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!
Earlier this year, I came up with a very quick design in EQ8. Sometimes it takes me ages to settle on a design I like; other times, I hit on something pretty quickly.
I had seen a sort of rocket shape somewhere, so played around with it a bit, altering the width and height of each rocket as well as the layout. I settled on this design – it just felt simple and fun.
I didn’t post it as a Sunday sketch at the time. I liked the design so much that I contacted Love Patchwork & Quilting to see if they would be interested in a pattern based on the design – and they were. Fast-forward ~6 months, and Rockets* will be published this week in issue 82 🙂
The actual quilt that I made looks a bit different from the design shown here. Given that it’s all about rockets, it seemed more logical to use a dark background, and a slightly different colour scheme. (And when it comes to quilts, dark backgrounds pose fewer challenges than white backgrounds, for me at least!**)
Check back later this week for a post about the published quilt pattern. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the magazine!
* Often magazines will change the name of submitted quilts, depending on what they’ve published before and what else is in the pipeline. So I’ve no idea if this is actually what they’ll call the published pattern!
** I find that quilts with white background fabrics require a few extra steps: seams with brightly coloured fabrics sometimes need to be trimmed back, so that the colours don’t show through the white fabric; all the stray threads on the back need to be trimmed before basting and quilting, so they don’t break loose and show up through the white fabric; and I need to skip my usual unbleached batting for a pure white batting that will keep the brightness of the white fabric. Of course, all this is doable, but I’ve found that I avoid white backgrounds if I can!
Another hand-drawn sketch this week, and a super-simple one at that.
You can see from the scale of the background dots and my fill lines just how small this design was on the page of my Rhodia dot pad – only a few centimetres across! I love a good triangle, and I just started placing them on the page, following only one rule: each triangle I added had to touch an adjacent triangle, but only at a tip (no back-to-back edges allowed). I stopped when I was happy with the random arrangement.
Those of you who know how much I like symmetry and order can probably see that despite the ‘improv’ nature of this design, it’s still fairly well balanced in terms of positive vs negative space, and the number of shapes in each quadrant. Even when I’m not trying to be ‘ordered’, it happens 🙂
I like the idea of super-sizing this design to make a bed-sized quilt. Which would mean fairly large triangles, but that would also mean a fairly quick make – and what’s not to like about that?