Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Expanded Square

Butterflies & Leaves
Jennifer Gould Designs

Grass Monster
Jennifer Gould Designs
Darth Vader
Jennifer Gould Designs
Four Leaves
Jennifer Gould Designs
Wavy Triangles
Jennifer Gould Designs
Serrated Leaves
Jennifer Gould Designs
Thanks to Jane Dunnewold's article "Design Tools: The Expanded Square" in Quilting Arts magazine (June/July 2007), I spent a morning developing my own squares from this intriguing design technique.  Developed from "Notan: Dark-Light Principle of Design," shapes are cut out of black paper squares with an Exacto knife and folded out onto white paper in a mirror image.  Jane suggests starting with no smaller than a 5" square, and that did turn out to be a good size.  The white paper below needs to be much larger to accommodate the folded out mirror image pieces.

It seems a bit difficult and complicated at first, but once  you've done one, you realize what's possible.  Do start with really simple shapes!  (My first, of course, was too complicated and that created a few problems.)  I went back to a very simple shape and then progressed to complicated and asymmetrical shapes, such as the "Grass Monster" and "Butterflies & Leaves."

The resulting squares can then be photocopied and reduced or enlarged in size, made into stencils, etc., for all kinds of repeated design possibilities.  I got to a point where I started naming the designs, as you can see above.  On the "Grass Monster," if you look at it sideways, you can see the flowers as eyes.  The designing can become very addictive!


  1. I LOVE these! They would make a beautiful scarf.