Sharon D's Blog

July 2012 - Posts

It's All About the Numbers

Aren't you glad that published patterns tell you exactly how to cut each of the patches in your quilt? If you have constructed your own designs, you know what it takes to come up with the numbers! Whether the pattern is going to be published or not, you've still got to do the math. First you have to decide how you want to construct the sub-assemblies of your blocks. Then what you need to cut (squares?, triangles?, strip sets?....). Then how many of each shape you need, how many can you get in a strip, how many strips, what amount of fabric do you need. Are you going to use a template? Do you need extra fabric to fussy cut - how much? Aarrgghh! But it all has to be done.

So do it as carefully and accurately as possible. Check and double check. A mis-calculation can lead to wrong cuts, wrong sizes, needing more fabric, not being able to find it, starting over, or making do. So, persevere, my friends. Resort to an electronic spreadsheet! I have a spreadsheet called Binding Calculator. It not only computes yardage for binding based on width of fabric and width of binding, but it computes the yardage for backing, the size of the backing pieces to cut, and a mirad of other things that I've run into over the years. Most recently it has told me how many strips of each fabric of a strip set I will need.

Quilting technology has come a long way. From paper and pencil, to spreadsheets, to quilt design software. Frankly, I don't know how our fore-sisters did it all by hand without going a little nuts. I am in awe of their creativity, resourcefulness, and intelligence.

Publishing Quilt Patterns

Wow! Who'd a thought I'd be publishing my patterns? Back in June(?), I got an email from Craftsy telling everyone about their support for independent quilt designers who want to sell their patterns. The quilts I design for myself are very simple and easy - I just don't do complicated. I thought they might be easy to document into patterns, so I decided to give it a try. Peek-a-Boo Baby, and Buttons and Bows were my first ones, and I just recently added the pattern for Tennessee Trotter (a quilt-as-you-go design). Much to my surprise, I've sold 3 patterns! Never really thought I'd sell any. Here's the link to my "store" on Craftsy: ttp://www.craftsy.com/user/pattern/store/246412

And, there's more! I've seen the Holiday Flourish line of Christmas fabric in the stores and just fell in love. A Christmas quilt was definitely in order. As I opened up EQ7 to start tinkering on it, I thought of the Christmas star and the host of angels proclaiming "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!".  Heavenly hosts is an inspired design. So, I downloaded the fabric images into EQ7, and was overwhelmed with how lovely they looked on the quilt.

When I received the fabric from FatQuarterShop.com, I replied to the ship notice regarding how much I appreciated their quick service and how beautiful the fabric was. I also included the EQ7 image of the quilt. Sarah at FQS liked it so much she invited me to sell the pattern on the FQS website! So, I am working hard on the pattern, and have the fabric all washed up and ready to press. I'll need to construct at least some of the top to make sure I have the right construction sequences. Here's the EQ7 image: