When I first set out to design some wedge-based quilts, this week’s Sunday sketch is what I had in my head. Well, almost*. Wedges that tracked up and down, then across and up and down, and so on, and so forth, down the page. Like a continuous line, creating secondary shapes identical to the primary shapes, which themselves tracked up and down, then across and up and down… you see where I’m going with this.
This design retains the wedge outline from the previous few Sunday sketches. And the wedge shape itself is about the same (maybe slightly shorter and fatter).
* To be honest, this is not quite what I had envisaged, but it took me so long to try and get what was in my brain onto the screen, and it became so frustrating, that I eventually moved on to other designs, and then lost interest in the original. Such is life!
Anyway, like the other wedge-y Sunday sketches, changing the colours of this design gives a slightly different feel. Like changing those borders from black to white….
The white wedges become fatter, and the pink and red ones stay skinny.
Or we can flip the outline to red, and change the outer wedges to red too. I like showing the outlines on their own sometimes.
I also like this design rotated 90 degrees. When it’s upright, all I can see is the letter ‘H’! In a horizontal orientation, it’s easier to just see the wedges as shapes, undulating across the page.
I’m a big fan of this kind of nested design, where the primary shape produces identical secondary shapes. It’s very Escher-esque. If you look at my Instagram, you’ll see a few more along this theme.
Making this design into an actual quilt would be a bit tricky, I think. The design is block-based (you can easily see the repetition), but it’d take templates and paper-piecing for accuracy.
So after exploring one series of wedge-based designs (featured in last week’s Sunday sketch), I made a few small changes. I lengthened the wedges, and joined them up, so the outline (shown here in black) is a continuous line. It means that there are a bunch of wedges now connected by a central spine.
The thing I love most about this design is the emergence of a secondary shape that’s identical to the primary shapes. Putting two rows of wedges together (like the ones in red, above) creates a third row of wedges in the middle (in white, above). I love designs that do this. (You can see the same effect in Sunday sketches #118, #104, #103 and #102, for example.)
Changing the colours helps to push different rows of wedges from the foreground to the background, and vice versa. I find it interesting to see which shapes my eyes are drawn to first.
The design is a very simple one – fairly basic and repetitive. Here it is in just two colours, with only the wedge outlines coloured.
Even sticking with just two colours, there are a ton of design possibilities.
But introducing a third colour then expands the possibilities.
A third colour also lets you differentiate the wedge outline, which I prefer. (Using the same colour for the wedge outline as the adjacent background just makes the wedges look super-skinny. Or you could make the outline the same colour as the wedge, which makes the wedge look fatter.)
This is actually a block-based quilt, and I designed the block so it’s bisected horizontally. This means that the ‘insides’ of the wedge shapes can be coloured independently. Which lends yet another different look to the design.
I could’ve ended things there, but I decided to see how this type of design would look arranged horizontally rather than vertically. Because, why not?
The basic building block in the following designs is much the same as the block in the previous designs, but slightly more elongated.
Again, the addition of a third colour highlights the secondary designs that emerge within the primary design element.
And, again, we can just colour the wedge outline… or use the same colour for the outline as for the wedge itself (the fat white wedges in the middle of this variation).
The variations are endless!
Like last week’s design, I think this series would require paper-piecing to get the shapes just right. I love the precision and the sparseness of these designs, but I’d be reluctant to make them in real life. I think that’s partly because I know I’d have a hard time keeping the lines dead straight… and a tiny bit of wobble would be so obvious in a design like this one. Maybe it’s time I invested in some starch?!
The Modern Quilt Guild recently announced that its Quilt Challenge for QuiltCon 2021 (operating remotely as QuiltCon Together in February) is ‘wedges’. They define a wedge as “a 3- or 4-sided polygon that represents a segment of a circle or larger whole shape”.
I’ve never purposefully designed with wedges, but I was surprised to see that wedges have never featured in any of my Sunday sketches. So I set out to remedy that.
I sketched out a few ideas on paper before translating them into blocks using EQ8. My first session wasn’t so successful – I really wasn’t feeling it – but I kept at it. Eventually the ideas started coming. I won’t share them all here, but I’ll post a few over the next few weeks.
This is the first series, with simple wedges outlined by another wedge shape.
Some of the wedge outlines are coloured in black; the rest are in white (so disappear into the white background). Here it is again, coloured differently so the wedges and their outlines are clearer.
I added a slightly wider top and bottom border to the previous version, just so the quilt border didn’t interfere too much with the wedge outlines.
Here’s the same design, with all the wedge outlines (and some of the wedges) in white. It just makes the solid wedge shapes look a little skinnier.
So, I wasn’t that excited by these designs, but I figured they were a good start. Next, I tried the blocks on an angle, and in a different colour scheme.
This reminds me of snakeskin I think, or maybe fish scales. Here’s another version with a slightly different colour placement.
And… a rainbow version, just because.
And here’s a more improv-ish layout, following a few rules (see if you can spot them) but otherwise minus a few wedges here and there. This might be my favourite!
You’d probably need a template to make these wedge pieces. It’d be easy enough to make one, cut a bunch of wedge centres and border pieces, and chain-piece your way through a ton of blocks. Then it’s just a decision on how to arrange them!