Designing a Quilt

Apr 20, 2020

Sometimes you may wonder how a quilt design evolves.  How are the choices made?  What constitutes effective design?

I would like to share with you the process I used to design "The Cork Oak", a quilt I designed for Bears' Paw Fabric's participation in  the Maryland/Northern Virginia shop hop.  When asked to design this quilt, I am given certain parameters that I must consider, a color pallet, a theme, and cut sizes for the varietal fabrics.  Then I  go to work.

This year, the shops selected  books to be their  theme.  Bear's Paw decided upon "Cork Wars" by David Taylor. This wonderful book explores Baltimore's role in the development of the cork industry in the United States.  The shop was excited to select a book that not only featured local history, but also studies a material which we use in making many quilted items, most especially handbags and wallets.  

I use the popular quilt design program Electric Quilt for my designing.  It makes this process so much easier than plain old paper and pen.  

So...where to start?  That is always the most difficult part.  For some reason, I had in my mind a giant cork oak tree surrounded by books.  And maybe that's it, you have to start with some type of inspiration.  Let me show you several of the quilt designs as they evolved:

At each step I evaluated the design.   Did it meet the design criteria?  Did I like it? And, how hard would this be to make?  Here is the finished quilt.  I hope you like the choices I made, and I challenge you to work with a concept and design a quilt of your own this year!

Marty Vint

Love of color and whimsy combined with skilled technique is evidenced in the work of traditional award winning quilter Marty Vint, who was born and raised in Baltimore.

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