another variation, created by colouring in the secondary squares with the alternating colour. I also flipped the orientation of this one, to avoid potential problems.
I like how these two versions look almost chaotic and improv-y but are actually very controlled and rule-based.
All these designs could be made into quilts using a triangle-in-a-square block and squares. That’s it!
I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going through a bit of a dry spell when it comes to designing. I’m trying to stop calling these periods ‘slumps’, because I think it’s natural for creativity to ebb and flow. But also, creativity begets creativity, and I haven’t been sitting down to sketch much. So rather than panic about the lack of new ideas lately, or worrying about where the next idea is going to come from… I’m just trying to do better when it comes to practice. I’m trying to sit down and sketch more often. Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, it’s a good reminder of the importance of creative play.
Anyway, as is often the case when I’m feeling a bit lost design-wise, I started playing with stars this week. And warm colour palettes. Yellows and oranges and pinks always make me happy.
When I create block-based designs, I try to ensure that individual blocks can accommodate multiple colours as well as a single colour. I think this one works!
It also works with a dark background…
…and in a greeny/yellowy palette.
I also like to see if block-based designs work with blocks coloured in an alternating palette or combination of colours. And, again, I think this design gets the OK!
To position the stars as close to each other as possible, without too much interstitial space, I’ve arranged these blocks on point with sashing. That could make them a little more difficult to piece (although I can see a workaround…).
Removing the sashing keeps the same general arrangement, but the blocks are now touching. This version would be much easier/quicker to piece, as the quilt top could be assembled in rows or columns of deconstructed blocks instead of joining whole individual blocks.
Connecting the blocks does give quite a different feel to this quilt design though. This three-colour version feels much busier to me. I find it harder to see each block on its own, without interference from its neighbours. This might just be a result of the colour scheme I’ve used here. It’s a bit easier to discern each block in the multicoloured version.
I like how the ‘connected’ version created secondary shapes between the blocks – stars within stars!
These designs could be made into quilts using basic units like triangle-in-a-square blocks, squares and rectangles.