Monday, January 31, 2011

How Hard Is It

To Design A New Block?

Part 2

As you know, there are countless quilt blocks. And there are new ones being designed every day. Be honest; haven't you thought that it would be nice if you could design one. Then in some small way you could be a part of the history of quilting. I would be surprised if the thought hadn't crossed your mind at some time.

Well, why not? You can design a quilt block if you try. It's really not all that hard.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Hard Is It

To Design A New Block?

Part 1

Quilters have been designing blocks for ages. Everything that can be done, has been done. Right? Well of course not! There will always be new blocks. And there is no reason you can't design one.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do You Recognize

These Traditional Blocks?

Part 3

I'm not going to tell you what they are. Instead, I'm challenging you to tell me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Do You Recognize

This Traditional Block?

Part 2

If you say it's Spool, you are right, but hold on, because...
If you say it's Calico Puzzle, you are also right. How about that, 2 right answers.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Do You Recognize

This Traditional Block?

Part 1

If you say it's Shoo Fly, then you're right.
If you say it's Snowball, then you're right too. Well, actually its a snowball variation because of the square in the center. But that's being picky, so forget I mentioned it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Patchwork Alphabet

For Patchwork Quilters
Part 4

I don't know if you've noticed but design, not just quilt design but all design, has a split personality. Some times it's art and sometimes it's engineering.

In the first 3 posts I've dealt with how my Patchwork alphabet looks. Is it consistent? Is it attractive? Is it readable? That's the art side of design.

In this post I deal with the engineering side of design. How am I going to build it? Or rather, how should I sew it?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Inspires you

To Start A Quilt?

Angie Padilla did an interesting 3-part post on how she got started quilting.

It got me thinking. Not about how I started quilting, but about what motivates me to start a new quilt. There are times when quilting is the furthest thing from my mind, then something happens to motivate me to turn on my machine and quilt. What are the things that inspire me to start yet another quilt?

I decided to answer that question and post it in my blog on Tuesday 1 February 2011.

I am inviting you to write about what inspires you and then to post it in your blog on the same day as mine. Email me to let me know ( and I will link to your blog. That way we can all share our inspirations.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Patchwork Alphabet

For Patchwork Quilters
Part 3

If you have scraps you want to use up, then this alphabet is for you. The example above is part of the label from my quilt To Be Continued.  It is made using bits of fabric left over from the blocks on the front of the quilt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Valentine Quilt To Inspire You

Kathy Swallows designed this Valentine quilt using EQ7.

"I've made a few simple quilts from my own designs, but I'd like to design and make more advanced quilts."

She tells me that, "(D)esiging a quilt is a lot faster then actually making one." I agree; it's also easier and a lot of fun.

I hope Kathy's quilt will inspire you to design one of your own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Patchwork Alphabet

For Patchwork Quilters
Part 2

Today I'm going to continue on with the Patchwork alphabet I started showing you Saturday.

Like a patchwork quilt that is made from square blocks, the letters of this alphabet are made from square units. All lettters are 6 squares high and most of them are 3 squares wide. The squares can be plain squares, half squares, half-square triangles, and quarter-square triangles.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspirations For

Your Valentine's Quilt

Nancy Nigh designed Butterfly Kisses as the block of the month for Rainbow Country Quilters.

Valentine's Day is less than a month away.  Check out these blogs for inspiration, then start designing a Valentine of your own.

The Q and the U

Nancy's Creative Moments

Little Lady Patchwork

Selvage Blog

Piece N Quilt

Zany Quilter

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Patchwork Alphabet

For Patchwork Quilters
Part 1

Most quilters know nothing about proper letter design. Why would they? They are quilters not typographers.

This holds true for most quilt designers as well. Unfortunately, the result of this is that there is very little well-designed pieced lettering available to quilters.

Friday, January 14, 2011

2 Hearts

To Inspire You

This is made of snippets piled 1/2" high, covered with tulle and then quilted.

This, sadly, is a broken heart; but still beautiful.

These photograph's were sent to me by Elsie Montgomery . They are of heart quilts that she has made in the past. I hope they inspire you to design your own Valentine's quilt.
Are You Looking For

Valentine Quilt Inspiration?

You want to do something creative for Valentine's Day; but you don't know where to start. You need inspiration. You should check out these blogs:

Nancy's Creative Moments

Spun Sugar Quilts

Carol's Crafty Creations

A Quilting Life

Obsessively Stitching

Make Life Sweet

A Charmin' Time

Thursday, January 13, 2011


A Valentine

There's only a month to go before Valentine's Day. So now is the time for you to design something special for the holiday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Offset Block #5

Nine Patch Curves

Way back on 3 January 2011 I was playing with Nine Patch blocks and made some wiggly lines.

My wife had some 2 1/2" cut squares left over from a project and wanted to use them up. So she made this scrappy quilt top from my design.

I think it turned out rather well. Don't you?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

3 Top Reasons

For Designing Quilts

Why do some quilters design their own quilts? I asked a few and got a variety of answers; but there were 3 answers that stood out.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Offset Block #4

Linda's Swirls

Linda emailed me this sketch

"I don't design but I thought I'd try."
"I asked what if I make swirls?"

She's thinking of piecing it in shades of blue and quilting turbulence around the image.

I think it's wonderful. I wish I'd thought of it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Offset Block #3

Try Using

Offset Nine Patch Blocks

To Launch A Design

This is the 3rd in a series of posts in which I am trying to convince you that if you start with a simple design element (in this case a Nine Patch block) and just fool around with it you will find yourself creating novel designs.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Offset Block #2

What Can You Do

With Nine Patch Blocks

If You Offset Them?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Offset Block #1

Start With Something Simple

You want to design a quilt. Every quilter does. And I want you to design a quilt. That's why I started my blog. So where do you start? How do you start?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why I Design, Continued

Yesterday I told you why I design. Then I asked you to tell me why you design. There were some interesting and unexpected responses. If you haven't checked them all, now would be a good time to do so. And it's still not too late to comment.

Why I Design

To learn why Reeze Hanson designs go to

Why I Design

To learn why Chris Jurd designs go to

Why I Design

To learn why Elsie  Montgomery designs go to

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why I Design Quilts