Monday, March 30, 2015

Getting Creative with Quilt Patterns

You may not think you're a designer, or even very creative--and I'm betting you're wrong about that!  Quilters always put their own spin on the quilts they make, whether it's switching out colors or fabrics or tweaking a pattern a bit.

Monday is Design day at the Spinster, though I admit that I've been a little behind on that.   A lot of prep is on my agenda for the day but I wanted to still do a little bit of creative thinking on DD.  I've had some ideas for tweaking the "Cornered" pattern and I think it will be a decent example of how some simple changes in an existing pattern can make it creatively your own.

When I first designed Cornered, I pictured it as a quilt of solids, mostly in the pastel ranges.  I still like the idea, actually, and one fine day I'm going to make it.

When I saw Moda's "Calypso" collection, though, I fell in love with it.  (It was a cold, gloomy day, which didn't hurt; I needed some cheer.)  The pattern uses 10" squares and 2-1/2" strips so I
came home from Cut Up and Quilt with both.

I put together a block.  My left eyeball started to twitch.  Back to the drawing board.

I thought about using a solid to set off the print fabric, without competing with it.  But, to use the print strips (not enough of that gorgeous fabric), or the 10" squares. (But why waste those colorful strips?)  In short, I still wanted to use both the squares and the strips--the fabric was so wonderful.

The solution was to swap out solids and prints, with half the blocks having a solid background and print strips, and the other half having print background and solid strips.   The most obvious option was to alternate the types of blocks, and that might still be a reasonable design but I decided on more of a medallion effect.

I like the way the strips in the center weave in and out, don't you?  This was the pattern sample.

Because I like the way the strips weave in and out on the solid background, and because I have a couple bins full of scrap/leftover 2-1/2" strips in my stash, I thought it might be interesting to do a scrap version.  I made 4 blocks today, and that's not enough to see the weaving effect.  I'm not sure yet how I feel about it, but I'll keep moving along with it, and see where it takes me with more scraps.

I'm using muslin as the background, but you could certainly use neutral scraps.  At least, *I* could use scraps, coming out of the bins of neutral scraps.  :-)

How would you adapt the pattern for yourself?

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