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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Design Process

I have made more than a dozen baby quilts for people I worked with at Hobby Lobby. I usually just found a pattern I liked and went with what gender specific colors I needed. I've never made something with a specific theme or color or even style for someone, it has always been what I was in the mood to do. This last one was different. Everyone kept telling me they are going to do the Winnie the Pooh theme. You have to do something with Winnie the Pooh. I didn't give in until the gender was determined because I have a pink and white one going and if it had been a girl, she would have gotten that one, but since it was a boy and I didn't have anything in mind or in the works I thought I would give it a try.

My first thought was I might do a 1600 quilt with all neutral strips and applique a Winnie and a honey pot on it. I couldn't find a pattern for a Winnie and when I mentioned this to my friend Donna she said "let me embroidery you a Winnie".

He was so cute, but the idea for the 1600 in all neutrals didn't feel right. I tossed around several other ideas, even went so far as to cut 3.5 inch squares in red, yellow, blue, green and neutral thinking I could set them in diagonal rows. Just wasn't sure of the placement of Winnie.

Then the other night when I was working with some cut off HST from another project it hit me. Make HST from those 3.5 inch squares and put them together in color sets. I had bought two different Pooh fabrics and this block imitated  the kites in the fabric. The blocks finished 5 inches so Pooh was 2 wide and 3 tall that would work out great. Then I decided to frame Pooh before adding the blocks. My thinking was if I cut that inner border or frame 1.5 inches then I would  need to reduce Pooh from 10.5 by 15.5 to 9.5 by 14.5. So is anybody else surprised that when I added the top and bottom border it measured 16.5 instead of the 15.5. Yes I forgot to subtract for both sides, DUH. So I had to rip those off and trim Winnie a half inch all around so that he would stay centered. Johnny got a big laugh about my math issue. I said it was an engineering design flaw. After I got this fixed the blocks went together nicely. I did have two blocks that I have to rip because of incorrect color placement. I planned to putting another small red border to match the frame around Winnie and then add the Winnie the Pooh fabric.
I was very pleased with the project to this point. It was the border fabric that started giving me a hard time. I just didn't feel that it was right. It didn't add anything to the quilt, maybe even took away. At this point the top is only 32 by 37 so I felt like I needed borders or more blocks.

I had 2 yard of the border fabric and I can't begin to tell you how many times I cut it wrong, changed my mind, ripped and just plan old over thought it.

Here it is with side borders, not even going into why I cut those first, yes it was one of my mistakes. I hope you agree they just don't do anything for the quilt. Johnny suggested I walk away from it awhile. So we went out to sit on the porch and while enjoying the fresh air I decided to take the borders off and add a hanging sleeve and just make this a wall hanging. I think that will be better for the embroidered Winnie. Rather than piece all the scraps for a back I a just going back to the store and buy more fabric. I have enough of the red to bind it in and I will just leave it as is.

Saying all this, I really admire all those quilt pattern designers out there. I don't know how they do it. 

 Happy stitching,



  1. Hi there! I was so glad to find your post on Cooking Up Quilts! Your wall hanging is so pretty! I was glad to see your use of half square triangles - love those colors! Thank you for sharing!

  2. thanks I can't wait to get it quilted, it is a gift for a special co-worker