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Sewing With Certainty

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 by Lorna McMahon

Back in November, I signed up for the Sewing With Certainty series with Jessica of Quilty Habit.  The purpose of this linky party was to evaluate your sewing/quilting abilities and then outline goals for improvement.  In my first post here, my four goals were centered on improving my ability to design quilting patterns.  The following is a review of those four goals and how I measured up.

KYSS Me Quick quilt pattern

#1 – Abide by the KYSS policy

KYSS stands for Keep Your Sewing Simple.  Keep the design simple.  I made a number of quilts and patterns with the KYSS policy since November:

  • KYSS Me Quick – a fat eighth bundle design
  • KYSS Me Goodnight – a commissioned design
  • KYSS Me Baby – a charm pack design
  • KYSS Me by the Garden Wall – a layer cake design
Back of KYSS Me by the Garden Wall pattern

#2 – Design blocks that can be used simply to create quilts of various sizes

This goal has not been met…. Yet.  I would still like to work on creating patterns that can use a single block, or multiple blocks, in various sizes to make different sizes of quilts.

#3 – Use my new design wall to help me see the BIG picture and make changes as I go

A design wall is a valuable tool and so inexpensive to make.  For me, it was as simple as purchasing a flannel backed table cloth from the dollar store and using some thumb tacks to pin it up on the wall.  Seeing your blocks on the wall, being able to take a step back, and see the big picture, as well as the ability to rearrange pieces easily has been such an advantage.  I am so glad to have incorporated this as a design tool!

Kenya quilt for Charity

 #4 – Listen to my inner voice

Sometimes working on one quilt will lead to a great idea for something that can be turned into a pattern.  When I was working on the Kenya quilt, shown above, I was inspired to make the KONA Fox Kits quilt, shown below.  Even though drawing, planning or using design software can help you to plan a quilt pattern, cutting into fabric, piecing and just playing around with an idea will lead you down the path of inspiration.

KONA Fox Kits quilt pattern

What have I learned?  I am pleased to have taken part in this series.  Some of the subjects were difficult to write a post for.  This challenged me to dig deep into each subject and really analyze myself and my processes.  This series has helped me to improve as a blogger as well as a quilter.

Since that first post in November, I have gained confidence in my ability to design quilt patterns.  Participating in this series has also given me the opportunity to meet others who took part in the series and make new friends.  And that is something that has brought me great joy!  Thank you, Jessica for providing us with a fun way to challenge ourselves.  And for cheering us on each week!

Are you interested in taking part in a quilting series, too?
Sarah of Berry Barn Designs is hosting one of my her own!
Check out her 30/30 Sewing Challenge  that will be starting on March 1st!
Keep On Quilting On!

20 Responses

  1. Your growth is very evident!!! (Love your inner voice!) and I couldn't live without a design was either! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful way to challenge yourself and a great way to see how far you have come. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Karin Jordan says:

    What lovely quilts! It's obvious you're truly enjoying the design process. 🙂

  4. Kysses to all your wonderful designs, I may have to jump on the 30/30 train….

  5. Lorna, thank you so much for mentioning my 30/30 Sewing Challenge! With how prolific your work is, I imagine you're already sewing at least that much every single day plus a whole lot more : ) I'm still crushing on that equilateral triangle fox quilt – thanks for the \”action\” shot of it up on the design wall. I, too, have just a flannel backed tablecloth tacked to the wall and honestly, it's perfect. Super affordable, large, and easy easy easy if anyone else is looking for a fast layout wall idea (plus, you can always roll your design u right on it to travel : ) It was fun participating in the SWC series with you!

  6. Renee says:

    You did better than I on your goals! And you came up with some awesome quilts too!

  7. Vicki says:

    You amaze me, Lorna! You work with such purpose and imagination. Thank you so very much for sharing your special journey and wise words.

  8. Jessica says:

    Awesome! You really made so much progress! I love your KYSS me quick quilt! I also love your process pictures and how open you are on your blog. Thank you for supporting my series!

  9. Carla says:

    I would say you have achieved your goals beautifully. I am loving the top quilt and the triangles are on my to do list : )

  10. elle says:

    What a great post! Good for you!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Good job on your goals. I need to find a way to make myself accountable for my goal of improving my FMQ this year…

  12. Beautiful evidences of your growth, Lorna!

  13. ~Carla~ says:

    You are simply awesome!!

  14. Sue Daurio says:

    Wow what an inspiring post!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts through this process. It's always helpful to know how someone else goes from A to Q.

  16. Ann says:

    I love the first one, KYSS me quick, with the lime green squares. Very cheery without being in-your-face loud. Lime can be tricky that way.

  17. Farm Quilter says:

    Enjoying watching the evolution and I like the way you can put into words your thought process when you are designing. Your designs are great – I like that they can be made by almost any skill level, unlike some that only the expert piecer could attempt!!

  18. Kathleen says:

    Although I have yet to make one, I do love the simplicity yet outstanding design of your KYSS quilts. Keep up the good work!

  19. Regina says:

    From where I am your quilting doesn't need any help! I just love your tree quilts, will you sell the pattern?