A friend of mine was talking about my designs at dinner a couple of weeks ago and she challenged me to take one block design and use it in several quilt designs. I’ve really appreciated it when other designers on qdad (Quilt Design a Day) have done this. The slide show above shows my designs for the week, the block in each one is the Santa Fe block.
According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, this block design was first printed in the Ladies Arts catalogue, Quilt Patterns: Patchwork and Applique, published in 1922. The seems complicated in that there are 77 pieces in it. However, it can be pieced using beginner/advanced beginner skills. Next week I’ll show you how to piece it to ensure accuracy.
In the mean time, I promised a giveaway today, and there will be one next Friday as well. Next week the giveaway will be the Traveling Stash Box #5, it had a little adventure on its way to me, involving mis-deliveries, confused possessions, etc. However, it is in my hands now and I have added some treasures to it. I will give it away next Friday, so please come back.
Today I will be giving away a jelly roll from Edyta Sitar’s new collection at Moda fabrics. The colors in this collection would be so pretty in the Santa Fe Block, in fact I will be using this collection in my tutorials for the block next week. To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below, I will choose a winner on Monday at 12:00 pm, Central time. I can only ship to addresses in the United States.
When I first started designing daily I was not sure that I would be able to keep it up, and I was afraid that my designs would not be ‘good enough.’ Now with a portfolio of more than 120 designs behind me, I still feel that fear, but now I know that I can use it to design and quilt. There are stages we all go through as we design daily:
Fear–Can I do it? Will it be good enough? Will others like my designs?
Boredom–What, didn’t I see that rock/door/ice cream before???? We joke about seeing the rock/door/ice cream before, yet we still design. Purple again?!?!?! We don’t always like the palettes, but that is part of the challenge. It has helped me to design in spite of my color ‘allergies.’
Search for additional challenge–trying new software (purchasing new hardware just to try out new software, lol.), learning new functions in our design software, designing in a series, designing on a theme and designing with a particular block. For example Anne Sullivan’s Alien Flora, and Amy Gunson’s Woven Slashes series. Recently a longarming friend challenged me to design several designs using the same block. I’m now halfway through my week of designing with the same block. Come back on Friday to see a slideshow of my designs with the Santa Fe block and for my first giveaway.
In part 1, I discussed how I took the inspiration photograph from Design Seeds, drew a block, and then created 8 different blocks with EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Kaleidoscope. I chose to add 4 of those blocks to my Sketchbook:
Next I thought that I would like a compass rose-type star as the center of my design. Individual blocks can be set into stars using EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Fancy Star Block.
I chose the first block from the Kaleidoscope, see image above, indicated by the turquoise selection box on the left of the Create a Star dialogue box. I checked Add a background patch, selected 8 points, and slid the slider bar until the star was almost to the perimeter of the background patch. Last, I clicked the Add to Sketchbook button.
I chose to place these blocks in a Quilt>New>On point quilt. The Layout was 6×6 12 inch blocks. I usually add a 1/2 inch border to all of my designs, indicating the binding. I recolored several blocks to get the color placement and progression which felt ‘rippley’ to me.
Here are some additional quilts which I have designed using EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Kaleidoscope:
The next step in the process is to draw the files into a vector drawing program and then prepare the fabric for laser cutting. Stay tuned…
Designing Starlight on Water started with a Design Seeds photo and palette on July 12.
I immediately thought that the white boat was a striking part of the photo, and I knew that it should play a role in the quilt design. I also thought that the ripples in the water added a subtle texture to the photograph. My first block was a very simplified EQ7 applique drawing of those inspirations: I couldn’t stop there, because the drawing didn’t express the calm I felt from the photo. I started playing with the block in EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Kaleidoscope. The above screenshot shows EQ7’s ‘Create Kaleidoscope from Block’ dialogue box. I have 3 different boat blocks on the left, because I tweaked the original block a bit before I was ready to play with Kaleidoscope. On the right are 4 different triangle subsections of the selected block. The selected subsection, marked by a turquoise box and multiplied by 8, makes up the center block. By selecting different subsections, I can get 8 different blocks.
When I find a block I like I click the ‘Add to Sketchbook’ button in the dialogue box. Sometimes the kaleidoscope is really beautiful, sometimes I like the shapes, and sometimes I choose not to add it to my Sketchbook. Here are the blocks I chose for Starlight on Water:
I further edited the colors in the blocks once I started putting them into the quilt. Creating the center star used another Serendipity function which I will show you tomorrow. The blocks will be constructed using fusible raw edge applique. Have a quilty day!
