Monday, January 24, 2011

Designing a Quilt

I took a quilt drafting class last weekend and I really enjoyed it.  I learned how to look at a picture and draw the pattern so that I could then make it using fabric.  I learned how to tell if a pattern or block is a 3 by 3 or 5 by 5 type of block, simply by looking at the picture. It was so simple once the teacher put it into words and pointed things out on the page, or the block.
The teacher, Diana Bradley, is a local quilt shop owner. Her shop, The Quilt Zone, is new but I love the industrial loft layout of the shop and the individual tables she has for classes.  But I digress. She made it sound so easy to take a picture of a quilt and transfer it to fabric.  
We covered how to determine if what the leg and hypotenuse of a triangle or square is simply by knowing the layout of the block. If the block is a 12-inch block and is a 3 by 3, then the leg of the corner square is 4 inches. She gave us the magic numbers for finding the hypotenuse or diagonal of a square to figure out flying geese and half square triangles, as well as some tips on cutting and sewing with bias edges.  We drew some blocks and looked at others dividing them and determining the legs and hypotenuse of squares, half square triangles, and triangles, and flying geese for different size blocks.
We also discussed adding seam allowances and the different secrets to triangles when cutting them. One very important thing to remember is to add your seam allowances after you draw your pattern, before you cut it from fabric.   
At first my head was spinning trying to follow her, but as we went along the picture cleared and it all made sense. At the end of class I told her to let me know if she did an advanced class, because I was hooked and ready to learn more.
I also learned that large sheets of graph paper are very expensive.
I am planning a new quilt as I type looking at the lines in my head and seeing how two different blocks might form an additional pattern.  I will let you know what I come up with and how it translates to fabric.


  1. Sounds like a great class. It is good to know how to resize a block. That is about all I know how to do! Glad you enjoyed the class and learned a lot.

  2. Read your comment about graph paper being expensive - this website has a graph paper generator - and it's FREE! i use it pretty often!

    Best of luck with your designs!