Quilting inspiration and design

by kath_red on 03/02/2007

in Quilting

Designing your own style quilt can be a daunting prospect – thinking of fabric and colour choice, the mood you want to create, where it will be used and how much time you have to spend on it are all important considerations. (You might want to pick up a copy of the latest American quilting mag – see previous post – and find out what Weeks and Bill Ringle from Fun Quilts has to say about it).

I really enjoy free piecing my quilts within simple guidelines, and have a lot of fun with colours. I decided recently to make a queen size quilt, and wanted one fast, my design parameters were:

1. using up fabric that I already had – I didn’t want go and buy anything I wanted to do it right now and knew that shopping would use up my urge to create – also I have lots of fabric, the stash is getting out of hand.
2. something unisex – ie. not too girly – my husband needs to live with it too
3. warm earthy colours – I rummaged through my fabrics and found everything that was chocolaty and warm red and tan, with some olive green, pink and orange thrown in too.
4. simple pattern that didn’t involve precision cutting and sewing – I really love Denyse Schmidt style and decided to try my hand at something similar to her string theory quilts. For the back, after advice from Weeks Ringle, I decided to go with using up scraps in a fun way and came up with something bright and bold and modern.
5. help from my 6 year old in putting colours together – she was really keen to help and once I cut all the pieces up I gave her the job of matching them up in pairs and handing them to me to sew. She was so excited and set up a little work space and really took it all very seriously.

Work in progress on the quilt top – to give you an idea of the colours and fabric used.

Work in progress on the back of the quilt

I really enjoy seeing others design processes:

Kim outlines her patchwork pillow design : Jane is always whipping up beautiful colourful quilt creations love the latest explosion of colour : Juju is taking up quilting and is spending time investigating the process and has really thought through her criteria for a quilt : Jude is creating a flowing feeling with her quilt :

What is your quilt criteria? do you have a design process?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lelah February 3, 2007 at 6:09 pm

I just to a beginner’s hand quilting class on Monday (details on my blog). Right now my quilting criteria is to get perfect stitches. So far they’re pretty uneven, and on the back they’re really short! I think I actually need a shorter needle. Steady as she goes, though!


2 Kate February 4, 2007 at 8:09 am

I actually don’t really have a design process, except that I always try to do something different. Lately I’ve been trying to use primarily from the stash. I really enjoy learning new techniques, so I try to explore different things in every quilt I make.


3 Elizabeth February 5, 2007 at 11:51 pm

I am a beginner quilter; I have family members who do exquisite traditional quilting, but I don’t want to do that type of quilt. I am tired of the oh-so-precise look — any factory can produce that, but an original design shows more individuality. So I have designed my own for now. I know that some shapes appeal more to me than others (circles and squares, strangely) so I decided to use those as the foundation. I play around on paper until a design “feels good” — it’s all very subjective. It’s been fun and I’ve been impressed with my results so far, even though I don’t consider myself an “artist” — just crafty.


4 jude February 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm

i am a free form quilter, design as i go, i am currently documenting the story behind my current quilt.


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