Thank you so much, Beth from Plum and June for organizing the hop. I have had so much fun exploring everyone’s blogs and learning their blogging and quilting tips. I love quilting and have been quilting for roughly 26 years, with time off for children and travel. I turned ‘pro’ two years ago when I purchased ‘Sven’, my beautiful teal Statler Stitcher. I love to longarm quilt and will happily quilt all day and into the night for my clients. In addition to longarm quilting, I appraise quilts professionally. I also love to design quilts, and thanks to Quilt design a day (Qdad) I have been turning out 2 quilt designs every day and I have just earned my 60 day badge.
I use EQ7 to design and my first tutorial was about designing with EQ7. Here are some of my designs from the month of June:
My quilting tip is to learn something new everyday, it can be something small or something large. Each new technique you learn will help you in the future, often in unpredictable ways. Learning about quilt history will expose you to beautiful quilts and give you ideas to incorporate into the quilts you are sewing today. Every mistake I make, teaches me something new or teaches me to pay attention to something I learned before. Learning keeps me interested even when I am doing tedious work. I decided that this year will be the ‘year of the binding’. I am working hard at improving my bindings and you will see tutorials on bindings throughout the year. In between designing and learning I actually find time to make my own quilts. This year my big ‘finish’ was Pie in the sky, by Kim Diehl. I’m still working on my Improv Log Cabin which I started in April during a class by the delightful Jacquie Gering. I started blogging by reading as many blogs as I could. I figured out what I liked and what I liked more. I’m still a work in progress. My blogging tip is to write posts ahead of time and schedule them. I started blogging by just jumping in and writing with the lofty goal of writing two posts per week. Then life intervened (doesn’t it always?, lol.) I’m still working at having blogs prepared in advance. There are always new and upcoming blogs. This year, the New Quilt Blog Hop has four dates, June 4th, June 11th, July 9th and July 16th. On each of those dates there are two groups of bloggers, with each blogger linking to the other group. Have fun, explore, and learn something new by visiting them, here are some of the bloggers participating today:
Today I would like to show you some more quilts which I designed with the help of EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Shrink and Flip. You can find part 1 of the tutorial here. In the galleries found below the first image is always the original block and the following blocks are the combinations from Shrink and Flip, used in the quilt design and numbered to reflect the set of flags in the Shrink and Flip dialog box.
I took the “Palm” block in EQ7 and rearranged it for the following quilt design.
I find that by mixing and remixing the combinations in the Shrink and Flip dialog box I discover new blocks and fun new ways to arrange blocks. Many times the combinations are unexpected and beautiful. I hope you discover something new when you play with Shrink and Flip.
For the following quilt, I recolored some of the patches in each block once it was set into the quilt and I also darkened the background.
Finally here is the Orange Slice design which I showed you in part 1 of the tutorial:
Spend some time to play around with this neat feature!
I have been using EQ7 to design original blocks for many of my quilt designs for Quilt Design a Day (Qdad). Each of us has committed to designing a quilt a day. I joined originally for fun, but now I am very serious about continuing. The discipline of designing every day has improved my designs and increased my creativity. It has also made me a much better EQ7 user. We get our inspiration from the two photos and their color palettes on Design Seeds. I then convert the palettes to Kona Cottons using PaletteBuilder. You can see my tutorial on Creating Custom Palettes on my Tutorials page.
I use EQ7’s Serendipity function (Block>Serendipity) to design many of my quilts. I usually I start with a some kind of representation inspired by the Design Seeds photo and palette. For example, this week we had an orange slice as the inspiration photo and palette.
I started by drawing a block, in Easy Draw, which was a very literal translation of the inspiration photo:
Next I decided to see what would happen if I used EQ7 Serendipity to change the block. I went to Block>Serendipity> Shrink and Flip. EQ7 then shrinks the hi-lighted block (on the left) and combines it with three copies of itself.
The flags below the main picture determine the direction the 4 shrunk blocks will take. I look at each block and decide if I want to keep it. When I want to keep a block, I press the Add to Sketchbook button. Look at the quilt below and notice that I placed the Design 3 blocks in the center, Design 1 blocks in the inner pieced border, and Design 4 blocks around the perimeter. All of the blocks have the same components arranged differently.
The same thing can be accomplished with graph paper, crayons (or colored pencils/markers, etc). Draw the original block, make copies, either by hand or photocopied, color them, cut them apart and rearrange. I would take a photo of your design when you are done. One tool which you might find useful is the Dritz design mirror. It is a two mirror set which you can set by your design to see what it would look like multiplied. It is thrilling!!!