My Design Process – Part One

It’s not that I consider myself any kind of expert but there’s been some discussion on the Accuquilt GO site about using EQ to design or adapt quilts for the GO dies and I’ve decided that it might be helpful if I do a series of posts on how I approach the design process for my quilts.

In this first part, I’m going to talk about tools and references I use in the process and where I find inspiration.

I’ve been using Electric Quilt since version 4 (I’m now using version 7) and find it invaluable when looking at my options for color schemes, layouts, settings, borders, and quilt sizes. It has an extensive block library, rotary cutting instructions, fabric estimates, and the ability to export photos which I use in writing up my quilt instruction sheets for my website although the actual instructions themselves are written in Microsoft Word.

Although I love technology, I’m a big book person so if you’re not going to just be copying or adapting quilts designed by others, I think a block encyclopedia is essential. I have several block books but my favorite reference is Jinny Beyer’s Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns.

Inspiration for settings, borders, color schemes come from quilt books, blogs, Google searches, vintage quilt searches on eBay and Flicker. I’m usually not setting out to make a similar quilt but a border treatment or color scheme that I run across may be just what my quilt needs.

On the iPad, I draft blocks and quilts in Touch Draw. While it’s more labor intensive than EQ, I can still design on the go or capture ideas when I’m traveling. I’ve also found it’s easier to make drawings showing how I assemble blocks in this app than in EQ so I use both in my instruction sheets.

Quilting designs are tried out on the iPad too by either drawing on a whiteboard or on a photo of my actual quilt in Adobe Ideas.

2 thoughts on “My Design Process – Part One

  1. Dianne King

    Can’t tell you how distressed I was when I discovered that there’s no EQ version for the Mac. Especially so since one of our housesitters managed to spill something on my old Windows laptop keyboard, and some of the keys no longer are functioning. So when I want to design something in EQ6 (the last version I was using) I have to be very creative at naming the quilts! Having made the switch to MacBook Air and never looking back, I am now without quilt design software. Boo-hoo!

  2. Cheri

    Thanks for the tip on Touch Draw. I have a Mac and even though I should be able to use EQ7 on the Windows part of it, I have never been able to get it to work there (arrrgghhhh….). Will definitely try the Touch Draw.

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