Quilt Design A Day 50

A couple weeks ago, I was working on some quilt designs for a commission, and I realized that I was really enjoying it.

Self: “I should do more of this!”
Self: “Not a bad idea.”
Self: “Maybe I’ll do it EVERY DAY!”
Self: “That’s a bit excessive…”
Self: “…ly AWESOME!”


2-18 – color view – Inspired by the window frame and the half-colored wall.

Have I mentioned my impulsive nature yet? So bolstered by my little self-chat, I decided to make some rules. These are pulled out of nowhere and are just there to give some structure and help ease the empty page syndrome.


2-19 – artichoke tones – inspired by the spikiness of artichoke leaves

Every day I choose one of the two new design-seeds photos. I design a quilt somehow inspired by the photo and I use the palette for the colors. This forces me to use colors I wouldn’t necessarily choose and gives me a starting point for the design. I generally spend 15-30 minutes on the design, and consider it a sketch, so I don’t worry about perfection. The design-seed inspiration for a particular design is linked in the photo caption.


2-20 – flora brights – I liked the way the red poppies looked against the field of blues and greens.

I’ve been doing this for about a week and a half now, and some days I’m frustrated and hate what I make and other days I love my creations. Overall? So. Much. Fun. (Take thatΒ self.)Β 


2-21 – color rise – Left – inspired by the way things get flat and small near the horizon an the reflections. Right – inspired by the rocks and again the reflections.

Sometimes I’m inspired to do both palettes or more than one design. I try to keep the pressure off and do what I feel like.


2-22 – whisked tones – A few variations on the theme. Playing with the idea of things getting mixed together and of course the egg yolk.

Even better, a few people have started joining me. We have a Facebook group, or you can tag your designs on instagram with #qdad. Join in if you like, for as long as you like! Most people don’t participate every day, it’s a no pressure kinda thing.

ginko leaves

2-23 – leafed brights – left: inspired by the shape of the ginko leaves. right: inspired by the veins in the leaves.

I was considering turning some of my designs into patterns if there’s interest. Are there any that you’d like to see a pattern for?


2-24 – stacked tones – I really liked the stripes on the towel and the shape of the bowls reminded me of a paper boat.

I plan to post my week of designs here every Friday. I figure I’ll keep going until it’s not fun anymore.


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50 thoughts on “Quilt Design A Day

      • anne Post author

        I guess I should have put that information in the blog post. That would have made sense! lol
        I use Illustrator to design because that’s what I have/know. πŸ™‚ Other people in our group are using inkscape (free) and EQ7. One person even uses Processing (which is a programming language) sometimes to design his quilts!

  • Rachel

    What a fun challenge. I especially like the last two. Though I don’t know if I’d actually try the one with the boat. Piecing the boat looks like it could be fairly complicated.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! I’ve actually already created a paper-piecing pattern for the boat, and it’s not too bad. πŸ™‚ Of course that doesn’t take the background into account. If I made the quilt pattern, I’d need to do that. πŸ™‚

  • Ann Dunn

    I’d like to see what you do with today’s photos….I’m hoping you work with the global hues one. I’ll ask the same question a moonlightsewing asked….what program are you using for the designs?

    • anne Post author

      I’ve looked at both of today’s designs. I’m drawn to the shapes in global hues, but like the colors in the flower one better. When I have a chance to sit down and do today’s designs, I’ll probably end up doing rough sketches for both. πŸ™‚

      As for the program, I use Illustrator. I’ve been using Illustrator for different things (including making my paper-piecing patterns) for a long time, so that’s the program I’m most comfortable with. Amy @ badskirt (http://badskirt.blogspot.com) uses inkscape which is a free vector program.

  • jodydeschenes

    yes, you SHOULD design for a living – all amazing and loved to see the inspirations! i liked Color View and the 2 Color Rises the best. Stacked Tones also, if i didn’t have to embroider & appliquΓ© an origami guy on there (:

    • anne Post author

      Aww, thanks Jody! πŸ˜€ It’s something I am really enjoying. Now I just need to learn how to write quilt patterns. πŸ™‚ As for Stacked Tones, I’ve already made the paper-piecing pattern for the little boat, although that doesn’t take into account fitting it into the background. I guess I’d need to address that if I made it into a quilt pattern. πŸ˜€

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Kelly! πŸ˜€ I think the boat design is my favorite so far, too. Feel free to join in! I know you’re super busy, but if you get some spare moments, join us!

