Last night I went to a lecture at Cotton Fields and met Marilyn Doheny. She talked about using her 9-degree wedge ruler to make fans. WOW. The basic technique is to make strata of at least 3 different fabrics, then use the ruler to make a variety of cuts, which will give you different fan patterns. She uses the fans to make butterflys, flowers and abstract spirals, in all different sizes. You could spend the rest of your life making quilts with this one technique. I totally understand how artists create a "series"...an idea is so intriguing that you come back to it over and over again.
Another pattern I've had that feeling about is Crazy Eights, by Mary Sue Suit. Tropical Screamer has a sample on her blog. (I'll try to post a picture of my version this weekend!) Mary Ellen developed a special ruler (I'm sensing a trend here about breaking into the quilting world with tools...) to make the eight-pointed stars. Her blocks end up pretty big, 16 inches. I'd like to make a smaller version, but I haven't figured the math out yet. (I take more of a sew-first-measure-later track when I'm designing something!)