This is a surprise article as a teaser for my upcoming post this weekend where I talk about the sewing of this project! I use the rose quilt as my profile picture a lot, so it makes sense to talk about its creation. This is a revised version of an earlier article.
In this post, I show the process of making this quilt: A rose and experimentation with quilting materials
This is a pattern I’ve made for my mother. Prior to this one, I made an owl shoulder bag. That one went well and I got positive feedback so I decided to make another pattern. Also, I love to do as much as possible myself when I make things. I notice that my brains are very happy with the challenge of turning a drawing into a quilt pattern. Even more so in this case because my mother said it was very ambitious and would be tricky. That were exactly the challenging words needed. This rose design I made for my mother as a thank you for teaching me to quilt and to let me use all of her fabrics. I have a very lovely mom.
How to start drafting a quilt pattern
If any part of this article is unclear, let me know in the commentary section. It is tricky to explain quilting without pushing fabric examples into people’s hands. It all starts with a drawing. For the drawing, I used three colours, as shades of the flower. In my own rendition of this quilt, I decided to go for yellow, but all colours are possible. The blue on the other picture is the background fabric.
The drawing is made on graph paper to help with the patchwork design. A quilt pattern consists (mostly) of straight lines, so graph paper helps a lot. I started the pattern with a rough division in a raster to have an estimate of all the blocks needed. That are the coloured blocks visible in the drawing below. Every block has a Greek letter because I learned some ancient Greek in Highschool, and now I have at least some use of that. Once I saw for myself it was going to be a difficult pattern, I allowed myself as much separate blocks as I needed to make it possible. That also explains some of the weird shapes where I discovered too late I needed more blocks than I anticipated to make the pattern work. To make the pattern I redrew every segment of the rose to ‘quiltify’ it, aka turn round shapes into straight lines.
Finishing the pattern
The total time it took me about two years to finish this project. However, I did not work on it continuously. There were occasional bursts of desperation and frustrated staring at the drawing trying to figure out how the heck I was going to make the drawing work as a quilt. The pattern ended up having A LOT of small pieces because I wanted the rose to look as life-like as possible.
It became quite an ambitious project to sew on hindsight. But that is how I like my craft projects. If a girl can not challenge herself, what fun is there in life? On the picture below you can see how the quilt is supposed to look. I put the drawing next to it again so you can compare the extent to which I managed to make it life-like. The design is mirrored from the drawing because I forgot I used the backside of the drawing for the design, but this does not matter in this case.
I drew the individual blocks on graph paper with notes of how to sew them. I won’t post a picture of those here though, because the pattern was a present and I don’t want anyone to use it without my consent.
And did I quilt this pattern?
Indeed I did! And the story of how I did that will be then ext post. Below is a teaser picture of how it turned out. What do you think? My mother is making one 1,5 times as big so it would be interesting to compare the two to see how the pattern works for different sizes. The pattern is made several years ago now and it is interesting to look back at the process. In the meantime, I’ve learned about Y-seams and curved patchwork and more nifty tricks. All those things would have helped to make this pattern because I thought quilting was way more limited than it actually is! Now I am very curious how different the process will be when I design another pattern. I am sure that will happen because I really enjoyed the challenge and process of it.
-Which new techniques were the biggest revolution for you?
See my DeviantArt or Instagram account for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. A new post will be uploaded every Sunday/Monday-ish, with often a Monthly Update as the last post of the month.