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ Self & /self/ have been battling it out for years, and they generally win an equal number of battles. πŸ™‚ Self keeps me from doing things like quitting my job and moving to NZ, and /self/ keeps me from sticking with things that are boring and I hate. So it works out okay. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Pat! Design seeds seems to be down for some people this morning (including me). I think there’s some network issue out there, probably due to all the storms across the country. Hopefully it gets resolved soon!

    • anne Post author

      Oh sure, pick one of the hardest ones! πŸ˜‰ I’ve been assured it’s totally a possible design, so I’ll see about converting it to a pattern. πŸ™‚

  • Vera

    Oh dear. I checked the group, looks great but I would get so overloaded by it so I decided not to join. I downloaded your PP boat though since I planned to make one for my little project πŸ™‚ I’ll let you know how it ended up.

    • anne Post author

      Oh excellent! Please do let me know how it goes! I actually want to make that toy boat quilt for my friend’s baby boy, so it might end up as a pattern yet. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      That’s the one I want to make, so it’s the most likely to end up as a pattern. πŸ™‚ The paper-piecing pattern for the boat on its own is already done, I just need to add the bits to make it sit into the background. I’ll be sure to include the solids, thanks for the idea!

  • Sandy

    I agree with all the posts. You should be a designer for sure. I love all your designs, but, my fav is artichoke tones. The design and colors, WOW! When can get your patterns.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Sandy, that’s really sweet of you to say! πŸ˜€ The artichoke tones seems likely that it will end up getting made into a pattern, as soon as I figure out how one would actually make such a thing. πŸ˜‰

    • anne Post author

      Stacked Tones is my favorite, I think. I definitely want to pattern that one up, regardless of where it ends up in the ranking. πŸ˜€

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ It’s been such a fun exercise, I’m still really enjoying it!
      Thanks for voting on a favorite, the artichoke one is pretty high up there, I just need to figure out construction on that one. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs

    Am I the only one who heard your self in a Barney Stintson voice? Especially the last two lines? Wait for it…. What a great idea you have! I’ve been on a spree of quilt designs lately (but I just doodle them in my notebook old school pencil style). I think that whisper of spring is stirring up lots of creativity! I just today came across a paper pieced pattern for a paper boat today and fell in love, so I am all for the blue boat design : )

    • anne Post author

      HAhahahaha that’s awesome. I wish the voices in my head sounded like Barney Stintson… They’d be much more entertaining to listen to. πŸ˜‰
      I think you’re right, everyone’s being creative lately, and it’s awesome! I hope you share some of your doodles!

      I’ve already turned the paper boat into a paper-piecing pattern, I just need to work on how it fits into the background. πŸ™‚

  • The Sassy Quilter

    I am 100% in LOVE with the snowball block quilt!!! I love that style block and this modern interpretation is right up my alley:) Also curious what you design with?

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! πŸ˜€ I don’t normally work with that shape, I should try it again and see where it goes. πŸ™‚
      I design using Illustrator. We have more people in the facebook group now and people use inkscape (which is free), illustrator and EQ7 mainly.

    • anne Post author

      There are people in the group who are doing the challenge using EQ7, there’s no need to learn Illustrator. πŸ™‚ I have a mac, and EQ isn’t out for mac yet, so I just use Illustrator. πŸ™‚ You’re welcome to join our facebook group if you’d like! We’d love to see your designs. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Lisa! I’m hoping to get a little time this week to put together a pattern, but we’ll see how it falls out. πŸ™‚ Thanks for voting!

  • Michelle

    I love Design Seeds! I’ve also been trying to think of ways to kick start or maintain my creativity, and this seems like a really good idea!

    • anne Post author

      I’d love it if you joined in! πŸ˜€ If you use facebook, join our group! We chat and critique and it’s really fun. πŸ™‚

  • Lorna McMahon

    I am lovin’ the artichoke tones and the whisked tones! All your designs are awesome, but those are my two faves! Glad to see I am not the only one talking to myself….. And answering. πŸ˜‰

    • anne Post author

      Man, I assume everyone has full-on conversations with themselves, because I don’t want to think about the implications if that’s not true. LOL
      It seems like those two designs are rather well liked, I think I need to get really fast at designing patterns to have time to make all of these. πŸ˜‰

  • Jeifner

    Color rise 2-the left is pretty cool, I like the abstraction of it. Fun idea for the Daily quilt designs as well. The boat would make a great baby boy quilt.

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! Yep, they’re all equilateral (60Β°) triangles. πŸ™‚ With a triangle ruler, that probably wouldn’t be that bad to construct!