Behind the quilts

Have you seen these pictures?  Design photos!    When I design a quilt I take photos as I go along.  Photos help me see the blocks in another dimension.  It’s kind of like holding your work up to a mirror and looking at it in reverse.  Try it and you’ll see what I mean.  If something is wrong you should be able to spot it.

Remember Yoyoville?

I filled glass candy jars with my yoyo’s as I went along.  It was fun to do and I fell in love with the look of the jars.  When it came time to put them on the quilt I really had to force myself.  I had everyone making yoyo’s and by the time I finished I could have opened a candy store!  Some of you have made this into a full or queen size quilt (yes I have some basic directions if you email me)!  Think of the jars you would need and what a photo it would make!

As the quilt came together it was more and more exciting to see!

Finally I began construction on the houses!

Oh the joy of design.  It get’s me every time!  Seeing the finished quilt when it came back from my quilter was so much fun!

Here’s a rough sketch from “Postcard Cuties for Winter”.  I pin the sketches to my design wall for an idea of what the completed quilt will look like.   Sometimes I move them around, adjust the sketch, or go back to the drawing board and start over.   Once I’ve decided on the sketch, it’s refined for applique or embroidery.

Hummm, how will this look?  Do they fit in the blocks?  Each block has a number and a place but I write in pencil just in case I move  the blocks around!

Postcard Cuties for Winter finally comes together!

All of my quilts begin right here:  I sit at my desk with graph paper, calculator pencils and erasers.  The quilt is in my head, but I still have to work it out on paper.

“Le Jardin” was one of my favorite quilts to design.  It was a fun challenge to work in just a few colors.  I started once again with the graph paper and pencils.  Can’t forget the erasers as I use them a lot.  As I design a quilt I prepare the applique using the Spray Starch method. This allows me to see the finished blocks before they are actually appliqued in place.   Many changes are made to the blocks as I work.   It’s a process that I love, but it can also be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

More changes are made as the quilt is finalized.  Here’s the perfect example;  the bunny below is gray but I end up choosing a red fabric for the bunny because the quilt needs more balance, more color in the bottom corner.  The gray bunny is taken off, along with the cream fabric strip (yes, like you I HATE to rip out).  The little red bunny takes her place and I put in a darker fabric strip in place of the cream.

I knew when I looked at the quilt I knew  it was the right decision. It’s a scary thing this world we call color!  But truth be told  I LOVE red bunnies.  Especially when they make themselves at home in French garden quilt! 

Le Jardin is finally designed!

The same process goes on in the studio over and over.  Here’s the tree from “The Night Before Christmas”.  Had I told you ahead of time I was making a red Christmas tree, you would have thought I was nuts.  When you look at the overall colors of the finished quilt you can see a green tree just wouldn’t work!

The Night Before Christmas finished quilt…

And now I have this stack of fabric in the studio that’s promising to be another quilt very soon.  Hummmm, wonder what I’m up to?

Next up?

More photos!

Back soon!


Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • carolyn - Thanks for a glimpse into the design process, it was absolutely fascinating!ReplyCancel

  • veerle - I really love “le jardin”. It’s a beautifull quilt.
    Thanks for sharing the picture with us.
    Kind regards from BelgiumReplyCancel

  • Leeanne - Thank you for the behind the scenes look at how it all starts and ends.ReplyCancel

  • Pauline - Anne,

    Thanks for sharing your design process. No matter what you are up to next, the end result will be awesome!!! You are sEw talented…love your patterns. Just picked up ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’…seeing the pattern up close….it is sEw adorable.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family, all the best in 2011.


  • Laura K - Thank you for sharing your process on Le Jardin. It is one of my all time favorite quilt patterns and I am dying to get it! I just can’t afford it right now, but I am saving my pennies. So don’t discontinue it any time soon!ReplyCancel

  • Vicky - Fastinating process – and you make it look so easy! Can’t wait to see the new one. Do I detect a little bit of wool on there? Merry Christmas, Anne!ReplyCancel

  • paulette doyle - Absolutely incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing!! I am in awe!

