Looking over the way quilting design is done has been one of the more interesting things I find about quilting. There are computer programs, sketch tables, and an A-frame design station that can be used. Recently my daughter “awarded” me with a quilt request, sent me her idea, and a whole lot of fabric. To be honest, I was surprised and overjoyed with the request.
The Lotus is such a beautiful flower, but the art of reproducing a lifelike replica in fabric isn’t something I plan on tackling in the near future. I’m still working out the bugs with quilting basics as will be mentioned shortly. That flower was the central design that my daughter had wanted along with the Japanese themed fabric she sent me.
I wanted to start on it right away and really loved the fabric she had chosen. But with anything that I make, I have to incorporate my taste and to this point my daughter gave me her blessing.
I spent the first six hours… that’s right, six hours, pouring over different design concepts. Honestly, I could have spent a week trying to come up with a way to put her concept into the fabric but really wanted to get started. After the six hours I finally came up with something that I fell in love with and hoped that she would too.
After the initial design concept, I needed to lay out the virtual pieces to see what the overall quilt would look like. This, at least for me, is done in my head. I then transfer the idea sketching it onto a piece of paper. The first sketch is the central theme, the Lotus, then how it will be represented in the block, and finally how the blocks will be arrayed in the quilt. That last step I did not photograph to keep it as a surprise for my daughter.
It’s at this point I’d like to mention that I am NO artist with pen and paper. It makes me hesitant to even share what I have up on my design wall for fear that my daughter may see it and freak out. If you’re reading this Amanda, the quilt looks much better than what’s on the design wall. The squares are actually square, not the rectangles that I drew.
One of the things that took up most of the time was, of course, coming up with the dimensions of the blocks, the pieces within the blocks, and the quilt itself. I had to redo the numbers multiple times to come up with numbers that would work. Yes, I know there are programs as I mentioned that can help out with that, however I felt that doing this myself was imperative. I am a member of the measure 60 times and cut once club, even then sometimes I have to fix a mistake. The only minor hiccup I had… I didn’t translate ALL those numbers to see if I had enough fabric. No problem, design changed on the fly…
Let me know your thoughts on this process as you’ve experienced it…