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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sewing with Certainty #5 Creating your Own Designs

I missed a few of the Sewing with Certainty @ Quilty Habit link-ups but I am back for #5 and I have to say this one gets me excited!
November 2013 - February 2014!

I am all about creating my own designs.  For me patterns are a great learning tool.  They are an effective way to learn and perfect a technique but when it comes to making quilts I usually prefer to do my own thing.  

One of my favorite quilts I designed.
When starting a new quilt I typically have some sort of inspiration as my starting point.  I get my inspiration from many places including drawings, photographs, pinterest, blogs and my job.  I am lucky enough to work at a quilt shop  and since I love color one of my main jobs is creating fabric kits and pulling fabrics for custom layer cakes and jelly rolls that we make in-house (although we call them something else since those are Moda's terms).

Picking 40 fabrics for a pre-cut bundle
A good example for me is the above grouping of fabric I pulled for a layer cake which inspired me to make a quilt out of similar colors myself.  The following stack is fabric from my stash that I pulled to resemble the fabrics I picked for the pre-cuts at the store. I also added some lighter fabrics that I plan on incorporating into the background pieces. I haven't fully decided if I will use all these fabrics but it is the start to my process.


When it comes to actually designing the quilt I can be a bit of a disaster.  Sometimes I plan ahead using graph paper and notebooks but the problem is I tend to keep my notes in about 10 different notebooks - whichever is closest to me at the time - and they usually end up being covered in doodles, drawings and small scribbles of additional notes.

These are literally all notebooks/sketchbooks I either pulled from my sewing room or had in the room with me ... I have more - meaning I think I might have a problem.
Unfortunately for my sanity (and my husband's) I used to plan very little of my quilts in advance.  I just plan a basic structure or have a scribble of what I want it to look like and wing it. Not saying it doesn't work well - the Sun Quilt and Cat and the Hat quilts I made both kind of started that way but it does sometimes lead to trouble and headaches.

There is good news though because now that I am actually trying to design quilts that I can turn into patterns I have gotten better at being more organized and more thoughtful about the actual process of the design.  (I recently finished a quilt that I cannot wait to share and will be releasing a pattern with it too!)

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my design process - in actuality I could probably write quite a few posts on the subject but for now I will leave it at this.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Elise

6 comments:

  1. Thanks sew much for sharing your experiences! I am sew happy to hear your quilt is finished and the pattern will soon be available. Sure enjoyed seeing all the inspiring pictures of fabric and especially your drawings!

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  2. I've loved seeing into your design process, which I find hard to describe in words! Thanks for sharing it. And I love that starburst quilt. Quite a striking design.

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  3. Awesome! Thanks for a peek into your mind :)

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  4. Wow, you are quite an artist! Look at those sketch books and such pretty quilt beginnings too. I like your fabric stack too. Designing a quilt - sometimes they only seem to take on a life as you go along, other times you have a good idea of how it will finish up. Looking forward to seeing your latest quilt.

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  5. That's so funny! I totally have the notebook problem. I'm forever trying to remember where I was when I doodled out a plan because that often means I can narrow down which notebook it might be in. I carry one around with me, but I never seem to use it. Go figure!

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  6. Your post was wonderful, but after I read "I work in a quilt store" I kinda zoned out and had a hard time paying attention to the rest because my mind was going, "Damn I'm jealous!" the whole time : P Looking forward to seeing the new pattern when you release it!

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