Quilt Design a Day featured on Sew Mama Sew

There are a series of interviews about Quilt Design a Day (Qdad) on the Sew Mama Sew blog: Amy Gunson of Badskirt, Anne Sullivan of Play-CraftsMichelle Wilkie from Factotum of Arts and Stacey Day of Stacey in Stitches.  Amy is featuring her first pattern and a giveaway.  I really enjoy designing for Qdad, it is daily practice for my creative ‘muscle’ and a wonderful, supportive community.

My first design April 8, it took another month of fits and starts before I started posting regularly.

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?

Embrace the Rock
Embrace the Rock

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.’

My first design using EQ7’s Serendipity

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.

Linking up with Anything Goes Monday and Patchwork Times’ Design Wall Monday

Have a quilty day!


Using EQ7’s Serendipity to Design Original Blocks, part 2

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.

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire

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.

Cool Treats
Cool Treats

Finally here is the Orange Slice design which I showed you in part 1 of the tutorial:

Orange Slices
Orange Slices

Spend some time to play around with this neat feature!





Paducah Report: Modern Log Cabin Makeover with Jacquie Gering

050614Elli log cabin 3

I feel so fortunate to have been able to take a class with Jacquie Gering of Tallgrass Prairie Studio.  I took the Modern Log Cabin Makeover with two friends and each of us left the class with totally different projects.  We learned several ways to piece together a log cabin block, but we also learned how to design our own unique interpretation of the log cabin.  Jacquie was absolutely wonderful as a teacher:  the fabric and supply lists given out prior to class were clear, complete and gave us options for fabric choices; her presentation was well-organized; she gave clear handouts (so we can continue our designs at home); she gave each student in the classroom individual attention and affirmation; she had quilts to illustrate each of the different possible log cabins; she had a great sense of humor and was willing to learn from her students.  In fact, one of my friends, Pam, convinced Jacquie that ‘hot pink’ is the ‘new’ neutral.  Some students walked into the classroom totally comfortable with improvisation/wonkiness and others were not.  Despite these differences, Jacquie inspired each one of us to push our boundaries.  I think that everyone walked out of the class feeling good about their design and feeling good about themselves.

Below are a few blocks from my project (with apologies for the photography):  “Radiant Chair.”

050614Elli log cabin3_2 050614Elli log cabin 2_2

I walked into the class with the very beginnings of an idea–purple blocks on a gray background.  Thanks to Jacquie holding my fabric up I changed immediately to a purple background and started piecing “Minimalist” log cabins.  I think I just needed her permission to ‘go bold’.  I wanted to put slivers of yellow in and around the blocks.  Jacquie loved this idea and supported my experimentation with it.  She helped me feel confident about finishing the quilt at home.

I finished the piecing the blocks at a quilting day with friends at a local church    I started using painter’s tape (a method from Jacquie) to put the blocks on the wall so I could see what they looked like, the pastor walked in and asked anxiously how I was affixing them to the wall.  lol.  (No churches were harmed in the production of these blocks).  During class we learned the importance of auditioning (trying out) fabric on a design wall, walking away, analyzing and then sewing.  We also learned that we needed to use math to finish the blocks so that they fit together and make a quilt.  In addition, we learned her method of ‘paneling’ blocks in larger and larger groups to form the quilt top.  I can hardly wait to finish sewing my top and quilt it.   I’ve marked each block with painter’s tape ‘addresses’ because I’ve been working on them in various places and I don’t want to get them mixed up when I assemble the top.

Here are some of Pam’s blocks:

050614Pam log cabin 3_1 050614Pam log cabin

050614Pam log cabin 2

Pam’s blocks were originally going on a hot pink background, but, after auditioning it, Pam was underwhelmed.  Next, she tried the Kaffe Fasset print and it.was.gorgeous.  Pam is ready for the ‘math’ part, but I think that she is deciding how many blocks she wants in her quilt and how large she wants to make it.

And these are JoAnn’s blocks:

050614Joann log cabin 2 050614Joann log cabin3 050614Joann log cabin 1

I love JoAnn’s use of the red and orange throughout her blocks and those big beautiful flowers.  She is almost ready to piece together her top.  I’m excited to see what it will look like!!  I think that her blocks look like a perfect summer day, all I need now is a glass of lemonade.

Sew outside your box today,






Linking up today with Freemotion by the River, Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics, Sew Cute Tuesday, and Quilt Story