Merging blocks

Excerpt from The design master plan

 

Here is another great way to merge two different blocks: lay one block on top of  the other.  These next two blocks originated from the same base unit but are slightly different.  Blocks don’t have to be related but it might be best if they are fairly simple.  Place the designs on any angle you feel will produce a good design. For instance, one block could be placed on a 45° angle and off-centre in relation to the other block.

 

Figure 49A: Two separate blocks.

Figure 49A: Two separate blocks.

 

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Figure 49B: Just two options for overlaying the blocks.

 

 

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Figure 49C: Potential new blocks.

 

The next two designs (a base unit and a border pattern) are completely unrelated, so what happens when they are merged together?

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Figure 49D: Two possible designs for merging. You may remember the elements in the border design from page 35.

 

The blocks chosen for merging don’t have to be pretty.  Two mediocre designs can make a great one.  Merging the designs doesn’t have to mean a full-scale design overhaul; a little of one can jazz up the other.  Going through this process for some inspiration means you don’t have to start from scratch to obtain an entirely new design.

In the next diagram, the design on the left has had a small modification made to it, while the one on the right now has too much detail, and it’s hard to know where to look. It seems like too much of a good thing, so that idea is best scrapped.

 

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Figure 49E: Ideas for the merge. To create more designs from this merge, alter different parts of both designs, and add in other elements.

 

You can try reintegrating the new design into the original if you wish.  In this case, there seems to be too much space between the two larger parts of the design so a little modification may be in order.

 

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Figure 50A: What do you think? To me, it is still a little busy.

 

What about altering both sets of designs?
Now the design is becoming more coherent.

 

 

Figure 50B: A new look has been created. Simplifying the smaller design in the second pattern allows the eye to more easily move along the border.

Figure 50B: A new look has been created. Simplifying the smaller design in the second pattern allows the eye to more easily move along the border.

 

Merging two elements, one of the original ideas in figure 49E (previous page) and the latest central block resulted in a great pattern.

 

Figure 50C: A new version of the design.

Figure 50C: A new version of the design.

 

 

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Figure 50D: Now the design looks right.

 

So why do these two designs look more like they were made for each other?  It’s because the diamond shaped space created by the larger design is filled by a diamond shaped design, as shown below.

 

Figure 50E: A perfect fit, but try not to overfill the area.

Figure 50E: A perfect fit, but try not to overfill the area.

 

With a small modification, this new base unit can also be a great design in its own right.

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Figure 50F: New pattern repeat. I think I like this one better than figure 50D!

 

Don’t be surprised if you discard your original design ideas as I have here—they may just serve as a stepping-stone to another great design. Treat this process like putting together a jigsaw where you don’t know what the final picture looks like until you’ve tried an arrangement of the elements.  The new base unit was then put through the process. You’ll see some of the resulting designs throughout this book.

For over 120 more fabulous design tips, check out The design master plan.

 

Happy quilting,

Fiona

 

 

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