In Part 1 I began showing you how I design quilts using the Paint program that comes with Windows XP.
In step 3 I told you that I begin a design by drawing random lines on a grid.
The easiest lines to draw are diagonals. However, there are many other ways to fill the squares on the grid.
Don't think of these as lines in a square.
Think of them as simple units that you can sew from your favorite fabrics. For example, a diagonal line in a square is really a half-square triangle unit; a vertical line in a square is really a half-square unit.
These units are combined to create blocks. Examine traditional quilt blocks and you will see that most of them are constructed from such units.
Is there an easy way to draw the various units?
Suppose I want a half square unit. The problem is how to draw a line that divides the square exactly in half.
Diagonals are easy to draw; so I start by drawing 2 diagonals in a grid square. (I use a color to draw the lines that is different from that of the square.) The two diagonals give me a center point. Now I can draw a vertical line through the center point. (This time I use the same color as the square.)
I get rid of the construction lines by filling the space around them with their color; then I color that space white.
I copy and save the half square unit and I never have to draw it again.
Suppose I want to divide a square into four.
I simple combine 2 half square units.
I copy and save my quarter square unit so that I never have to draw it again.
Suppose I want V-shaped units. The problem is how to draw diagonals that end in the center of the sides.
I start with a quarter square unit because it marks the centers of the sides. (The vertical and horizontal lines are drawn in a color different from that of the square.) I can now draw my new diagonals starting at the appropriate center points.
To erase the vertical and horizontal construction lines I color them white.
I copy and save my new V-shaped units so that I never have to draw them again.
By saving the units each time I draw one I end up with a library of units that I can copy and paste to design new blocks quickly.
You can build a library of your own by designing new units or by checking traditional blocks for traditional units.