Friday, August 5, 2016

30 Days of Quilt Design

30 Days of Quilt Design What is your style as a quilter?  What quilts make you the glow from the inside out?  Of all the ideas floating around in your head, on your pinboard, in progress... which one do you really, really want to work on next?

Quilting as a hobby or art is something we mean to enjoy. For many of us the quilts that bring the most satisfaction come from inside.  I wouldn't say they're original (what's that?), but rather that they hold some expression, twist or meaning that's personal, that's especially "you."  The more often I sit down with pencil and paper, the more often something comes together that feels like me.

Let's practice teasing out those quilts with a 30 day design challenge.  No, not 30 consecutive days... just 30 days total of sketching quilt designs.  Whether you complete the challenge or sketch just a handful of quilts, those experiences are sure to enrich your quilty soul.  Someday you might make the quilts, or maybe not.  That's not the point.  It's about stepping out and trying new things, stretching, growing, enjoying being you.

::30 Days of Quilt Design::

Our challenge starts now and concludes on October 31st.  The idea is to post your quilt designs, one per day, and number then to see if you can log 30 Days by October 31st.  Come to the experience open minded and see what happens!

Thank you, Gotham Quilts, for sponsoring 30 Days of Quilt Design!   Located online and in New York City, Gotham Quilts is a haven for modern quilters.  With their support, our challenge will welcome more faces and some motivating prizes.

What Counts?
  • Designs do not have to be original.  No one is going to be policing designs, so don't be shy!
  • If you know your design is not at all unique, consider adding value or color choices that reflect your personality.  Think about how you'd actually like to make the quilt, should you go for it.
  • If your design is a repeated block, you do not have to sketch the entire quilt, but please sketch a few blocks so we can get the idea.
  • Designs can be sketched on paper or produced digitally.
  • You do not need to have a plan for how to construct the quilt.  This is purely about design.
How to Play
  • Take a photo of your quilt sketch or digital mock up.
  • Share your photo on Instagram with hashtag #30DaysofQuiltDesign.  (No smart phone? You can post photos from your Mac or PC to Instagram with the free tool, Gramblr.) 
  • Also, tag each photo @StitchedinColor and @GothamQuilts. 
  • Number each design in the caption (ex. "Day #1 Starburst Stars") to track your progress.
  • If you reach 30 designs, tag your last photo with the additional hashtag #30DaysofQuiltDesignCompleted
Prizes - a challenge is more fun with prizes!  We'll have two kinds:
  • Participation Prizes - every other Friday, I'll draw a random winner from among those who have submitted designs so far (by noon, eastern time).  Winners will receive a $25 gift certificate to Gotham Quilts, our main event sponsor.  First Participation Prize to be drawn Friday, the 19th.  You have 6 chances total!
  • Completion Grand Prize - On November 1st I'll draw a random winner from among those who have completed the challenge, posting their 30th design with #30DaysofQuiltDesignCompleted.  Details about this prize to come!
In order to be eligible for prizes, please be sure you follow both StitchedinColor and GothamQuilts on Instagram.  International entries welcome.  Random winners drawn based on hashtag usage.

Hope this sounds like fun to you too!  Now go forth and explore some ideas!

first thoughts

p.s.  Need help getting those ideas flowing?  Try the journaling exercises I shared in how to Define Your Style.   Focusing on what you like most just may bring some new ideas to mind!


  1. Replies
    1. I have part of the grand prize, from Gotham, but not all of it arranged yet. So, I'm going to announce that later. Soon!

  2. What a GREAT idea for a challenge!! Thank you for wanting to help us grow as quilt designers. I, for one, truly needed this nudge!

  3. Hi Rachel! Super idea! Thank you for inspiring us and pushing us to be more creative! I have already started! Have a lovely weekend! x Teje

  4. Interesting challenge. Since I don't do IG, I did go back and read your post on journaling exercises. That, of course, led me to follow some of the links you had there. Bottom line, I've spent most of the morning reading and looking at quilts on Flickr. Lots to think about. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. I have been so bad the last three weeks. I should do this challenge because I have enough fabric for 30 quilts, at least...I have a question but I hope you answered it. Is it okay to use someone else's design as long as we give credit? I am not very original from the ground up. I tend to get creative once I get a plan in motion. So, is it okay to use a pattern?

    1. Well, since this is a design challenge, I'm going to have to say that you can't use an actual pattern for the design. What you can do is take something common (like log cabin blocks) and show how you would use color and/or value to make them a little special. It's not that your design has to be one-of-a-kind, but actually using a purchased pattern and coloring it falls a little shy of the challenge. Sorry =( I really hope you can still join in!

  6. Interesting challenge and wow. I'm trying to think if I ever sketch quilting designs beyond trying to figure out how much fabric in a quilt I want to try at a different size. I do have a sketchbook so now I need to go look!

  7. This is a great challenge. I am not sure I have 30 GREAT designs.
    Now how large must these be? 4 "blocks" or more? throw size?
    Do we have to have the measurements?
    Okay, a couple of blocks....
    hmmmm. Well... I could try. I know if I had my full game on, I would be busting out all sorts of things... but pick an excuse :-D
    This is fun. hmmmm
    Happy Saturday.

    1. A few blocks (say 4 minimum) is ok if the blocks are repetitive. I, for one, am definitely not going to produce 30 "great" designs, just 30 designs! No need to put on the pressure, just enjoy and see what happens =)

  8. Thanks for the fun and the nudge. I'm feeling rusty and ready to brush up. Can't wait to see what everyone shares.

  9. Where can I see the designs people post if I don't have Instagram?

  10. Where can I see the designs people post if I don't have Instagram?

    1. Shannon, just put the search terms 'Instagram' & '#30DaysofQuiltDesign' into the search bar of your search engine of preference, i.e. google. The search should bring up results that include pictures that people have posted on Instagram in relation to that challenge. Click on one of those results but take care to chose one that really takes you to Instagram. To the right next to the picture in question, you will find the hashtag '#30DaysofQuiltDesign' again. Now click on that link and it should take you right to all entries made using that hashtag. You will not be able to comment without an account of your own though. I hope this helps =)

    2. I view Instagram on my computer just by clicking the instagram button on the blogger's main page. I don't have instagram and won't have it until I up-grade my phone. I feel if they change the viewing of this -- which they almost always do, then my days of following blogs and designers of fabric will be gone. I will have to depend on the far and few shops that carry fabric in my area. Let's hope they don't fade away, all these wonderful quilting blogs that inspire and teach.

  11. This is a great challenge Rachel. Off to go grab a piece of paper and pencil.

  12. Thank you for this. I think there is an Art Quilter in me struggling to get out! I am going to find one of the many journals I have bought and done nothing with.

  13. Not sure if I can do all 30 but it will be fun to play :)

  14. Interestingly, I am currently making my very first "original" design, and I'm loving it so much that this challenge really appeals to me. It is the first time I've ever seriously considered participating in a challenge like this. Unfortunately, I do not have IG, so I will have to cheer from the sidelines this time. :) -Ruth

  15. Thanks for starting this challenge! This is one thing I like what you do here: challenge people, like me! I just read this today so I'm a little late but hope to catch up. So I posted my first 'design' today.

  16. I just found out about this great challenge. 1. Can I still jump in? 2. If the design is original, is everyone on the honor system not to use it without permission from the designer? Thanks, Rachel. What a great idea.

    1. Yes, you can definitely still jump in. Still lots of time! And, yes, we are on the honor system not to steal each other's designs, just as we are usually whenever we share or consume social media. I trust we'll treat others as we want to be treated =)


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