Category Archives: Quilt Design a Day

Park Lamps {a finish}


Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting #56

Park Lamps was one of my last finishes of 2017. I had a lot of fun with this quilt. Firstly, interpreting the original inspiration of old gas lamps at the Mannheimer Wasserturm in Germany. The gas lamp was used as one of the quilt design a day prompts (sparks) and included the original color palette. I loved the geometry of the triangles in the light.


My interpretation of this spark, lead to this original Art Deco looking design.

I was thinking about adding this design to my book but decided that it would be a better fit for a magazine submission. I submitted it to LPQ, and provided options for multiple color palettes to modernize the look of the quilt. This was fun playing with color. I really loved the final color palette (Kona Mint, Kiwi, Peach, Ice Peach and White – purchased from Stash Fabrics) and design (slightly simplified and re-scaled).


I decided for accuracy, I would (foundation) paper piece this pattern. It involved a lot of repetitive but simple paper piecing. I loved how each of the blocks matched, as it was essential to the secondary design. For the quilting, I wanted to continue to highlight the secondary diamond shape the triangles made, so I used straight lines echoing that shape. I am very pleased with the finish.


Photo Credit: Love Patchwork & Quilting #56


Name (Original): Park Lamps
Name (LPQ): Fruit Punch
Design by myself
Fabric: Kona Cotton (Mint, Kiwi, White, Peach, Ice Peach)
Backing: Carolyn Friedlander wideback – green
Binding: Lecien striped fabric
Dimensions:  60 x 60″
Quilted: Echoed Straight Lines (domestic sewing machine)


New quilt designs {QDAD}

At the moment, I am currently focused on making. However, I managed to get some time in creating some new designs, over the last month. Here they are, including today’s design (the last one).

Spark: Design Seeds via @zoepower

Design: I loved the shape of the plate and the color mixtures I used below. I am not a pastel person but I can definitely see me using this color palette in future.

Spark: Design Seeds via @piiipsy

Design: I loved the angles that the mountains provided and the reverse present in the reflection of the lake. I used those angles in the design.

Spark: Design Seeds via @mylamoments

Design: The common shapes present in the coffee cups and floor tiles at Caviar & Banana’s Restaurant (in Greenville, SC), lead to these designs. I used the black to highlight the graphical nature of the design. The brown, however, might bring a softer feel, if used in the curved plus (outer rings).

I played around a little more with the design above and added a center to the circles. I love how different it made it feel, though it was just a slight change. I would love to see this also made up in bold colored non-neutral solids.

Spark: Design Seeds via @diana_lovring

Design: Still inspired by the floor tiles, and this flower remind of drunkard path like blocks. I really enjoyed playing with the color placement in this block and movement the colors bring to the design.

Spark: Design Seeds via @thebungalow22

Design: Designing the obvious stripes in this one, but using a smaller squared block at various positions and direction to add interest and movement. Reminds me a little of floor tiles. It was also a strange color palette for me. Not a fan of the design, but I can’t think what I would do differently….maybe convert to the triangles based on the edge of the umbrella??

I definitely loved the circular designs. I can see me making a couple of these in future. More to come.

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”.




Re-engaging Mental Pathways {Quilt Design a Day}

Even though, I have been administrating Quilt Design a Day, it has been a while where I have been practicing on a regular basis. It was time that changed, time to get my brain re-engaged.

Here are my recent quilt design a day designs. There ones I like and more I don’t like, but that’s what I like about the challenge.

Inspiration: Succulent Leaf

Source: Design Seeds


Inspiration: Easter Eggs

Source: Design Seeds


Inspiration: Center of the flower

Source: Design Seeds


This one had a few iterations before landing on this one:

Below are Iterations 1 & 2:

Inspiration: Seaside Pools

Source: Design Seeds


Inspiration: Group of Succulents

Source: Design Seeds


Inspiration: Paint Powder

Source: Design Seeds

Design 1: Lines

Design 2: Lines & Curves

Inspiration: Doorway

Source: Design Seeds

Design: Final Design was rotated from the literal representation of the door way.

