Stages of a Quilt Design

I've been looking through some of my various design proposals for various fabric companies and came across a set of four different ideas for a collection called Calypso. I thought you might enjoy seeing how this fertile mind travels when given the opportunity!

I don't have a link to this 2019 collection, but the first quilt uses several of the prints with a solid white background. It is a variation on My Diamonds Have the Blues.

My Diamonds with the Blues Variation: 59" x 60"

So, I patterned it with Calypso:

Calypso Diamonds #1

The Marketing Director asked me to use a yellow background. Ok. Will do.

Calypso Diamonds #2

She wanted to see something else. OK. I can do that! I pulled out another pattern, Twisted Hexagons, and colored it with Calypso in both white and yellow backgrounds. What do you think, Marketing Director?

Here it is in the yellow background and I offset the Twisted Hexagons with a few diamonds. I kind of liked that arrangement!

Twisted Hexagons #1

Twisted Hexagons with white background

Then I decided to keep things calm. Here is my calm quilt with scattered squares and rectangles. I never gave it a name. But I think it's a fun way to showcase some great prints.

Calypso Quilt #3

Now the one that I REALLY liked is my variation on the Buzz Saw pattern. I used my super sized Vortex wedge (for dresden plates). Here's the first one that was published in Modern Patchwork Magazine (2014). This is a 30" block! I still have patterns and rulers and am not sure why I don't have it up in my Etsy shop.

Buzz Saw

Here is my variation using Calypso and my Buzz Saw pattern. Pretty amazing, huh? This is a method where I split several blocks and put them into a descending arrangement. Because these blocks are so big, I imagine the center is 60" x 60", and then borders. This would sell a lot of fabric, right?

Calypso Quilt #4 using my Buzz Saw pattern.

Well, none of these designs excited the Marketing Director. Sigh. Anyway, I am going to try out this Buzz Saw version sometime. I think it's pretty amazing!

Now you've had a chance to sneak a peek into my designing brain. This process is typical when working with fabric companies. I've done this hundreds of times. I try to let the fabric tell me what to do. This is the only time I let something boss me around, by the way!


  1. All of the suggested quilts are amazing. I wonder if the marketing director thought they were too complicated? But wowzer! They are really neat if you ask me.

    1. Bonnie. If you visit any of the fabric companies' websites, you will find patterns that are VERY complicated and more intricate than what I proposed. Some of them consult the "suits" who have no concept of what a quilt means to the makers. These executives are clueless!

  2. The marketing director needed her head examined. Those are all wonderful and I love the Blues with the calypso and white background. Yellow? What was she thinking? The last buzz saw is also a great one, and the one that highlights the fabric in the rectangles and squares would be perfect and easy for a beginner.

    1. Yes, Susan! But as I said to Bonnie above, these Marketing Directors have to consult the "suits" who are clueless. My patterns are almost always easy and use the fabric in a great way to showcase the prints. Big sigh, right?

  3. I really liked the diamonds! Then... I liked the Twisted Hexagons - Always my favorite! Then Together! eyes and mouth started to open wide! Then got to the Buzz Saw... full on WHAAAA! I love the way your brain works Debby!


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