Why I design Quilts ….. Like Applique Logs 10

My Mum would look at a dress, work out what she liked about it, what she didn’t like, and make the dress with changes! She did the same with knitting.

Sometimes it was just changing the colour, sometimes she made much more radical changes.

I grew up watching how she went about making things, and soon started asking her to make me a dress like the blue one in the shop, but make it green, with longer sleeves and no collar. I assumed that was how people got what they wanted!

Mum soon made me aware that if I wanted it like that I could do it myself, and so I began designing dolls clothes, clothes for myself, and later children. I made a rag doll from a magazine pattern, with a few changes, then made some more changes to make it what I wanted.

When I started patchwork and quilting classes we had very few block designs available, and I was the one to put my hand up to convert some ideas we had in class into quilt block patterns. Once I had designed some blocks for a sampler quilt, I started thinking about how the blocks worked together, first in the sampler quilts, and then in quilts featuring just one, two or more blocks to create an overall design.

This doesn’t always mean I make better quilts than anyone else, but I do make quilts which are original in design.

When I started making things I used patterns designed by others as my starting point in new projects … not just quilts, any craft project … then resized, adjusted, changed and often completely mutilated the design as it was published. If I reused the pattern it got changed again, and again! Now I start from scratch …. scribble some lines, adjust, resize and change them until I get what I want. My designs are pretty traditional in style, but I twist and turn the tradition to create something new, something different … something original.

Why do I design quilts?

Mostly, I don’t want to make what somebody else has already made!

Along the way I find all sorts of unexpected surprises, challenges, and most of all, have a lot of fun!

Wayne Kollinger invited me to write about why I design quilts ….. you can read why Wayne designs quilts at Wayne Kollinger’s Sketchbook, and find links to others who have also written about the subject today.

About Virtual Quilter

I am a quilter who designs many more quilts than I will ever make, and I am sharing one quilt design every day in Virtual Quilter. I also share my completed projects in Stuff-Ups, and Christmas decorations in Christmas Everyday of the Year.
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5 Responses to Why I design Quilts ….. Like Applique Logs 10

  1. Sharyn says:

    Judy, when it isn’t appliqué, I like complicated patchwork. Are there any quilts in the files here that combine two or three blocks? I hope that doesn’t sound like what I see here everyday is Simple Simon 🙂 I’m not sure how to search for such designs? Thank you, Happy New Year, Sharyn

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    • Sharyn,

      Yep, most of the designs are made up of two, three and often more blocks ….. but the blocks are usually fairly simple. I think you would like more complex blocks. I keep my piecing as simple as possible because I generally use it around applique and like the combination of complex applique/simple piecing. If the piecing gets too complicated I like the applique to be simple.

      The most complex designs here are probably in the Tangled Irish Chainand Cabin Fever series, though they are all made of squares and rectangles!

      Judy B

      http://virtualquilter.webs.com https://virtualquilter.wordpress.com http://stuffups.wordpress.com

      Like

    • Sharyn,

      Yep, most of the designs are made up of two, three and often more blocks ….. but the blocks are usually fairly simple. I think you would like more complex blocks. I keep my piecing as simple as possible because I generally use it around applique and like the combination of complex applique/simple piecing. If the piecing gets too complicated I like the applique to be simple.

      The most complex designs here are probably in the Tangled Irish Chainand Cabin Fever series, though they are all made of squares and rectangles!

      Judy B

      Like

  2. Sue McB says:

    I don’t comment often Judy, but do enjoy your daily stream of original quilt designs..I tend to do my own thing too, might use and idea as a stimulus, but hate making something the same as someone else, even if the end result is less than perfect. It seems more honest somehow.. BTW – love your “may your thread never tangle” saying. I wish you the same for 2011.

    Like

    • Sue,

      You are amongst the many who visit frequently and comment just occasionally! I suspect that most who visit don’t like copying, using patterns and/or following instructions. If I can inspire some of them to create something a bit different to their usual quilts I am a very happy quilter!

      Judy B

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