Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Designing New Patterns - Fall Fabric Collections

Another task that has taken a lot of my time in the last few weeks is designing new patterns for upcoming fabrics. This can be a long and very detailed process.

These are the files for each pattern I have designed in the last few weeks. 
It's a total of 7 NEW PATTERNS!
I design all my quilts and projects using Electric Quilt software. Over the years I have become a very experienced user of the software. I can 'sing and dance' with Electric Quilt!

When I am designing I use scans of the actual fabrics that are in development by Northcott. Sometimes I have some existing projects that have been waiting for just the right fabric.

Other times I'll get a 'seed' of an idea; perhaps do a small sketch on paper.

and then I use the software to design, develop and colour my idea.

Sometimes that first idea will be great; often it is not.   These are 'rejects' from this round of designing. I'll keep them though. Perhaps a future collection will be just right.

I often take that initial idea and it leads to other options. Perhaps it is another way to arrange the design, another way to colour patches with fabric and finally I'll have something I LOVE.

Most of my quilts are 'patchwork' but sometimes I need to add some applique to make a better design.  I need to show as accurate a representation of the quilt as possible so that means I need to DRAW the applique in the software too.

 For one of the new designs I wanted to show motifs cut from one of the fabrics and appliqued on the quilt. That meant I had to draw the actual shape of the 'fish' that I wanted to applique. The pictures below show the drawing space in Electric Quilt where I traced a fish from the fabric and a part of the quilt where I placed this fish and another one.

Sometimes I need to make parts of my design using fabric so I can be sure it 'works'. Here are some test samples for a couple of the patterns.  I got VERY EXCITED when I figured out how these sections can be made with very easy patchwork!

I made lots of notes at this stage. They will help me when I write the pattern. Even the seam pressing details can help a quilter be more successful with their piecing. Pressing will be important for the 'blues' sample, something that I discovered by doing these fabric tests.

Of course the design is just the first step!  I still need to calculate the fabric amounts required, write the instructions, draw diagrams, check and re-check and edit, edit, edit.

And, finally, there is a final pattern that can go out all over the world to inspire quilters to make their next quilt.

I hope this gives you just a bit of insight into the processes I use when designing new patterns.

See my current pattern collection in the Patchworks Studio Store.


Elaine said...

Daphne --- Oh - yes the design process. Loved your story! Thanks for sharing.


Daphne Greig said...

My computer is full of 'not quite perfect' designs! I KEEP never know when the right fabric will come along.