And, I’m off to the races

Threadbias, an online sewing community, launched a free online quilt design tool, and they also launched a quilt design contest. So, one evening, I got to work. The rules were that I had to use fabrics from Critter Patch, a new fabric line shipping out this month. And, the quilt had to fit on a 45×45 inch grid.

The process was addicting. I told myself that I was just going to make a rough draft the first evening and then come back to the design later. But, then I couldn’t  find a stopping point. I was afraid if I walked away from the quilt that I would forget what I was doing and not be able to pick up where I left off when I came back to the project.

Once I got the entire quilt situated on the design grid, I realized that the actual quilt would be nearly impossible to piece the way I had the seams laid out unless I wanted to use a billion partial seams, so I kept the same design, but I had to go back into the quilt to break up some of the blocks. I’m not sure if actual usability is part of the contest, but even if it’s not, I needed to know the pattern would “work” before I was ready to stop for the night.

I’m calling the design “Bunny Races.” The picture at this link shows the fabric designs a little larger, so you can see the inspiration for the bunny race title. I used the bunny fabrics of differing colors to form the angled lines across the quilt. And, in the stripes to the side there are little bunnies and raccoons as if there is a cheering section. I do feel a little bad that the bunnies look like they are running into a pit of foxes. Uh, what can I say? I wanted that color of fabric at that spot in the quilt.

It was fun to see what some other quilters did with the fabric as well. There are 30 entries in all for the contest; keep scrolling to the bottom of the linked page to find them. If you’re a member of the Threadbias site (which is free to join), you can vote on contest winners.

If I win the contest, then I’ll get enough of the Critter Patch fabric to see the design come to life. And, if I don’t win, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll use this pattern to make my first all solids quilt. This is my first stab at quilt designing (other than the quick sketch that I made for the string of pearls back), so if any of you more experienced designers out there have any advice specific to improving this design (though the contest entry is locked down) or for designing overall, feel free to weigh in.

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