DIY Block Design ebook

My Design Process {DIY Block Design Review}

DIY Block Design ebook

When Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts asked me to review her electronic book DIY Block Design, I was excited and slightly nervous.

First of all, I felt a bit under-qualified to be considered an expert designer! Being a designer requires a combination of skills: use of color, quilt design, mathematics, writing skills and visual presentation. Like other crafts, the ability to design takes many hours of study and practice. In one way or another, I practice those skills every day with the aspiration of being an “expert”. 🙂

Secondly, quilt math is not my specialty! When I learned to sew, my first sewing projects were made from patterns where the math was done for me. As I began to explore non-pattern sewing, I quickly realized quilt math was yet another skill I would need to master. Fortunately, I have a good calculator and the desire to learn more.

Quilt Inspiration:

Inspiration is everywhere! I gravitate towards geometric and simple designs. Once you open your mind to see design and color, you can find inspiration anywhere. These pictures inspire me:

[threecol_one]Mosaic Tiles Inspiration[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]Falling Water[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]Inspiration DIY Block[/threecol_one_last] Storing my Inspiration:

I like to believe I will remember all of my inspirations but my “elephant” memory has started to fail me. One of my biggest struggles has been storing my inspiration in one place. I would cut out pictures from magazines and they would get lost. Or I would take a million pictures and then have to search for the right one. (Or worse, I would forget about the picture altogether!) After years of struggling with storage, I have come up with two things that work best for me.

A glance of my Evernote notebooks

1) Evernote. (This is not an affliate link. I just really like them!) For any electronic material I want to store, I use Evernote. You can create notebooks for different subjects and store pictures, text messages and more. Pinterest works for pictures and links but not for other types of media. When I was collecting information for my improv quilt challenge, I kept everything in one folder and was able to reference it when writing my blog.

Crafty Planner Design Book

2) A graph lined sketch book. Admittedly, I am still looking for the *perfect* size but I have learned that it needs to be graph lined. It is perfect for designing quilt blocks. I also tape in any physical inspiration I have found like magazine clippings, color chips, etc.

Sketches and Quilt Design:

After being inspired by something, I then sketch out the idea. My sketches start out as blobs of color and then get refined to be more specific.

Here is a sketch I made for my rainbow crosses quilt:

Rainbow Crosses Sketch

As I worked through the sketch, I realized there were limitations and the final design looks different.

For me, the hardest part is taking the sketch, using quilt math and coming up with the materials needed to make the piece. This is also where Alyce’s book is the most helpful. She talks about the many ways you can make half square triangles and flying geese. After she explains how you can make them, she shows you the math needed to make the design and when each method would be the most appropriate. There is even a quiz at the end!

[twocol_one]DIY Block Design inside peek[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]DIY Block Design pages peek[/twocol_one_last]

After reading through her book, I found an old sketch in my book. Using my new found skills, I am excited to tackle the quilt math to make this block!

My DIY Block Design Block

If you struggle with quilt math related to overall design or blocks like half square triangles, quarter square triangles or flying geese, this book is really helpful. For more information about the book, check out these other stops on Alyce’s blog hop:

October 2
Heidi @ Fabric Mutt
Christa @ ChristaQuilts
Angie @ Gnome Angel

Week 1: Inspiration

October 7
Ros @ Sew Delicious
Leanne @ Sewn By Leanne
Amy @ And Sew We Craft

October 9
Jennie @ Clover & Violet
Jane @ QuiltJane
Melissa @ My Fabric Relish

Week 2: Sketches

October 14
Jen @ Faith And Fabric
Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts

October 16
Sandi @ Crafty Planner
Anne @ Play Crafts
Jess @ Elven Garden Quilts

Week 3: Making

October 21
Joy @ Quilty Joy Joy
Linden @ Vine Lines Quilting
Cassie @ Cassandra Madge

October 23
Keera @ Live Love Sew
Janice @ Better Off Thread
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts

Week 4: Finishes

October 28
Kelly @ A Place Of My Own
Abby @ Color Bar Quilts

Thank you for reading more about my process!

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