I know it’s been long in the making, believe me, I know!
It’s hard to believe just how long it really does take to get an idea from my head into pattern form, and this is with a LOT of technology!
Lately I’ve been starting my designs on my computer using a design program.
Not that it designs the quilt for me, but I draw my sketches on my computer, unless I’ve started with a doodle, then I scan that into my computer as a jumping off place. It’s so much easier to begin in my computer for my applique pieces especially, then I don’t have to scan and re-draw them when I start writing the pattern.
So, I draw an applique shape, or start a block with my mouse. This way I can play with scale, color, proportion, textures in fabrics, and get perspective, all without using any fabric or thread (so much quicker than sewing and un-sewing, etc.) This is especially handy when I have only so much sample fabric to use, or I’m trying to figure out how much sample fabric to order from my generous supplier; Moda Fabrics. They have been VERY generous to me, sending me new fabrics before they are even available to shops. When I go to market, quilt shop owners can see my new designs in fabrics they’ve just received or about to receive and it helps to sell the pattern & fabrics if they are somewhat coordinated.
After I’ve decided on a design, I gather the appropriate fabrics and sew the sample(s), quilt them, or like a lot of my new designs this year, send them out to be quilted. Since my quilter, Judy Bishop moved, I have to ship them to her. She is like a magician. I send her my quilt tops, backing fabric and batting and she sends me back a beautiful quilt. I don’t tell her how to quilt my tops, she has a sixth sense about her that can see exactly what my top needs and just does it! I am spoiled by her!
Usually while I’m waiting on that part, I can start writing my instructions on my computer, using the notes that I made while sewing and my computer generated illustrations. This time, instead of writing those instructions, I went right to work on another quilt. I actually sent Judy multiple quilts at once (a few times) to get all my samples quilted! I was making several quilts together to go into a couple of books.
So, while Judy was quilting for me, I wrote instructions & had a couple of testers sewing and proofing my work. Then I get quilts back from Judy, put binding on them, and schedule my photographer. It takes a couple or few days for him to do his work getting the photos just right. While I wait for that, I can design the covers, adding just the right colors to enhance each quilt.
After I decide on a layout for a cover, I make at least three versions with various color backgrounds and have them printed. Next I trim them up and put them in pattern bags. I then hang them up and have family members vote on their favorite one. If I stand back a bit I can usually tell which one shows off the quilt the best. That’s the one I want!
Then it’s back to the computer making the files so that the printer can print from them.
When I make a book like this time (x 2!) you can multiply this all by 5 or 6 or so…
Then I end up with this
It’s the latest of my Quilt-as-you-go lap quilts.
I’ve used mostly Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket for Moda Fabics.
I love making these.
You cut the backing & batting to the finished size of the quilt and baste them together. Fill the foundation with strips, then add binding and it’s done!
This one uses a jelly roll and some yardage.
The pattern is available on my website.
Stay tuned for the rest of my new patterns this week.
Until next time,