Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

X Marks the Spot

I’m pleased to share X Marks the Spot with McCall’s Quilting readers today. Quilt design is one of my favorite pastimes, and this design was born while I played with solids and the idea of transparency.

Transparency is a great trick. It’s accomplished by arranging patchwork to suggest that shapes overlap one another. Using darker values in the areas that are “layered” helps create this effect.

QQ11 X block 150x150 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

Single Block

In this block, it looks like a square is layered over the top of a big X. The square seems to be transparent because you can see the X right “through” the square. The darker values that form a plus sign suggest this transparency.

Here are a couple of other blocks I designed to illustrate transparency. In the first one, I kept it very simple. The purple square and the blue “photo corners” seem to overlap; the overlap is suggested by the very dark areas.

 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

Transparency 1

 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

Transparency 2

transparency 3 150x150 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

Transparency 3

In the second design, I added two more squares to the center of the block, and turned one on point. It seems to work all right, but the busyness of the block might detract from the transparency element.

I learned something as I messed around with these: You need to choose colors that are believable to the eye. In this third example, the black is too dark and too stark. My eye doesn’t buy into the trick, because it recognizes the black as being too extreme.

 Guest Post: X Marks the Spot

Patriotic X Marks the Spot

This quilt has potential to look great in other colors. How about this patriotic version for the warm days of summer? It would make a great Quilt of Valor.

And whatever fabrics you choose, take advantage of those wide open spaces for beautiful quilting designs.

In addition to design work, I enjoy sharing my quilts with groups around the country. Please visit StashBandit.net for information about my five available trunk shows and numerous classes. I would love to meet you!

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About Diane Harris

Diane Volk Harris is Associate Editor on the team that produces Quiltmaker, McCall's Quilting and Quilters Newsletter. She works remotely from her home near Bladen, Nebraska to write patterns, blog posts and product reviews. She manages Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks and keeps Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad busy making scrap quilts from Quiltmaker patterns. She can be reached at editor@quiltmaker.com.
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