Tagged: triangle in a square

Sunday sketch #253

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!


Sunday sketch #252

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.

Sunday sketch #246

I’m still playing with the same triangle-in-a-square block that made its first appearance in Sunday sketch #243 (and was also the basis of sketches #244 and #245). Here it is again, set on point.

Sometimes it takes many rounds of revision before I hit on a design that I like. I can walk you through how this one came to be, so you can see what I mean.

First, I started with a regular layout of squares and triangle-in-a-square blocks. I used flower shapes (like in #243), but coloured the squares in between the blocks to make it look like the shapes were overlapping. I liked how those background stars appeared, but overall the design felt a bit too crowded for me.

To relieve the crowdedness, I changed the layout (expanding the overall size, and increasing the number of blocks), added some negative space around the perimeter, and emptied out the central square of each shape (using the square-in-a-square block that I introduced in #245). I liked this version more, but it still felt a bit busy to me.

After looking at that design for awhile, I realised it might look interesting set on point (that is, on the diagonal). So I revised the design (all of this was done in Electric Quilt 8). Setting the same layout on point also introduces lots more negative space, which helps to focus your eye on the design but also relieves the busy-ness.

You’ll notice that I also filled in the spaces I’d introduced in the shapes themselves – I decided I didn’t need that square-in-a-square block after all.

So – I liked the diagonal layout more than the standard layout. But I still wasn’t completely satisfied. So I tried a few more variations, where the two sets of shapes (yellow and blue) overlapped in different ways. Here’s one.

Don’t you love those background stars that emerge in the middle, where the two sets of shapes overlap? I liked this version, but ultimately decided that there was still too much going on.

So I scaled back the movement by making the two sets of shapes run in parallel instead of perpendicular. Ahh, that’s better.

In this version, I also coloured those background stars in white. You might not notice them at first, as the white is only a shade brighter than the light-grey background. But once you get your eye in, they’re easy to find. I can’t decide if I prefer the stars highlighted like this or not… so you get to see both versions!