Where do quilt patterns come from?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Now that I have a couple of quilt pattern launches under my belt, I have had a few questions on where the ideas come from.

It really depends.

I am currently working on this one which I am calling the Banners Wave Quilt.

photo of a orange and red quilt top laying on a deck railing with a green modern house in the background

It was inspired by this chair that I saw in a shop window in Dunedin, NZ earlier this year.

I then start working with shapes and dimensions in Adobe Illustrator.

Side note:  I started working with the Adobe suite of products called the Adobe Creative Cloud (or Adobe CC for short) in November 2018.  I had not used any design software previously, and I would say that the learning curve was a bit steep.  There are a number of helpful You Tube videos out there that I leveraged.  While there are a number of products included, I primarily use:  Adobe Illustrator (where I play with the designs), Adobe InDesign (where I publish the patterns) and Acrobat DC (where I can manipulate the PDFs).  Let's just say that if I were to write my Geometric Patchwork Quilt pattern today, it would probably take about 20% of the time that it did last November.  😀

Once I am happy with the dimensions I am using, I start laying them out and adding color.  Here are a couple of examples of iterations ... ultimately, I am looking for something that "pops".  Sometimes it takes longer than others.  There are about 18 of these types of drawings currently saved in my ideation file for this quilt (which doesn't include the ones I outright rejected and deleted).

For this quilt, the last two images will be in some version of the colorway.  

Then comes the online search to make sure that the "Brilliant" idea that you've landed on isn't already out there in some pattern hidden somewhere.  This one was a little easier as it takes half-rectangle triangles, so you can do a pretty thorough search on Pinterest, Instagram and Google/Bing.  

Typically, I make a version and when satisfied, I then write the instructions.  Once the instructions have been completed, I then make a second top to confirm my instructions before I send out to the quilt testers. 

I try to float an image of the test pattern out there on Instagram to gauge whether it is truly something that people like, or just one of my favorites.  There really isn't any point in spending quilt testers time on a pattern that isn't going to go anywhere.

In the end, I typically end up with 3-4 different versions of a quilt from a new pattern.  Or I should say a quilt top ... there are a few of them around that I still haven't quilted.  But I did buy some backing fabric this week, so I would call that a step in the right direction.  😀

Personally, I am most drawn to mid-century modern themes.  While this particular quilt started out with a large-scale geometric image that could be considered mid-century, it definitely morphed in the design process.  But it still represents what I think I admire most about mid-century design, clean lines, large scale, design from shape, rather than patterned fabric. 

Hope everyone is having a great week and now I am off to the quilting studio to build another quilt top. 

Have a great week(end)!

Discovering New Neutrals

Sunday, May 5, 2019

OK ... I admit it ... I have been kind of boring when it comes to neutrals ...

As a Kona Solids girl, I was kinda stuck on White, Snow and Ash ... I would buy them by the bolt and that was the extent of my neutral quilt wardrobe.

Boy was that limiting!

Rainbow scrap quilts on a design wall in baby sizes

This week I was doing a few scrappy versions of my Connected Squares Quilt Pattern and I didn't really want to do both of them in Kona Ash.  I am kinda adverse to too much white on a baby quilt as they are a bit harder to keep clean.

So I went looking in the cupboard and found some Kona Pewter Solid.  It was perfect!  Putting the quilt's side by side, I am kinda smitten with the depth that you get out of the darker version.

Now I know that it won't work with everything ... but when it comes to rainbows ... I think it was a great choice!

Hope everyone else had an equally productive weekend.


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