Monday, June 27, 2011

If You Try

You Discover You Can

There are a lot of quilters who design their own quilts. And I mean a lot. If so many can, there's no reason you can't too. But you never will, if you don't try.

For years I've looked at Bowtie and thought that it's too simple a block; there's not a lot you can do with it. So I never tried.
Then I saw this version of Bowtie on the Grey Cat Quilts blog. At first I didn't realize it was a Bowtie block. When I did, I also realized that no block is so simple that it can't be changed, no matter how slightly.

I decided it was time I tried to design using this Bowtie block.

These are a few of my attempts.

These aren't everything I tried. Most of what I tried didn't work, wasn't interesting, or was old hat. Especially my first few attempts. It can sometimes be discouraging. It makes one wonder, why bother? If I never would have tried, I never would have failed.

Of course, you know the answer to that. If you never try, you never succeed.

Isn't it time you tried designing a special quilt of your own?


  1. Hi Wayne, Love your blog! I very seldom follow patterns, I never liked to color within someone else's lines! I am so amused when I am asked what pattern I used and I say "I made it up". The look is incredulous! I see patterns as a place to start, a way to learn a new technique, a guideline. All of us are far more creative than we know. Thanks for your supportive and creative posts! Have a great day!

  2. Kheli

    It always amazes me that more quilters don't design their own quilts. As you already know it's a wonderful feeling to be able to say, "I designed this."

    Too many quilters think they can't design. But everybody can. It's a skill that can be learned. And it's not that hard.

    It may take some time to learn, but then so does sewing or driving a car.

    I truly wish every quilter would try designing quilts. It's fun.

  3. Have you seen any of Mary Ellen Hopkins' books? She has great design ideas, some using bowties. You will discover that your ideas aren't new!

  4. For me, the challenge is not designing my own quilts; it is the confidence to have all the parts fit together correctly based on the sometimes crazy math for sizing all the blocks and sizes of blocks.
    Putting pen/pencil on graphpaper is a favorite flight time filler! It is a great conversation starter with seat mates.