Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Quilt design doesn't happen in an instant. It takes time. It starts with a small idea that grows and changes many times. Sometimes that small idea never stops growing and changing.

A couple of years ago I was doodling on a nine patch grid and came up with this simple design. I thought it was interesting.
I got rid of the unnecessary grid lines and decided this is how it should be pieced.
When I put 4 of my simple design together I got this block.
I used that block for this quilt which I sewed in 2008 and which I call Cochrane.

When I published the pattern for Cochrane as part of my Alberta Series I thought it would be interesting to include a second version in which the block was colored very differently.
This is the second version of the block. It makes a quilt that looks nothing like the original.
When I revised the pattern for Cochrane in 2009, I decide to included several other color versions of the block for people to play with. This blue and white version was one of them.
I also suggested that the blue and white version could be used like this to make a table topper.

Recently I got the urge to actually make this quilt. But I wanted to change it a little first.
In May of 2010 I bought a Go fabric cutter. It uses dies to cut shapes for applique.

While playing with one of those shapes I discovered this Tulip-like flower.

What if I were to use this flower as part of my new Cochrane quilt?
I had to extend the pattern by a block to fit the flowers in. And I experimented with making it a 3 color quilt.

Is this the end of the story? I don't know. I do know that I have already designed other quilts using the Cochrane block; I might  be inspired someday to sew one or more of them. I will probably make a change to the design when I do.


  1. You make it look so easy and give me incentive to keep pushing myself to be creative instead of relying on just the patterns I see.

  2. I want to make this quilt! There is something about it that just speaks to me! Thank you for designing it!

  3. Sarcastic Quilter

    It is easy. It gets easier the more you do it. And it gets better too.

  4. Staci

    When you make it, email me a picture; I'd love to see it.

  5. I love how you design the quilt, it is so much more interesting. So you say it gets easier the more you do it. We will have to see.

  6. Millie

    Everything gets easier with practise - driving a car, sewing, designing quilts - everything. If you can sew a quilt you can design one.