Introspection {design process}

As some of you know, participating in Quilt Design a Day has been such a great activity for me. It has given me the ability to find myself as a quilter, find out what I like and don’t like, and given me the ability to focus. The thing I am most thankful for, is being more aware, opening my eyes to the world around me.  I would like to share with you all some of my experiences over a few blog posts, let’s try every two weeks to start and see where the journey takes us. There maybe even some link-ups, if you all are interested sharing, as we go on this journey. I would love to hear your thoughts and what you all see in your journey too.


Have you noticed that we all have a natural ability to find things we like and that draw you in. Most of the time though, we don’t spent time in that moment, however I think that changes, at least for me, when you are on vacation or actually chosen to be in the moment. That’s why we take photo’s right.

Moment 1: OBX

While on vacation at the Outer Banks, NC, we spent time at the beach by Hatteras Lighthouse. It has, what I think is an amazing remnant of a jetty or boat ramp. I find it so stark both within its environment (nature vs. man-made) and in color (dark vs. light).


The color palette of this spark is very neutral and making this work as a quilt design was a bit of a struggle initially. I started with my usual minimal style with just using vertical lines to represent the jetty and it moving into the center of the picture.


It was not enough for me and I felt it needed more in the background so I started playing with adding triangles. Once complete, the bars now were not as visible and I didn’t think they were required. I played around a little more with the balance for the representative jetty remnant, surf and sand. This was my final result:


This turned out much better than I could image and I love the fact its more the idea it represents vs. the actual shapes that are in the spark.

Moment 2: Mosaic

Walking through the slave quarters, at a Charleston plantation was very humbling. The history was felt and I loved the pieces that were in the quarters representing past lives. In one of the quarters was this mosaic of broken things that were unearthed.


This lead me a more traditional modern design for me, with the focal point of the circle and dark green bottle shard (with the coral dot) becoming a focal point also in my design. I liked the color palette for the blues/aqua and was automatically drawn to overlapping shapes. The hardest thing for me, in this design, was playing with the placement of the shape. Originally this shape was turned 45 degrees, which made it a more flat shape. After playing withe angles and placement, I like it much better on point.


Lastly, I played with the repeat. This is the final design, for now, but I am still thinking about thinning out the denser columns (removing maybe one shape from each column).

I hope you enjoyed my walk through and thoughts of my design process for these two.  I would love to hear your feedback or if you have questions or want to know more about something, please leave a comment below. Additional information on my quilt designs can also be found here:

  • QDAD page for a summary or instagram #qdad (for several other designs) #qdad2reality for finished quilts.
  • Quilt design class

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.

3 thoughts on “Introspection {design process}

  1. Anne

    I love seeing the design process with these and hearing your thoughts while you create. It amazes me how differently we each see and create. 🙂

  2. Denise

    How fascinating to see the two different results of OBX. The second HST piece really “feels” like the OBX image. It is wonderful to see the creative process being realized.


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