Male Teen Quilt Designer

Today's post was written by Dionne Gordon, a member of the new QM Scrap Squad.

When you first think of a teenager, you don't think of a quilt designing entrepreneur. But that's what Doug Leko is.


Doug started quilting in 1998, when he was 6 or 7 years old. He realized that learning to quilt was a great way to spend more time with his mom, an avid quilter.

Looking for a greater challenge, Doug started designing his own patterns in 2008, when he was 16. He was amazed to discover the beautiful works of art that were generated in his head. The quilting time spent with his mom turned into a fun small business, Antler Quilt Design.

As a member of Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad, I recently had the pleasure of making my own version of Rhapsody in Bloom, the Doug Leko quilt featured in the March/April issue of Quiltmaker.

Rhapsody in Bloom by Doug Leko appears in Quiltmaker

Rhapsody in Bloom by Doug Leko appears in Quiltmaker

I asked Doug where he found the inspiration for Rhapsody in Bloom. He told me he started with the design elements and was excited by how well different fabric choices worked with the design.


Over at the Scrap Squad gallery, you can see how well Rhapsody in Bloom works with different fabric choices. Ruth did a blended floral quilt that came out as lovely and soft as a summer day. Pat used a burgundy fabric with blue, black and cream scraps.


Pat's version, made with Christmas "leftovers"

Donna did her Rhapsody in blues and greens and then featured a wonderful border print. Kim used red, white, black and turquoise fabrics left over from a Christmas quilt.

Donna's Rhapsody in Bloom

Donna's Rhapsody in Bloom

Carol made a very modern black, white and yellow quilt that will make you green with envy. Jane's quilt is all flannels with a creatively modified border that sets it off nicely. My own scrappy tropical colors look more like a Caribbean beach party. You can see all of the quilts here.

Dionne's "Caribbean" Rhapsody

Dionne's "Caribbean" Rhapsody

With two teenage daughters of my own, I got down to a topic that really interests me. I asked Doug what he thought would inspire other teens to quilt. He was very matter of fact. He feels that a young person is drawn in by an interest in fiber arts or some related area.

If you're helping a teen learn to sew, Doug suggests doing chores, such as cutting and ripping, for them. His idea is to just give them the fun tasks until they develop a deeper interest and their skills improve, taking just one step at a time.

Visit Antler Quilt Design as well as Doug's blog to learn more. I think you'll be as impressed with his work as I was.

Check out the March/April Quiltmaker (No. 138) for the pattern to make your own Rhapsody in Bloom. To see all the Scrap Squad versions of this pattern, check out the QM Scrap Squad group at Quilters Club of America.


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