  • Tina - All I can say is WOW! How absolutely fascinating – I always wondered how the process worked, but I figured that it was just one of those mysteries in life that I would forever wonder about. Thanks so much for sharing – you are the Best!

    Merry, Merry Christmas to you and yours!!ReplyCancel

  • DeAnna - I love quilt design. Thanks for the peep behind the scenes. :)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie P. - You are so talented. The photo of the houses is so sweet. Like a little neighborhood.
    I love the block with the birds and clothes line. Your designs are all sweet.
    Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • AnnieO - Graph paper and pencils and calculator–and of course eraser–I like to do the same thing but my plans never seem to include applique like yours! Thanks for sharing all the great photos and sneak peek at the process. It’s wonderful to watch you work :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Oh I am working on all those Yoyos right now while making Yoyoville… is so darn cute!
    It is interesting to see how you design them……I could sit with graph paper all day and never come up with this cuteness though.

    Happy Sewing and Merry ChristmasReplyCancel

  • Marilyn - I love seeing “in progress” pics! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • corinne demonstoy - Thank you for the photos and the explaination on how a guilt is born. La Jardin is beautiful. Merry Christmas to you and yoursReplyCancel

  • Nancy C. in Utah - Anne,
    I am in awe of the steps that go into your designs. Of course I knew you didn’t just sit down and start sewing but it was so great to get a ‘birds eye view’ of how you get started and work out the details. My appreciation of the ‘art’ of designing your quilts was already huge but this post has still increased it ten fold. I thank you so much for sharing this and can’t tell you how much being able to reap the benefits of your talent mean to me. I also wanted to say thank you so much for sharing ‘Snowbound’ with us this year and I can’t wait to see what next year has in store from you. Also want to wish the a blessed and Merry Christmas now, in case I don’t get back here before the holiday. Every day this week we have carpenters and fireplace folks here working beginning tomorrow so it will be a madhouse around here, but well worth it. Thanks again for giving so much of yourself to us. Hugs…ReplyCancel

  • Sunny - I am in awe of your talent and your beautiful quilts. I totally fell in love with Yoyoville. Is it really simple?ReplyCancel

  • Angie - What a talent you have, and the glimpse into your design world is fascinating! Such beauty, all caught up and captured in one little person—I’m in awe of such an ability. :) I would love the pattern for Yoyoville, if that offer is still available. :)ReplyCancel

  • Maria Luis - Thank you so much for sharing, I am a bigginer and love to learn from the best. I would like to find out more about yoyoville :}ReplyCancel

  • Judith Hogan - That yo-yo quilt is just tooo cute. I love yo yos, they are such a great take-along project. I just finished a garland to string around my Christmas tree. Your design process was very interesting and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • SuzK - Thank you so much for sharing your design process. Your quilt designs are so lovely. Seeing how much you put into your designs makes me appreciate your freebies even more! I’m working on Snowbound right now and love it!ReplyCancel

  • mimi'sdarlins - Anne, thanks for sharing your design process with us! Fun to see how you arrive at your finished product. I love drawing my own patterns too and sometimes the end result doesn’t even resemble what I started with, or what I originally envisioned in my head!
    About your red Christmas tree, I’m never surprised to see a red tree or a pink mouse in your patterns, that’s the wonderful thing about artistic license :-)ReplyCancel

  • Mary on Lake Pulaski - What a fabulous post Anne! Thank you for taking the time to explain your process. I can’t imagine the hours and hours that go into each block of a quilt – and then to have to make changes again when the blocks go together – what patience and talent together!ReplyCancel

  • Kitty Cortez - I would like to make Yoyoville as a Queen Size. Could you please e-mail me the requirements needed for fabric, border sizes, etc. etc.

    I have tried to do the math, but would like to compare it to what someone else has already done before I start cutting out fabric. I am currently making the yoyos for now.