Okay, We’re Sticking With Diamonds. Now What?

big and small IMG_2627 compressedAfter scrapping the strips of diamonds and dots I had previously sewn for a wall quilt for DH, I was back at the drawing board cutting table. One thing I knew for sure was the diamonds had to be more delicate, so I  cut narrower diamonds making the top and bottom angles 30° instead of 60°. In the thumbnail to the right, the bottom two diamonds are the original size and the top is the new, smaller size. They’re a bit wonky because they haven’t all been sewn together and the bias edges have stretched a bit.

Original, larger diamonds, looking lonely by themselves

Original, large-size diamonds, looking lonely by themselves

Reluctantly, I acknowledged that with the shrinking of the diamonds the circles/dots would have to be dropped from the pattern, otherwise they’d have to be scaled down too much to be an effective design element. The rest of my plan remained intact: colourful diamonds against silver Kona cotton in columns of varying lengths.

Now, to my eye, the chains of larger diamonds (left) look sparse. And with the four strips measuring a total of 12 inches across, I couldn’t imagine using this layout with smaller diamonds. My first approach to adding width was to sew thin, straight strips of different fabrics between the diamonds (below left). I don’t know about you, but I think this solution sucks out all of the energy the diamonds bring to the design. My second attempt was to swap out the straight strips for curved strips (below right) and I am really happy with the effect.

I switched from straight strips (left) to wavy strips (right)

I switched from straight strips (left) to wavy strips (right).

After auditioning various colours of strips and stitching the winning combinations together, I played with the layout. Here are examples of six; six of about 20. The right-most layout in the photo immediately below, is what I had in mind when I first designed this quilt, not counting the curvy strips, of course.

Trust me when I say I started going cross-eyed looking at all these options. Most of them I like, which makes it all the more difficult to decide on just one. Although it is tempting to make up a few with different layouts, I’m not sure I’ll have the patience to make this quilt more than once.

Now I have to figure out which layout I like best and see if I can incorporate the last of my original design objectives: significant amount of negative space and asymmetry.

To read the final post about this quilt, click here.

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