I have been commissioned to design and make a quilt for a magazine. I always enjoy the process of design. I am certain that there are as many ways to approach designing as there are designers in this world. I would never advocate that the design process should be formulaic, nor that one way is better than another. Whichever way it works for you is the right way to go about it. I approach it as a process of problem solving.

I draw and re-draw. I trace what I have drawn and make little changes. I look for lines that are too straight or without character and try to get rid of them. If I want symmetry I draw half the shape, flip it and draw over the reversed shape, then trace the two sides as one shape.

I like to work at the finished size and will use large sheets of paper when I can get them. (This is the real reason I married an architect, they have lots of big sheets of paper that they don’t need any more.) I use lots of paper, lead pencils, permanent marker, scissors and sticky tape as I try to get the shapes exactly as I want them.

This process is made easier with the new purchase we made.


Our fancy new printer with seven individual ink pots. It scans and copies, it reduces and enlarges. It lets me crop, add a frame or take away a border right there on its built in screen. It will preview what it is about to print so that I can check that it looks right.

I’m in love with my printer…


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13 responses to “Designing

  1. M

    Weren’t you smart marrying an excellent source of paper. I married someone who could count. Which is a good thing, because I can’t.

    Looking forward to seeing the end result of your commission.

  2. twolimeleaves

    Hell, I’M in love with your printer. And we haven’t even met yet.

  3. Hooray! That printer looks like quite a treat.

  4. Seven individual ink pots? Sounds like you’ve picked youself a high maintenance lover!

  5. Hmm, so I *married* Fixit so I could have an unending supply of … tools? I don’t think that’s right somehow.

    But big paper would be good. You sound quite meticulous in your work. I would feel happy having someone like you do a design for me.

  6. As long as you aren’t sleeping with it.

    Can’t wait to see the finished product either.

  7. Wow. I can’t imagine planning something crafty. I’m an “eye-baller” and bad for it. If I do my crafts with the same precision that I do my “work”, I drive myself crazy. Doing my first quilt, the log cabin pattern, just about drove me batty as I was trying to be too precise and it took the fun away from quilting.

    Still, I admire meticulousness! I look forward to receiving progress reports!

  8. Love the look of your new printer! Thanks for your insight into the design process.

  9. I also love big pieces of paper! Maybe I also should have married an Architect … the only big sheets of paper mine has are those ones that you lay on on the examination table … I don’t like to draw on them!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I’m always fascinated by reading about how designers go about it.
    Congratulations on the commission!
    And what an impressive beefy beast of a printer — lucky you!

  11. Serious Printer Envy!!

  12. It is fantastic to get some insight as others have said, into your particular methods for designing.

    I am not convinced I could drive that printer!

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