Playing with quilt designs

Mr Teacakes looked bewildered as I tried to explain the possible quilt designs and fabric choices that I had in mind for Zebra-girl's new quilt (yes, it's the Anna Maria Horner Little Folks voiles quilt that has cropped up in previous posts). I think you need to design them on the computer...there's no other way of making a choice, he said eventually. The thought had occurred to me, but I'd dismissed it thinking that only my own indecision and lack of vision would cause me to go down such a route. So to be told by someone decisive and with good vision that it was the only way that one could possibly decide was all the encouragement I needed.

I think I may have spoken on quite a few occasions of my love of PowerPoint and Mr Teacakes' irritation at my unwillingness to move onto a more sophisticated design programme. The fact that I was able to create four different quilt designs in less than 90 stress-free minutes is all the confirmation I need of its continuing brilliance and downright fabulousness. I love it. I simply downloaded the fabric images from the Free Spirit website, filled some shapes with them and then rotated, aligned and dragged them around into place. I'd already sketched out my designs in a notepad, so it was simply a case of recreating them.

I loved being able to play around in this way without cutting into fabric. I actually incorporated many more prints and colour-ways than the ones shown here and was able to discount them, as when the whole 'quilt' is seen at once like this it was obvious they they were either too dark or added too much intensity to the design.

Which one do you like? I think my favourite one is this one below:

I've found this a difficult quilt to think about, because so many of the fabrics have stripes running through them. I feel like this design actually works with the stripes and makes a feature of them. It also allows me to easily use them in a way where I don't have to start getting stressed about trying to align them all.

And Mr Teacakes: I think you need to remember that you can re-size the fabrics on the computer, but not in real life. In two of the designs you've got the squares of flowers at two different sizes. Sweet Anna Maria for designing them that makes them so very usable for both sewing and tricking husbands with, which is a very good thing indeed.

Florence x

Ps. I'm loving these new little buttons that Blogger have given us, that let you link to a post. The best thing is that when I just put this post on Twitter it automatically brought up the shortened link, leaving more of the 140 characters for chatter. Perfect.


  1. This is why I stick with scrap quilts--my design indecision would lead me nowhere, especially if my fabrics were as beautiful as these. With scrap quilts I don't have to think too hard.
    But I think the computer design is a nifty idea--I don't have skills beyond PowerPoint so I'm glad that's what you used--I may use this method one day :)

  2. I had no idea you could do all that with PowerPoint! So cool!
    I like the one you like best and also the third one from above. The one you picked showcases the stripes beautifully, and it seems that that's what you're after. The third one has a bit more of a romantic feel and something I can only describe as 'serene'. I like that in a quilt that will be slept under.
    Wichever one you'll pick it will be lovely with those fabrics!

  3. Oh Florence, you must make the first one! I love it the best too. It really shows off that Square Dance print (which is my favorite one, in my favorite colorway too! Sadly, no longer available anywhere!)

    And amen for Powerpoint. My co-workers used to call me the Powerpoint engineer. I still haven't found something that it can't do easier, faster, and with less swear words than other editing softwares!

  4. As much as I like hexagons, I agree with you and the one you like as your favorite... I'd go with that quilt pattern!

    PS... this reminds me that I need to get started on MY voile quilt!

  5. I am a complete technophobe! I think it stems for our textiles room being turned into a computer room when I was choosing my options at high school. Can't imagine designing on computer, but it so makes sense. I need to go to school! What size do you make the quilts for the children? I want to do mine some for Christmas. Single bed size makes sense, but I want them to drag them about with them.

  6. This is brilliant! I vote for your favourite too.

    I'm loving these buttons too, especially the twitter one! :)

  7. I like the bottom one and also the one third from the bottom!!
    It will be such a pretty quilt!!!!

  8. Powerpoint to plan quilts!? You live and learn!

  9. Hello Florence,

    don't worry, I have also once started the computer to visualise how a quilt would turn out. But it was only squares and not such sophisticated design like yours ;-)

    You've asked for our opinions and I would definitely choose the one with the hexagons.

    But whichever design you are going to choose, I am sure it will be a success.

    Have a good day. Claudia

  10. You are amazing Florence ! Whenever I need inspiration down here in Australia I just read your blog and away I go..happy and inspired. My youngest child(a 2 year old) won't let me sew to my heart's content at present - until she does I live for your wonderful creative stories. Thank you so much.

  11. Elissa - thank you so much for your lovely comment - it made my day...and it does go so quickly...I'm just thinking how lucky you are to have a sweet little person around to wear any of the sewing that you do manage to get uses so much more fabric once they're bigger!

    Pukka Pinnies - I always tend to do single bed size, but this time I'll be making it longer so that it covers the pillow and can be folded down at bedtime. But yes, a dragging-around sort of quilt is nice I'm thinking I may make a smaller square quilt at some point for them to use in the garden.

    Adrianna - I'm so pleased that you're a PowerPoint dinosaur too...I really can't see what its limitations are!

    Yes, I'm thinking I like the third one's just that I was desperate to do something with hexagons after going to the V&A quilting exhibition...there's something so lovely about the paper piecing. I may work some in on the other side.

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments. Florence x

  12. I only just got your comment about homeopathy - thanks so much. There is definitely something inexplicable to it.... have you read 'hidden messages in water'? I would very much like to send you a copy if not (hoping you wouldn't find that too weird!?) I think you would really find it very interesting. A x

  13. I'd never thought of trying out a design first that way. Haven't got any quilts on the go, but I do have a number of bag designs and it will be great to see the shapes in different fabrics - and put fabrics next to each other to see how well they go together. Without having to buy a fat quarter all the time.
    Love it!
    P x

  14. I like them all, but I had to pick the third one, with the hexagons. Definitely. It manages to be contemporary (the fresh colours) and nostalgic (the pieced patchwork) at the same time. Love the way you've done them on the computer.

  15. Grr! Apologies. Not the third one, the fourth! Only the second day of the school holidays and already I've lost the ability to count.


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Florence x