Ideas for my quilt designs are inspired by almost everything – nature, art, architecture, photographs, mid-century design, interior design, tile, mosaics, landscapes, fabric, song lyrics, books and, of course, other quilts.
Usually I have an idea in my mind for a design that I will sketch out on graph paper. If I’m successful in creating something close to my vision on paper, I’ll do some math to transform the drawing into a fabric pattern. Sometimes I will create paper templates to aid in cutting out fabric shapes. If I’m dealing with only squares, rectangles, or triangles, all I need is a ruler and rotary cutter.
I also have a variety of curved acrylic templates that can be used to create endless combinations of curved or circle designs.
Sometimes, instead of starting with a planned design in mind, I will just start with the fabric I want to use and start cutting, sewing and arranging on my design wall until an idea for a composition starts to take shape. This is a much more improvisational approach and one that I use most of the time when assembling the reverse sides of my quilts. I also get a lot of practice with this improvisational approach when sewing together small pieces from my stash to create one-of-a-kind slabs of “made fabric.”
I make all my quilts using premium cotton quilting fabric and unbleached cotton batting (if a different fiber batting is used, it will be specified in the listing description.) I try to enjoy each step of the quilt making process while I’m in it to maximize the joy and satisfaction that comes with creating something with one’s hands. From design, fabric selection, cutting, piecing, quilting and binding, each step offers a different challenge and an opportunity to expand my skills.
For the quilting itself (the stitching that attaches all three layers together – top, batting, backing,) I am fortunate to have an APQS Lenni long arm quilting system that allows me to complete the quilting process with relative ease and speed. I generally use straight line quilting because of the clean modern feel it gives, but I will occasionally stitch curved lines or a more intricate pattern if I feel the quilt can be enhanced by it. All of the stitching on my quilts is guided by my hands, not a computer program.
The final step – binding – gives a clean, professional finish and provides a neat, secure edge. I attach my bindings with machine stitching instead of traditional hand stitching. I prefer the more modern look and the certainty that the binding will stay in place over a lifetime of use and laundering.
When the quilt is done, all that’s left is to find a home where it can hopefully bring as much beauty, joy and comfort to the new owner as it has brought me in making it.