Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Hard Is It

To Design A New Block?

Part 3 (4 x 4 Grids)

Designing new quilt blocks is fairly easy when you design on a grid.

The first 2 posts in this series looked at blocks designed on a ninepatch grid. That is, a grid that is 3 units wide and 3 units high.

Obviously a 3 x 3 grid is not the only one you can use.

This post looks at blocks designed on a 4 x 4 grid.

There is a difference between the two grids and it affects the resulting designs. The center of a 3 x 3 grid is a single square unit. The center of  a 4 x 4 grid is the point where four square units touch.


Bridal Path is designed using 2 simple units.

One of the units is a Nine Patch block. This raises an interesting question - if a block can be used as a unit in another block, what's the difference between a block and a unit?
Storm at Sea is designed using 3 different units.

When you make a Storm at Sea quilt you don't repeat the block; you repeat the center of the block and treat the edge units like sashing. So what exactly is a block?

Starburst is made using 2 different units. One of which is colored 2 ways.

This block can be neatly divided into 4 squares, each of which could be considered to be a block. So is it one block or four?
Cleopatra's Puzzle is made using a Drunkard's Path block.

Or is it a Drunkard's Path unit?
Crown of Thorns is made using 3 different units. One of which is a plain square.

Is a plain square ever considered a block?

In the 3 posts in this series, by examining traditional blocks, we've managed to create a small library of quilt block units.


Let's see what can be done with some of these on a 4 x 4 grid.

What if we select 3 of the units and play with them to see what turns up?

This outline pattern is interesting. What happens when it is colored?
This is a surprise. I didn't expect this result, but I like it. It gets really interesting when you repeat the block.
What if we try doing something with just 2 different units?

I find the ouline pattern confusing. Maybe coloring it will help.
Coloring made a big difference.

This is just one of the many ways this block can be colored.

Whether you are working on a 3 x 3 grid or a 4 x 4 grid the design process for creating a block is the same. You simply play with different arrangements of units on the grid until you find something that pleases you. Then you color it.

No comments:

Post a Comment