Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Dream and a Doodle - A Quilt is Born

Sometimes I'm asked where my ideas for quilts come from. So for the next few posts, I'm inviting you to join me on a journey--from conception to reality--following the process of imagining a design and then bringing the design to life.

One of the strangest ways I find inspiration is when I'm starting to wake up from a deep sleep. I don't know what happens to my brain during the night, but sometimes I wake up with a picture of a quilt design in my head which I have to try and put down on paper before it disappears. This was the case a few days ago and this is what I drew.

It doesn't look like much, but after playing with the design on graph paper, this is what I came up with.
I still have no idea what the finished project will be like, which is one of the things I enjoy most about quilting. The surprise aspect is what keeps it fun and interesting for me--never boring!

I like lots of contrast in my quilts and am fascinated with the interplay of tone and colour in the fabrics I choose. So I start picking out darks, lights, and in-betweens. I rarely cut out all the pieces ahead of time when making a quilt but prefer to "audition" my fabrics and choose as I go. And I love the scrappy look so I pick fabrics from my stash and they begin to pile up on my table, where they'll remain until the quilt top is finished.

Here is the bottom left corner of the quilt top. I've cut the squares and half-square triangles but haven't sewn any pieces together yet. They have to rest on my design wall (a white flannel sheet that's tacked to the wall in my studio) while the design continues to percolate in my mind. Not sewing the pieces together until I'm happy with the arrangement gives me the freedom to move them around later. You can start to see the arrangement of lights and darks and the intersecting of rows and columns here.
Stay tuned!


  1. I am excited to see what the vision turns out to be :o) This is a neat idea to show us! I love your stuff and have several of your patterns in my "someday must do" list :o)

  2. I look forward to seeing what you come up with, love your designs.