How Do I Come Up With Quilt Designs?

October 26, 2013

Thank you for all the positive comments regarding my new look!!  I have to admit, I am pretty smitten with it myself.  It makes me happy every time I see it.  Just brings a smile to my face and I guess that is what it is all about. :-) Another cool thing...not sure if you noticed, but if you hover your mouse over my photos, my very own custom "Pin It" button magically appears!!  Try it, I guarantee you will think it is cool too. :-) You can still click on photos to enlarge them.  I just wanted to make it super easy for my fellow Pinterest addicts to pin photos they found inspirational.  Again, thank you to my amazing designer Kerri.

Moving forward, I am going to try and post some tips and tutorials on quilting, designs, products I like to use...etc.  I will then post them under the "Tutorials" tab, so readers can readily access them.  These tips or tutorials are based on my own experience or trials and errors (tons).  By no means are these the only way to do things or even the correct way...they are my way.  My hope is maybe some of the knowledge I have gained will be helpful to someone...everyone, not just longarm quilters. :-)

"How do I come up with quilt designs?"  I receive this question by far the most often.  It is also the question I ask myself every time I start on a new top.  "What I am going to quilt on this??  This is still the hardest part of quilting for me.  For some quilters this is the easy part, well not for me!  Each new top is like the first day on a new job for me.  I always empathize with newbie quilters that ponder that question. 
 TIP:
 My suggestions...start looking for inspiration.  Pinterest, magazines, books, the Internet...your surroundings.  Find things that appeal to you.  Draw those designs out.  Draw.  Doodle.  DRAW!!  Did I mention drawing out designs??  It will teach your brain the movements you need to quilt those designs!!!!  PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you repeatedly do something over and OVER, you will get better.  I promise.  :-)  Patience.   Yes, I am work in progress on that one. :-)
 TIP:
Remember when I mentioned that part about drawing (lol), my favorite tool...the whiteboard.  I think everyone should have one.  I use it all the time!!!  It is my absolute favorite design tool.  I LOVE it!  If I cannot draw a design, I cannot quilt it.  Thank goodness my quilting looks a whole lot better than my drawing. :-) I even draw designs right before I quilt them just to give my brain a head start.  It is like a warm up.  It works!!!  I find my quilting to be smoother then if I had a cold start.
TIP:
Choose designs that you can execute well.  This is especially true for new quilters.  If you have mastered quilting swirls...then quilt all sorts of swirls.  Big ones, little ones...etc.  As your confidence and skills grow, add designs.  Even if they are "easy" designs, if you do them well, they will look beautiful. 
TIP:
Just do it!  Do not over think it.  Yes, I am guilty of this too.  There have been times where if I did not load a quilt top, I would have never have quilted it.  I can over think things to the point of paralysis.  If the design does not work, you can always pick it out.  No one wants to do this torturous task, but it is not the end of the world.  I have never met a stitch I could not pick out. :-)  Some of my best designs have come from trial and error.  :-)

I could not write a post without some quilt photos.  You guys would think you were at the wrong place!  I have my Canasta Schnibbles all quilted!  Even the binding is on.  Not completely hand stitched down yet.  I will show you a peek now. :-)
I cannot believe this is my quilt and I get to keep it!!!

I had good intentions of piecing the newest Schnibbles, Clover, before I left for Houston, but that is not going to happen.  I have a good start and will finish I when I return home. :-)
Sarge approves.







11 comments:

  1. Great tips and I do have an ipad with a drawing program, so that would be a great way to doodle and get the feel of quilting designs.

    Debbie

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  2. Thank you for being sooooo generous with your knowledge

    Linda

    Ardent fan from Taupo New Zealand

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  3. Thanks for the tips & love the new layout. On your way to Houston? Lucky you, unfortunately I am going to have to give it a miss this year. Enjoy!!

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  4. Great tips--thank you for sharing. Enjoy Houston

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  5. I enjoy seeing your quilting and hearing your tips will be fun. You are lucky to find time to quilt for yourself...it's so pretty!

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  6. These are great tips! But maybe you should have recommended that everyone draw some designs first? ;-) Great, great advice, though, really! Canasta looks awesome all quilted up but I'm still drooling over your Clover.

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  7. I love the sneak peak of the quilt you get to keep for yourself. I used your cute pin it button and pinned it to my board. Thanks.

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  8. Thanks for your tips. I have heard them many times before, but somehow I just don't do them often enough. One day when things slow down maybe I will have time to quilt for ME! Do you have a booth # in Houston? I'm going this year. Will look for your smiling face.

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  9. Muscle memory! The more you do something, the better able your mind and body are to remember how to do it. Who knew it worked for quilting?! ;)

    Have fun in Houston - safe trip, find lots of awesome inspiration, don't work too hard!

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  10. I'm so excited for you to share tips and tricks! You're so amazing at quilting and I would love to see more of how the magic happens! Thanks for the starter tips and your Canasta looks beautiful!

    Love the new look!

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  11. I love the eye candy-ness of your quilting. Your skills and vision make all quilts sing. Your work is cover girl worthy!!!

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