Sunday, August 7, 2011

Twisting Triangles

Yes yes yes...I should be unpacking...I should be reorganizing...I should be cleaning, I should be, should be...  What is that saying?  The Inbox is never empty?  Well, exactly.

I have had this idea in my head for the whole summer and I know if I don't try to work it out in fabric then it will disappear poof!  Of course, you know what happened right?  I started working on my idea and instead of resolving my creative only launched a whole new set of creative questions: do I change the colors around, should I place the pieces in this formation, should there be sashing, how big should this be...  Hahahahaa!  Perhaps you can help me with some answers feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

Begonia Escargot

My idea started with wanting a swirl design.  I saw a plant that had a swirly leaf and thought how cool would that be in a quilt block?  I am sure I could have just found a traditional block that is a swirl...but that would be logical and of course I didn't go that route.  Instead I started making some sketches.

Sketches from Head

As you can see in this (pathetic) sketch my original idea was to make the center the focal point.  Kind of like a twisty star.  I think this could be really amazing with a solid center.

Sketches from Head

Then the more sketching I did I kind of liked the idea of making the little corners where the blocks would come together be the focal point.  See this sketch above?  I thought if the edged fabric really stood out then it would create these cool stars where the blocks meet as opposed to the centers of the blocks.

Strips before cutting triangle

I had this fabric my friend bought me as a gift during a weekend away with her husband.  Isn't that nice? She goes away with her husband for a weekend...and comes back with fabric for me!  I know I am truly lucky to have such friends who feed my addiction!

Anyway the fabrics (above) include some classic fabric patterns all with red accents.  I have the most of the yellow and I thought I would start with a square where the edge of the triangles are yellow thinking that the yellow would stand out and create these stars when placed together...  Well that isn't exactly what happened...

Triangle 1
First Triangle with Yellow Corner Edge

Building Upon Paper Template
Paper Template

After creating the first triangle I realized I didn't really have a template to make the subsequent triangles.  I traced my first triangle and used it as a base for the subsequent triangles.  This is not to be confused with Paper Piecing, which I am dying to try but wasn't about to start that late last night!  [Interested in paper piecing?  Go check out this paper piecing tutorial from Fresh Lemons Quilts.]

Lining Up Guides
Guidelines for Strip Seams

I decided I wanted to have the seems of the fabric going in the same general direction even though they are all different widths.  I made some general guidelines using my first triangle to get the same "twist" on the direction of the seams for the subsequent the triangles.

Scrap Strips
Pardon my fuzziness!

This is me trying to get creative with the strips of fabric I had.  I really only have a tiny bit of some of these fabrics, I think a fat eight in certain cases, so I was using everything I possibly could for my "test piece."

Square Layout Version 1
Twisting Triangle Square Version 1

Up Close Version 1
center detail

And here it is!  My first block of Twisting Triangles.  The idea was for the yellow to pop...hahahaha but it doesn't does it?!?  Instead my eye is immediately drawn to the large blocks of red and white fabrics.  That isn't to say I don't like the just wasn't my intention.

Square Version 2
Twisting Triangles Block Version 2

Then I switched around the triangles to create a different version of the square.  I love how some of the fabrics line up to make a spiral which was does, after all, trace back to my inspiration for this.
Switching it up

This last photo is me completely fooling around with the triangles.  I actually loved this but am not sure how it would look with more squares.  These happen to line up almost perfectly!  When I make more triangles I am going to see how they line up...this seems like a coincidence in this case.

To decide whether I liked the overall result I made up a doc in Pages to see what additional blocks would do for the pattern.  Granted I was only working with copies of two Block Versions...but still I think that there could be some possible tweaking.  The yellow really doesn't pop...instead it outlines the bold red, brown, white twisted spirals.

Digital Image of Potential Layout

I'm thinking that if I want that pop result then I am going to have to switch up these fabrics.  It would be best with the white at the bottom edge because it shows up the most...unfortunately it is one of the fabrics I do not have in excess.  Instead, I may go back to my first idea of the center being the focal and keep the white fabrics to the center.  

Maybe my fabrics are too varied for this idea...but I still like the concept.  My next attempt with this will utilize solids and a more monochromatic scheme.  For now though, I want to continue in this vein using these fabrics because I believe the small prints lend themselves to a complicated design such as this one.

Lastly - it is August.  Why do I insist on working in dark colors?  I need to get back to  the Spinning Stars Quilt!  Envision me knocking forehead with heel of palm.

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