Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How do I design a quilt?

For all of you visiting from Quilt Class 101 I hope you are having fun. I am excited to share my process and learn from other people as well.

I started my blog in August 2009 after I caught the quilting bug and had a lot of baby quilts to make. I think I made seven all from the Quilts! Baby book and then I was ready to design my first quilt for my child's school auction. I think my only inspiration was all of the fabric I had left over from previous projects and this idea of blocks that stood out from the rest of the design. 

I didn't even get the whole quilt in the photograph.

While I think I did a pretty good job for my first design I see so many things I would do differently now. That was only one year ago! It seems like five. I have since made many other quilts and three of my own design.I am much happier with my new designs they feel more like me!

Untitled Linen Quilt photo by Jen Carlton Bailey

Monochromatic Quilt for Project Modern 2


Auction Quilt #2 top finished.

They all start with a lot of sketches.The Monochromatic quilt more then the others that was a brain teaser.I usually am inspired by fabric and have an idea of the feel I want the quilt to have. With the Untitled Linen quilt it was Lotta Jansdotter scraps (I showed that design process here) and with this years auction quilt it was Sugar Pop charm squares.I have never used graph paper in my design process.This might be from my background in fine arts but I sketch in a sketch book. I should say multiple sketch books I am always going up and down stairs to get one from my bedroom or studio and find the last drawing I was working on.With the auction quilt it was a simple sketch just an idea and then fabric went up on the design wall.

The design wall is a big part of my design process now that I have one. While you can start with a sketch book or graph paper being able to put fabric up and move it around is what really finalizes the design for me.My next step is figuring out some measurements.For this quilt I put the seven blocks that ended up as part of the quilt top on the design wall and measured right on the wall.For my more complicated Monochromatic quilt, which was actually one block turned in different ways, I planned it all out on paper.After I had these measurements I started cutting and sewing making a few adjustments along the way.

One thing I firmly believe about any kind of art is there is no right way to do it. There are techniques that you can learn and with quilting they are important but in the end it's what works for you that matters!

Pétra (Creative Mom)


Christie, Describe Happy said...

Very well written, thanks for sharing!

Megs said...

Love your quilts! The monochromatic and linen ones are my favorites (at the moment!). I hope you'll bring it to the next PMQG meeting so I can see it in person. The greens are so soothing and restful.