Behind the studio door…

September 4, 2014 § 17 Comments


Recently, I was talking with a good friend about the fact that I have a hard time telling anyone about my quilts that end up in magazines. I admit it. I’m afraid. I’m afraid that no one will like them. Or worse yet, that someone will find a mistake or flaw in my design. Heaven forbid!  I need to remember that lots of different people have lots of different tastes. And we can all make mistakes. Besides, it’s just a quilt. It’s not anything that has us hanging on between life or death.  Away with you, my terrible insecurities!

And additionally, the quilts are often made in a mad rush to meet a deadline.  Then I can’t say anything for several months until the magazine is released.  Never-the-less, there is still a process from inspiration to actual finished quilt that might be worth sharing. So I’m going to make a better effort to document & share what I have been working on.


The most recent quilt is this one.  It is made with Clothwork’s American Made Brand solids.  The pattern is in the current September 2014 issue of American Quilter. They are also offering a kit, if you are interested. Let me just say that I have enjoyed working with these solid fabrics!

The fabric is 100% cotton that is not only manufactured here in the U.S. but it is also grown in the U.S.  They feel lovely.  Almost like a linen. But not a linen.  The quilt has not yet made it’s way back to me so I can’t tell you how it feels after washing and using. But I’m anxious to do just that.

As for the process…  when I design quilts for an entire line of fabric, I really try to make use of as much of it as possible.  If the fabric is printed, then I often look for something within the prints themselves that inspire me.  But sometimes, I am in a particular mood or caught in particular style of quilt or block. For awhile I was really into flying geese and many of my quilts ended  up with flying geese in them somewhere.

For this fabric I was drawn to the color and really wanted to feature ALL of the colors that are available in the American Made solids.  (I only used 25 for the blocks + 3 more for the sashing) And then the secondary inspiration is that I was/am caught up with the soft and light valued quilts.  I made this quilt in April.  Spring was coming. I was staring at my low volume quilt and longing for something soft and fresh.  Or maybe the gray & rainy weather was getting to me. Hence, this quilt was born. Which, for a lack of a better name, became Kaleidoscope. I REALLY need help when it comes to naming on such a short notice!  The names never come to me until much later. Or even sometimes at the last minute as I begin to type about them here on my blog. (Even now, I don’t know what to call this quilt)

And that, my friends, is how this quilt came to be.  I hope you enjoyed me rambling on and on about it.  And I will try to overcome my shyness about what ends up in a magazine.


§ 17 Responses to Behind the studio door…

  • Pam says:

    Please, do not sell your work, and by association yourself, short. It’s definitely not easy for so many people to promote their accomplishments without fear. Your quilt is beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed your hows and whys. By sharing this part of your design process, I appreciate your work even more. More power to you! Pam

  • I’ll pile on with Pam. I love to hear about design process. It’s what gives me insight into our craft, and I think helps me become a better designer. What was the inspiration, and how did you fulfill that… that’s what I like to know. Thanks for showing us this beautiful piece. It is a work of art.

  • I appreciate your consistent honesty about your experience, Anita. As a matter of fact, I respect it. As far as the design process, which is consistently amazing and inspiring, I’m with Pam (above) – it makes me appreciate your work even more!

  • Judy says:

    Be proud of your work and just say so. What a beautiful quilt

  • Letty says:

    Bravo! It’s so fun and informative for us to hear about your process and see your beautiful work. I absolutely love the circular effect of the sashing blocks. I’m going to make this quilt!

  • Rebecka says:

    I love your quilt!! The design is awesome. Don’t be surprised when it shows up on my blog. I’m going to get the kit and make it too. I love everything about the quilt!!

  • Penny arbuckle says:

    I loved, loved, LOVED hearing your story, and your quilt is beautiful, absolutely stunning. Keep it up, your mom is watching so proud.

  • Béatrice says:

    Very beautiful quilt, love it !

  • Becky says:

    Well, I love the quilt and you inspired me to pop out to the store and pick up the magazine.

  • When I saw this quilt in the magazine, I was so drawn to it! I love the circular design you created and all of the color is fantastic. Kaleidoscope is a perfect name for it. Thanks for sharing your process!

  • audrey says:

    So interesting about how you came up with your design. I always enjoy reading about the details! What a beautiful quilt you ended up with.:)

  • I’d love to make this quilt! I can’t think of a better way to showcase so many of these beautiful solids. At first glance, I assumed the blocks were scrappy but then realized they are all the same. Smart to have that continuity I think. Congratulations, this is a winner!

  • Lu Ann says:

    I love the American Made fabrics and you made a spectacular quilt with them! Just wonderful!

  • I think it is fascinating to read about the processes different people go through when they design…reaching into our brains and figuring out how we think is a level of logic that many people do not think about. When I was in college computer programming was my minor and my professor would frequently say, “You have to figure out how you think.” and he was right.

    I think you came up with the perfect name for this quilt because the beautifully colorful center looks just like a kaleidoscope and they are generally round so the fabulous block shape reinforces it, too.

    All in all Anita…this just happens to be one fantastic quilt! I love it :o)

  • Lotje says:

    I loved reading this!! And a very special combination, those solid 5×5’s in this kaleidoscope setting! Thanks for sharing

  • Viv says:

    Absolutely stunning quilt. Thanks for sharing it. We love to see all your beautiful quilting and design work. I was going to buy a copy of the magazine but it doesn’t come as an ebook. 😦

  • Jumping up and down (again!)!!!
    I’m so proud of you for letting out your “secret”. We all need to take note and follow in your foot steps!
    Loved your story!
    And by the way, the quilt is really beautiful!!!

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