Designing we will go

Generally speaking (at least in the recent past) when I make a quilt, I do it on the fly. I use no plan, I just start sewing and see what I come up with. I might get it in my head that I want to make wonky stars, or work with zigzags, and generally speaking, when I work this way, I don’t care if the blocks are slightly off, or if the points don’t match. I just go with it. 

Otherwise, I have been doing straight up jelly roll race type quilts. Yes, you heard it, strip piecing jelly rolls. I love that. It is easy. Fun. And without much thinking, you soon have a great quilt or throw that you can cuddle up in.

I am just beginning to experiment with quilt tops for my challenge and for now, I have decided to try using the Quiltography app for iPad.  I would like to play around with my fabric and see what comes of it, without cutting into my lovely bolts (yes, I have bolts of my line of fabric, Meadowlark). Let me say that again, bolts!

This app is new to me and I plan to spend a bit of time just playing around with half square triangles in the hope of loosening up and having some fun. I don’t yet know what my other 30% of the fabric will be, I figure that will make itself known after I fall in love with a design.

In the meantime, I will tell you my initial thoughts on the Quiltography app. The app costs 15$, which is a lot for an app. I know a friend who uses it and she likes it, so I figured, why not? It is fairly versatile. It is easy to import images of your intended cloth. There are quite a few block choices to start out, in addition to a ‘design your own block’ section that I have not tried. It seems you can also use a photo to ‘pixilate’ a design, which sounds neat, but again, I have not tried it.

It is a bit clunky in one respect-if you place a fabric in your quilt block and save it, you cannot delete the saved blocks. Being a fan of tidiness, this is not ideal. I will write to the folks who designed the app with my concern. Beside that, it really did not take long to learn to use the app and to save this, my first design using it. 

I am not completely sold on designing and working with the app (I do like free-form piecing quite a bit), but I value being able to experiment before cutting! Perhaps I will combine the two for a more planned free-form approach.

P.S. Fran Saperstein made the first quilt top using my fabrics, and she posted it to social media. Please check it out!

10 thoughts on “Designing we will go

  1. I love the design! It is like a barn raising log cabin without the logs. For me, designing a quilt is the best part of quilting. I could design quilt tops all day and never sew a stitch. Granted I do it the old fashioned way – photo copy fabrics, graph paper, and glue stick. I know, so old school!!! I wonder if an app would work on a lap top. I tried EQuilter and found it cumbersome, but that was 10 years ago. I have this vision of you being the Princess and the Pea sleeping on bolts of your fabric. 🙂


  2. That is a fabulous design with HSTs!! I love working with HSTs….so many possibilities. Your fabrics are amazing Melanie….bought a 1/2 yard bundle and can’t wait to dig in and design a quilt top soon! I usually sketch a design idea out and then start stitching blocks and do some rearranging as I lay them out on my design wall. It is so much fun to see the design take a new shape as the colors and textures move me to change the design around.


  3. Love this HST pattern, you mean people actually PLAN on what they are making, lol, just kidding I am a fly by the pants kind a girl too, just need a size then I work on what I want inside of it.


  4. Melanie, when I clicked on the link for Fran’s quilt, I get a message that I am not authorized to see it. She needs to change the authorizations on the photo or you should post it directly in someway.

    Anyway, I am jealous – bolts of your fabric!


  5. Those fabrics look sooooo gorgeous in that arrangement. Wowzers. I do like apps, they offer inspiration, just like flipping through magazines, or websites. I, too, though, love to quilt improvisationally. Lovely fabrics. Enjoy.


  6. Hi Melanie,

    Blocks can be deleted using the same method you delete apps from your iPad. Head to the “My Blocks” section, tap and hold one to be able to delete unwanted blocks.

    There is a free update just released today that makes being able to remove fabric, blocks and quilts a little more obvious.



    1. I am indeed the developer, I am really happy you are having fun. Make sure you update to the latest version, it has a fresh new look and will estimate yardage for you now 🙂


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