Designing Women: Quilt Designers Share Their Stories

Northern Lights—a Cake Mix quilt pattern designed by Carrie Nelson

Seems simple enough—you take some fabric, cut it up, move the pieces around, sew them back together and what’ve you got? A quilt top.

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Quilt Market Trend: Pointy Things

Detail of a Jen Kingwell quilt

As per usual, Quilt Market was exciting and slightly overwhelming. Everywhere I looked, there were gorgeous fabrics, quilts, tools, books, and patterns. I saw things I knew I needed and things I never knew I needed…but now I do. The bottom line is that I came home inspired to sew, sew, sew. Continue reading

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A nip here and a tuck there…

I’m getting a face-lift!

Well, not me personally, as in “not on my person”, my physical self.  Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co. is the beneficiary of this enhancement – the patterns.

I – we – need it.  And I’m pretty excited about it.

Cutting-Table---New-Patterns

Aren’t they pretty?

Okay, they’re not done.  That’s not even one of them.  Think of this as a sneak-peek into the operating room.

Wee Hours?  It’s a new pattern but that’s not it on the cover, that’s the Collection for a CauseFriendship quilt from a few years ago that was used for context and to help with the visual.  Full Circle?  That’s it on the cover – made with Alice’s Scrapbag, the beautiful new collection by Barbara Brackman.  Susan is working on the layout and diagram now.  She’s the perfect person to work with me as she used to teach third-graders.  The one in back is Viola… more on her soon.

I wrote a little while back that the biggest challenge has been working backwards – at least it’s backwards for me.

Back in the day – it does occasionally feel like forever-ago – I would see fabric I liked and let it noodle-around in my head until I got an idea for what to make.  Then I would think about different sizes of blocks, how big each would make the quilt, “about” how much fabric would I need and so on.  That part is still the same, the difference now is that I used to make the quilt before I wrote the pattern.  Now I calculate the yardage, write the pattern, make some chicken-scratch diagrams and then pass it along to the computer wizards.  Sounds good, right?

Cutting-Table---Otis

It is. But it isn’t without a hiccup on two.  This is Otis – more on “him” soon too.

The problem – problems? – arise when something doesn’t work as planned.  One of the new quilts had yardage calculated based on getting six squares per strip.  Cut to size, it would add up to 20 1/4″.  It was a very tight fit… maybe 1/4″ to spare.  But many of us – including me – would cut those squares a little bit larger to allow for trimming – they’re for half-triangle squares.  I cut them at 3 1/2″ instead of 3 3/8″ and while it adds up to 21″ and “should” still fit, it didn’t.  I could only get 5 squares per strip.  So that pattern will need a little work, a revision or four.

Where I have to get better is keeping the drafts and revisions on the computer updated or, more importantly, making sure that whomever is working on that pattern knows that it’s been updated.  Learning to work with other people is really hard!

As we find a format and style that works for the new patterns, some of the “old” patterns will be updated, re-colored and perhaps even re-made.  As we go through this process, I’d like to ask for your help on two fronts.

First, are there any “old” Miss Rosie’s patterns that you think should be on the list for a makeover?

And second, if you were making a list of what absolutely, positively should be in a pattern for it to be good, what would you include?  E.g., pressing, little tips, why I’m doing it the way I’m doing it, etc.

I’m off to cut some fabric so I can finish Viola.

Then I’m writing the pattern.  Pray for Susan.

 

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