Guest Blog: Designing your own mini-quilts by Kathreen Ricketson
Kathreen Ricketson from Whip-up (I’m sure you all read Whip-up) is sharing a post for the Guest Blog today all about things to consider when designing a mini quilt. Kathreen has a new book out called Whip-Up Mini Quilts (published by Chronicle Books), so she is quite an expert when it comes to designing & creating mini quilts.
Win your own copy!
The book includes quilting basics, tips & tricks, patterns and more. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, make sure to leave a comment on this post to win a copy. I will choose a random commenter to win and this giveaway will end Friday, June 11th at 11:59 pm EST.
In addition to making an appearance on Indie Fixx, Kathreen is doing a blog tour to help spread the word about her beautiful book. Many of the participating blogs are doing giveaways as well. Here’s the schedule.
|June 1 -||CRAFT||June 8 -||Hand Made by Alissa|
|June 2 -||Crafty Pod||June 9 -||My Love for You|
|June 3 -||Chronicle Books||June 10 -||Film in the Fridge|
|June 4 -||Indie Fixx||June 11 -||The Haystack Needle|
|June 7 -||Craft Sanity|
By guest contributor Kathreen Ricketson
When you are thinking of designing your own mini quilt there are a few steps in the design process. First of all you need to think about who or what you are making the quilt for. It might be a baby shower gift or it might just be you experimenting with a new technique and trying out some of your design ideas. If you are making the quilt for a specific person or occasion then you will have stricter parameters to consider – and these can be a big help in narrowing down your design choices. However if you are making the quilt for your own personal creative satisfaction then this opens up an enormous range of design possibilities. In both of these cases you still need to consider a few basics of design:
1. The design elements: Will you be using a pattern, a traditional block design or improvised piecing? Will you be adding extra decorative embellishments such as embroidery or stenciling – what techniques will you use to make your quilt? These are all important questions that will effect the design of your quilt. You may want to keep it simple and use a basic traditional block design or experiment a little. Whatever you decide you should consider your skill level and the time you have available. Just remember that the quilt top is where most of your handwork and design elements will appear. It is usually either pieced with patches of fabric sewn together in a design or appliquéd with pieces of fabric sewn on top of a background. Sometimes these elements are used together and combined with other techniques as well. You might use embroidery stitches, fabric painting, or any other fabric manipulation you like-there is no end to the creative possibilities.
Two heads are better than one is an example of the block design being the major feature of the quilt top – the colors and fabrics are secondary concerns. Another example of the design elements being the major feature is the Granny’s delight duo where motifs are embroidered and stenciled on the quilt top.
2. The fabrics will you use – recycled fabrics – often using old clothing or linens in your quilt can add layers of memory and meaning. Or you might be using fabrics from your favourite designer range or even some vintage fabrics or scraps from your basket. Whatever your preference be sure that the fabric you select for your project is suitable for its eventual use. If you are planning to turn your mini quilt into a place mat for your dining table, then choose sturdy, machine washable fabrics. However, if your mini quilt is for display, then feel free to use more of your precious delicates.
My shibori sampler is an example of a pared back colour palette combined with basic techniques – however it is the fabric used that sets this quilt apart – hand dyed fabric samples are the highlight of this quilt. The keepsake quilt is another example of the fabrics taking centre stage – here an improvised sewing method was used with recycled clothing as a fabric.
3. Colour is a major design element of any quilt and mini quilts are no exception. There are many places to get inspiration for new color combinations. Use the good ol’ color wheel for tried-and-true combinations. (Read up a little on color theory if you are unfamiliar with the color wheel.) You can also take your cue from the colors that appear in a patterned fabric that you love, or you can take a walk around your garden or a park and pick out the colors of your favorite leaves and flowers. A fun but slightly more involved method, if you have access to a computer and photo-editing software, is to “pixelate” a colorful digital photo. Zoom in until all you can see are pixels, or blocks of color, and use these as inspiration for your fabrics. There are also some online color-palette-generating tools, which are fun to play with if you’re stuck (a couple of examples can be found Here and Here).
Powerline sky has intricate piecing, however it is the colour combination that makes this quilt pop. English flower garden uses a few different techniques but is the emphasis on the colour elements that really shine in this quilt.