Monday, April 11, 2011

A Process Post

So I made a monochromatic quilt for Project Modern Challenge #2. I thought I'd give you all a little insight into how crazy my process is when designing a quilt. Remember that I was trained as an Architect and not in using textiles in any way. So this whole process just seems normal to me - even though looking at it all spelled out it seems a bit insane and ridiculous.

It all started with a really cool picture that I happened upon on flickr while searching for cool pics of Architecture. This is the picture. I did not take this photo, I just found it online.

I really like the movement in this pic and thought it'd make a great quilt - a great monochromatic quilt. So my first move was to draft it up in AutoCAD. I draft EVERYTHING up in AutoCAD. I'm weird that way. This is what I came up with:
Pretty do-able for a quilt, 29 rows made up of little pieces. Then I imported the file into Illustrator and colored it. I decided on yellow, because we have a brownish room in need of a yellow quilt. This is what I came up with next:

I really fell in love with the yellow image and was highly motivated to keep going by this point. So my next move was to separate all the rows out and dimension each piece for cutting. This terribly dull and boring image was what I came up with next:

I used this as my cutting guide to cut out 1 row at a time. I was afraid to cut anymore than that for fear of getting pieces mixed up. Oy, it took awhile to get all of the rows made up, and i did make a few mistakes in the process and ended up ripping some pieces out. I know, this is all the boring part, I'll show you the finished product in my next post. How do you guys go from idea to cutting fabric? Anyone else feel the need to put everything into the computer before cutting? Cheers, Jill


  1. Wow! Impressive! I really need to learn how to use the computer for designing. I either work off the idea floating around in my head (so lots of trial and error and making it up as I go) or the occasional wonky drawing on a napkin or scrap of paper that I then misplace. I can hardly wait to see your finished project, Jill. It looks amazing and visually interesting, and I love the sense of movement and monochromatic color play! Wow! Impressive!

  2. The quilt is great. I always like to mock up my quilt designs too - much rather mess with bits n bytes than cut my fabric the wrong size.

  3. I put everything on the computer before starting to get an idea of the dimensions, but then I write it all down on paper before I start cutting it out. It just seems easier to do it by hand than to type it all out. That's a little backwards, but I really like the act of writing it down. I think it gets into my brain better that way.

    LOVE the quilt btw. It looked great at the show, and it is hanging out by Megan's quilt so it has something to talk to.

  4. I just saw the finished quilt!! Oh. my. goodness. Jill it's amazing!!

    I think I'm a little crazy on the computer too. I use MS Excel to draw quilts and blocks out. Then, I once I figure out the yardage, I manipulate the grid to configure the cuts of the pieces - so that I get the most for the yardage.

  5. Dude—YOU WON!!! Congratulations to you and PMQG for it's second win. Goes to show how awesome you are.

  6. Awww, thanks so much ladies! This is so exciting, and I appreciate all of the feedback and support! I'm loving hearing about everyone's process too.