08 January 2007
A couple people have asked how I plan my quilts, so here's the scoop. I'm certainly no expert, and I'd love to hear how other people do it as well. (purty please!)
I'm a fairly novice quilter, but I don't generally use patterns. Twin taught me to quilt and she has done some beautiful quilts that are more traditional, including a sampler of classic quilt blocks. After learning the basics of piecing, I struck out on my own and designed my own quilt-tops. I've stuck to really basic, geometric designs because a) I like the simplicity and b)I'm lazy. Most of the designs I've done are just built around simple squares.
I have a hard time visualizing what a design is going to look like in my head so I always plan it out on the computer first. I use Adobe Illustrator, which is the most commonly-used illustration software for computer graphics. It lets you easily and quickly create shapes and manipulate them. It's not difficult to learn, though the program is pretty horribly expensive—out of the range of most hobbyists.
I think there are software programs just for quilters, though I've never had any experience with them. Anybody know anything about any of these?
But you don't really need any fancy software to plan your own quilts. Like my design teachers always scolded us, you shouldn't let your tools dictate your end result, anyway. (blah blah blah, but they had a point.) Graph paper and colored pencils will get you there just the same, if a little more slowly than a computer.
That's it, really. See, I told you I don't really know what I'm doing—I just jump in and figure it out (in my own little anal-retentive, highly-organized way).
p.s. You can go to my quilting archives if you fancy.