I LOVE improv quilt design!!! The process of creating a design on my wall, as I go, and working with the fabric and colors I am inspired by, just gives me such satisfaction and sense of creative resonance. This is and probably always will be my “go to” way to create a quilt and the one to which I am most drawn.
However, as my family life gets busier and busier, and I find I have less time to ponder my next design move on a large improv piece, I am more drawn to using a pattern to create a quilt. What I love about a pattern is that I know exactly what is needed before I get started; fabric quantity, what exactly to cut, where I will be placing it, etc. There is something very relaxing, yet exciting at the same time, about cutting out all the guesswork and knowing that you are in process of creating a beautiful, modern finished piece!
I recently discovered the Electric Quilt 8 Program and it has allowed me the freedom to create my own pattern for a quilt.
I still feel strongly drawn to creating my own designs, as opposed using someone else’s pattern, so this program allows me to create what I like and then assists me in the process of creating it, by calculating how much fabric I’ll need, creating the block templates if needed, allowing me to play with block placement, etc!
My first few attempts were pretty basic and not worth making, as I was still figuring out the program and wasn’t familiar with all that it could do (still have a lot to learn about it, I’m sure). I finally honed in on several patterns that I love and have created a variety of, both literally and digitally.
The Portal Quilt is my first quilt pattern that I hope to have out to you all in a PDF format soon. It is a modern design that uses one block design but with different color variations. The blocks are created using templates for accuracy and consistency. With this block pattern, you can choose a very basic layout and color palette in which you are making all your blocks identical, OR you can vary them for more intricate designs(shown in this post). The possibilities are endless.
The finished product can be really stunning and there are countless color and placement options.
Many of my layouts with this block ended up as center medallion designs, however you could go in a completely different direction as in the example above.
The funny thing about this quilt design and the fact that it is mine, is that the finished product reads best when all points match up very precisely!! So for this improv design quilter, I’m up against a learning curve of sorts and have had to develop some new skills through this process. Great!! It’s how I keep growing as a quilter so I welcome the challenge, however frustrating it can be at times. You can check out my process and some almost there finishes on my Instagram.