Quilt Pattern Variations

Designing or making quilt patterns, or both?

I finally got round to digging out some patterns I designed in 1996 (!) when I had my first major quilting phase. Most of them never made it into Fabric World, and if you are designing quilts yourself you’ll understand why – so many designs, so little time…

Still, although I already knew at the time that I’d never make most of them, the creative act of designing (or doodling, as I call it) gave me great pleasure and kept me balanced during a time that was rather stressful and difficult for me. Giving myself frequent mini breaks of sometimes only ten minutes made a whole lot of difference to my days. And doodling can be a lot more mind-freeing and relaxing than even handstitching.

Anyway, browsing these patterns led to three conclusions:

I don’t need to make everything myself

Even if I might not get around to making these quilts, perhaps they can see the light of day with help from someone else – therefore I’ve decided to publicise them during the next months. Stay tuned!

When I find something highly enjoyable, I should share my experience with others

Because of my positive experiences, I also want to encourage you to start doodling, be it patchwork and quilt patterns or just free-form designs.

You haven’t got time? I’d say: especially if you haven’t got much time for the actual sewing.

You’d be interested but don’t know how to get started? Maybe this will give you the kick you’ve been waiting for: On 3rd September I’ll release a sketchbook kit for quilters, consisting of

Mini Sketchbooks Quilters Kit
Click the image for the Mini Sketchbooks Quilters Kit.
  • the How to Make a Mini Sketchbook Tutorial,
  • a collection of special grid papers for quilters,
  • suggestions and instructions for how to use the grids
  • and how to turn the sketches into full-sized patterns,
  • ideas and tips for coming up with variations,
  • and of course examples (read: blocks and quilt patterns for you to make).

The first part, the Sketchbook Tutorial, is available for download on 3rd September (but you can pre-order already), the rest will be released in installments until 30th September.

Thinking big – but making miniatures

My third conclusion has also to do with the fact that my sewing machine is playing up and I had to stop working halfway through a bed-sized quilt. But a few days ago I came across a lovely little quilt: Zigzag Love in Miniature by Hope @ Hope’s Quilt Designs. And I thought, yes, there’s the answer: make mini quilts! I love handstitching anyway, and mini quilts are not only a lot quicker, but also so useful because I can turn them into mug rags, placemats, cushions, pillows, wall hangings, covers for books and folders… So that’s something to look forward to!

What are you working on?

Do you prefer small or large quilts? Have you tried designing yourself, or have you encountered doubts or problems?

As I’m not finished writing the Mini Sketchbook Quilter’s Kit, I’d love to hear about your design experience in the comments. Maybe there’s a question or problem you have which I can address?

In any case, whatever you create, create with joy! 🙂

Maria

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