Welcome if you're here as part of Chasing Cotton's Quilt 101 series!
I have to say that I'm thrilled to be a part of the series, both as a contributor to this week, but also to be able to learn along the way. I'm self-taught as a quilter, and I'm not always sure that I do things the best/most efficient way, or if there are tools out there which would make life easier.
I love the design process though (I actually think that's the real reason I like to quilt), and I've designed a lot more quilts than I've actually gotten around to cutting fabric for. I've always been fascinated by pattern, and trying to break down prints into their pattern repeats. When I'm looking at ideas for quilts I'm also interested in how a quilt might go together - can it be pieced in squares/rectangles/strips? A lot of the quilts I've designed have been based on square and rectangular patches, and I've found that Microsoft Excel is a quick and easy tool for trialling different colour combinations, layouts, etc. I use it in much the same way a lot of people use graph paper, and started using it because its quicker and easier to build a design, copy and change things in Excel than having to draw a quilt out from scratch every time. I've used it to design quilts from scratch and to audition different colour combinations for traditional quilts or quilts I've found patterns for in magazines.
I've divided my design techniques into three separate tutorials:
- The basics
- Auditioning colour variations (Part 1: How-to and Part 2: Examples)
- Designing your own quilts with Excel