This series of designs was started as a challenge to myself, to design a large quilt with some of the blocks looking like pages of a botanica, with art work depicting plants, along with details of the leaves, flowers and seeds … and after about 15 years it has a long way to go … but at least I have the layout I like, and know how many pages, 24, of flowery pages I need.
My challenge for the next 12 months is to work at drawing those pages.
I challenge all of you who are learning to use Electric Quilt to set yourself a long term challenge … just like most of us have UFO quilting projects stashed away somewhere in our real life.
Note to me … the background fabric looks a bit like paper which has been sitting around getting dirty, for too long.
I don’t want it to look shiny white, but to look slightly unbleached, like unbleached calico perhaps.
How many quilt designs have I shared?
My count may not be totally accurate, but the design above is
Virtual Quilt No. 10,000.
When I first got Electric Quilt I just wanted to learn something about the program so I could add all the sketched blocks I had on scraps of paper, and in graph books, so I could use the fabric library to colour them in to see if they would work as quilt blocks.
The first thing I learned after some very basic drawing skills was that every block looked different if you added or deleted lines. That meant that the collection of blocks grew from about 200 to 2,000 over a two or three year period, and has continued to grow to this day over twenty years later.
It wasn’t long after I learned to draw blocks that I learned to design quilts. That is when I really started learning about quilt design as opposed to block design. I had started quilting by making sampler quilts, and loved the variety of work involved in making different blocks, rather than making 15 or more identical blocks. I also learned that I liked to leave some open spaces on the quilt top, which would allow the quilting to shine.
But ‘what if’ … my favourite question … ‘what if’ I turned a pieced cross style block into a border block, with a matching corner to go around a few of the whole blocks, and then worked out that some blocks would make great diagonal blocks, and some worked for both.
Of course, applique blocks were being added to my library and getting the same sort of modifications. Most of the blocks in my library now have five or more variations which can be used as intended for either piecing or applique, but also for quilting motifs.
The biggest ‘what if…’ moment was when I wondered if I could show off a quilt design every day, as there was no way I could make a real quilt a day. That went well, so I started showing two Log Cabin variations in the middle of the week, which became four, and now five different Log Cabin quilt designs, mid week, every week. Also, the one quilt design per day has now become two per day, which means 70 plus per month.
Today the total number of quilt designs I have added to Virtual Quilter has reached 10,000, in a bit over 12 years, and instead of depleting my supply of unseen quilt designs, I have tons left to show off, and I add more every week … sometimes nearly as many as I share, and sometimes more., and I am still adding new blocks pretty much every week.
At this point in time I do not have to worry about having enough quilt designs for the next year, and I have a lot of blocks waiting for their turn to get into the limelight.
As a thank you to those who visit Virtual Quilter, over the next month I will be sharing some Electric Quilt project files, maybe some library files too, and there may also be some PDF files as well for those who do not own Electric Quilt, so if you are a quilter and love new ideas, this blog is a good place to check out over the nest month, meaning in June, which is when I calculated early in the year when this milestone would be reached.