Designing Your Quilt Pattern

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You’ve gone through your fabric closet and have sorted it. You finally found the stack of material that you found at the store on clearance! Now the question is, how do I use it? Making a quilt does not have to feel like large production. You just have to get through the first step; What is it going to look like? You can find or create a pattern for your quilt that allows you to use that amazing fabric and suits your needs; all you have to do is start.


Get Inspired

Look around you. Find patterns in nature that you like. If you like the way the vertical cattails cut the horizontal plane of the landscape, then use that as an inspiration for a crosshatch design. Nature includes lots of intersecting lines as well as concentric circles. Look at architecture in the buildings around where you live. Use the placement of windows to doors as a starting place. Look at colors and shapes as you travel. Take pictures of the things that you love and study the lines. From these photos, you can create quilt patterns that mimic those that you adore. Also look at your household needs. Is your home in neutral tones with a natural curve to things? Will this quilt be going on the back of the couch of your very geometric styled living room? Then use those spaces as inspiration to create your design. Or you could create something in contrast to the area in which it will be located. This allows the quilt to be the centerpiece of the room instead of blending in. Pinterest is also a wonderful place to get inspiration for your quilting pattern. Pinterest is an online pinboard used to collect and store inspirational photos, videos, and websites. Using the search bar you can find photos of things that inspire you and your pattern ideas.


Sketch It Out

After you have found your inspiration, you need to visualize and get your ideas on paper. Graph paper is commonly used to do this, as the squares allow you to block out your design. But you do not have to have a geometric quilt if you do not want to. You can use letter or legal sized computer paper and a few tools in order to create your design. Using a ruler, a compass, and a protractor help you get the angles and dimensions of the blocks correct. This will later help with sizing of your pieces. Some quilters transfer their paper sketches into an AutoCAD software program so that the system will estimate piece sizing and straight lines automatically.  If you are a more tech-savvy quilter you can try using an app to help create your design. Apps like BlockFab comes built in with around 50 patterns in the program. With the click of a button, you can design a quilt on your phone and edit at will. It also calculates how much fabric is needed for your project. Another tool for the tech-savvy quilter is called Pattern Jam. It is a pattern design website that allows you to either use their preloaded fabrics or you may upload your own to create virtual blocks for your quilt. You can design it, put in your fabrics, and see how it would look. It allows you to change the size of the quilt as well.


Color Your World

The last thing to consider is the color of fabrics you are going to place next to each other in the pattern. You don’t want to go through this entire process only to find that two of the prints you were working with clash terribly. Dimensions Thru Art have an excellent page to help explain the importance of using the color wheel when deciding which colors to include in your pattern. With so many options to choose from, creating a king size quilt should not cause you to regret your fabric choices, and using several of the other tools mentioned will allow you to create an artistic masterpiece that will bring you warmth and warm thoughts for years to come.

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