16 comments » Behind the Scenes, Designer Interview, Quilt With Us
Quilt designing and writing are a fundamental part of my responsibilities at Connecting Threads. It is without a doubt, the most delightful job. One can only wish to have a job like this! Interestingly enough, it’s a challenge to write this because it’s like telling someone how to play! You just do it! Right?
It begins with inspiration… fabric, quilt blocks, color, etc. In my heart I feel giddy, excited, and anxious to play with all the lovely fabrics Jenni creates; I pour over thousands of quilt blocks and feel the movement of the color spectrum. Quilts have a wonderful way of taking on a life of their own. They know what they want to look like and making that happen is a joy.
So, Jenni’s newest collection is sitting here along with scads of quilt blocks. The color values are assessed and the beautiful imagery is coupled with a block or two that will speak its language. As I begin playing with the quilt blocks and fabric placement, the quilt begins to take shape. It’s all about color balance, and using imagery to create a dance between the design and fabric. The design and fabrics are rehearsed until it’s shouting, “I’m complete!”
Writing the pattern is a whole different matter. Oh, my, gosh, this is much more technical and challenging. First, I draw a full-size image of the quilt in its finished dimensions as this is necessary to determine yardage. The quilt image is taken apart, pieces counted, seam allowance added, and cuttings are assigned to each fabric in the pattern. This comprises the Cutting Suggestion page in each pattern and provides Teri with the yardage requirements needed for ordering.
It gets better… second, the pieces are laid out with the intention of providing the greatest strength to the quilt as well as the easiest and most efficient use of yardage. I have to take a look at the techniques too because they have to be evaluated as they affect yardage amounts. See what I mean about this being a different matter? The writing begins… It’s a rather methodical process, really. Once the pattern is complete I leave it for a while, a week or so perhaps, then come back to it with a fresh mind and perspective. Usually, most of my mistakes can be caught at this point. The most challenging aspect for me is the math as it requires a great deal of concentration having to keep multiple mathematical equations in my head as the pattern develops. After a while my poor head gets a bit muddled.
Then Judy and Deb take the pattern for a testing period in which it is evaluated for grammar, spelling, mathematical errors, formatting, and of course construction. When a kit arrives in your mail a great many people have contributed to the effectiveness of the pattern.
Gifty Galore, what a blog! What a great group of people!!! I am so blessed to have such a delightful group of on-line friends. Job-wise, I manage the group, BUT the group really manages itself. If you need support, have quilty questions, or just plain want to have fun, this is the place to be. You will never find a better group of people to share your time with. It’s a blog that is active throughout the year but from June through December it features a new project every Monday which is quick, easy, and lovely to give as a gift for Christmas. The purpose is to prepare a stash of gifts and prepare for the season way ahead of time.
This year during our down time, January through May, I wrote a series of candle mat patterns that are free downloads. We always have something awesome during our quiet time of the year. Yes, it’s part of my job to connect with these wonderful people each day, however, it does not feel like work at all. I even hook up with Gifty on the weekends as these people are my friends! I can’t sing their praises enough!