I’m so excited to share my newest quilt pattern: Swirling Oceans. This pattern is for machine-piecing, which is different than my other hand-piecing patterns.
This pattern will require a bit of accuracy in cutting the fabric, using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance and in the trimming or squaring up of the blocks. There are a lot of half square triangles (HST) in the quilt, and many steps that require pressing and trimming. That said, you can chain piece through most of the steps making it go pretty quickly for what it is.
I re-wrote this pattern 3 different times and I’ve made a few test quilt tops to get the right flow to the pattern. I’m dyslexic, so that was my biggest problem. Once I know the issue is me and not the writing, I could move on.
While writing this pattern, I also released The Kaleidoscope Quilt Pattern for hand-piecing. I wasn’t going to make that quilt into a pattern until someone asked for one… and I had all the ‘maps’ and math already laid out in Illustrator, so it wasn’t too difficult to wrap it up and make it a pattern – or so I thought! Only AFTER I released it, I realized there were some additions and a couple edits that were needed. My heart sinks when I make mistakes like that… but all changes were made and the revised version is now accurate.
So, when it came to releasing Swirling Oceans, I’ve been a bit reluctant. I really wanted to make sure there were no edits to make – that it was all accurate BEFORE I publish it. Even now I’m a bit nervous to let it go… I want to create patterns that are easy to understand and make – not cause headaches.
I feel as though I’ve spent my whole summer in ‘recovery mode’. I’ve been working hard on my digestive and pain issues with diet and exercise. I’ve been working on my emotional issues with meditation and quilting. And I’ve been working on financial issues with extra time working, budgeting and flushing out new ideas.
Needless to say… this year is flying by. I think I’m pushing myself a little harder lately because I’m having a mid-life ‘thing’. I have a big birthday coming up and I feel (sometimes) I should be doing better – or have more – or at least feel better than I do. One of my new affirmations is to have compassion for myself, so I’m trying not to be too harsh… but it’s a difficult task to be kind to yourself when you see so many areas of potential improvement.
I am excited about pattern-making right now. THAT has been keeping me super motivated. I’ve been spending quite a bit of time writing my first machine-pieced quilt pattern. It’s been a huge learning curve and I’m enjoying the challenge of it. Even though I’ve spent more time on it than I should have… I really like the process. I’m so close to releasing it too – I just have to get my best test quilt quilted up and photographed, and it will be ready. Or as ready as I can make it 😉
I’ll be posting again as soon as I publish my pattern! Pretty excited about it. I’ve tested it enough to know my math is all correct, and I think it has a good flow to it. I designed the cover quilt to be blue – and had specific Kona Solid colors chosen, but when I went to the fabric store, there were only 8 blues all together to choose from – I was lucky to find this gradation.
I had to get a print for the lightest color since there were no blue shades lighter than Capri available. I also was not planning to take it to turquoise in color – I wanted to keep it in the royal to baby blue family. Oh well! On the plus side, it turned out the print I chose was designed by Violet Craft, who is very sweet and local to Portland too!
Here’s a peek at some of the blocks in the pattern – so happy with my points… and the math that led to them. Can’t wait to be done – so close!
For me, the best weekends are when I get a lot accomplished. I like to work on personal design projects, either for T-shirt printing, or surface design for digital printing, or quilt layouts for sewing. I also try to get in extra sewing time… and now that it’s getting nice outside again, I like to spend some time in the yard. This year I’m planning a garden with greens like kale, romaine, basil, and cilantro.
Anyway – after I write this post and pull some weeds outside… I’m back to working on the Swirling Oceans quilt pattern I’ve started. I don’t know why, but I think I chose the most difficult pattern to write out of the quilts I’ve made! There are so many half-square-triangles (HST’s), so I’ve had to make a lot of samples to get the math right:
I think these are the ugliest blocks ever… but my points are on point!
Now the hard part is keeping this pattern easy to understand. It’s based on a Snail Trail quilt pattern, but the color layouts are a bit different. I’m also dyslexic so things that look the same, but are different because they’re reversed – are extremely tricky for me. When I made the original quilt, I had to remake many of the blocks, because I kept making them the same.
The other quilt patterns I’ve written are very simple in comparison. Those are mostly color layouts – all the stitching is done the same. This new pattern is a regular quilt pattern – for use with a sewing machine! So there are many different techniques and steps to describe.
I learn mostly through diagrams. So I am creating a lot of diagrams to go with my pattern. The trick is to keep it simple enough so it’s not a 30 page book! So far it’s going pretty well – hope to have a finished pattern in 2 weeks. I’ll be looking for a pattern tester *wink wink*. I’m going to make it myself too – but a fresh set of eyes is important.