Original Orientation and design:

It’s been fun getting back into it and getting the mental pathways for designing working again. This week (starting tomorrow) is our Medallion Week Challenge, where folks build on their design each day until they have a Medallion quilt (center + 6 rows). The theme is going to be architecture.

Come by and take a look at what folks are coming up with. For more of my designs from QDAD check out my page.

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”.


Recent quilt designs {QDAD}

It has been forever since I posted some of my designs, here on my blog (looks like all the way back in March). I have gotten back into posting designs but mostly on Instagram as I have been participating in #30daysofdesign.

So to catch you all up here are a few of my favorite designs for some of the previous months, April and July.


This first design was really focused on playing around with Half Rectangle Triangles and the Quarter Rectangle Triangles. I really loved the unusual color palette that was provided by the spark.


This color palette also translated well into Alison Glass Fabrics which I really need to start using more vs. collecting 😉 I think this is a great skill building for machine piecing or could translate well into an EPP project. 24_apr_20162

Another favorite this month was this very modular design using squares and lines. The inspiration was a building. I like the slightly unusual color palette but thinking that I might make it with different colors.25_apr_2016

My favorite in all of these is definitely this one, that was inspired by some very large barrels that were wrapped in string. I was very surprised in this color palette, as I really like it though not the usual neutrals I would choose. 26_apr_20161

This is how I translated a Daffodil garden amongst the concrete jungle of the city. Its amazing how the pops of color just makes the dull dreariness so lively.



Not my favorite design, this simple cross block quilt but I did think it was an unusual color a palette with the pastel, white based colors.


I loved how it translated into these fabrics. 02july20165

Again the unusual color palette of this design that is inspired by a yellow beach umbrella is one of my favorites in July. I am thinking of making this one as is. Kind of reminds me of an Annie Albers rug.


Lastly, I played around some more with the New Your Highline spark photo, and came up with this design to represent the building structure and the pop of orange from the sign.


I’ll catch you up with August and September next week.


Daughter’s Love {a finish}

I have finally finished the quilt, I have been working on for my Mum. Making something for someone you love has been very humbling experience. Even more so, since my mum (as mentioned previously) has a brain tumor and currently undergoing Chemotherapy. This quilt “Daughter’s Love”, I hope will bring her comfort as I can not be with her.

The original design was inspired by the crosses/pluses that are in the stained glass window of a Scottish Castle.


I thought the plus blocks in the original design looked a little heavy, so I removed two of the corners. Alternating the direction, also gave this great secondary square design.QDAD_29JUL2015

While I love the color palette in the original design, I decided to change it to suit my Mum more. Her favorite colors are orange and purple, hence the final colors of orange, purple, yellow, coral/peach, and magenta.  There are 98 different colored prints used, 20 white on neutral prints for the background with 4 neutral solids.


For the backing I used Tula Pink’s wide back print, Free Fall. It worked as such a great complementary print to the front of the quilt.


I decided that, I didn’t want to continue the squares and lines with the quilting, so a spiral design it was. Little did I realize it would take a huge ~120 hours for the quilting but I love the end result. Thanks to everyone in the Instagram community that encouraged me through this 🙂 One of the other design decisions, was starting the spiral quilting in an off centered location, which just happened to be one of my favorite combinations of prints. The spiral quilting was 1/2″ lines using Aurifil #2021.


In this close-up of the quilting center you can also see the use of some of the white on neutral prints.  The binding was not as easy a decision as I thought it would be. I was trying a dark orange but it did not work. I landed up using a coral based print with orange stripes (Carolyn Friedlander).


I will be releasing the pattern (pdf) for this quilt,  in various sizes, August 8th via my payhip shop. All sales, in the first month, will be donated to Cancer Society, New Zealand who help provide services to my Mum including accommodation while she was having treatment away from home.


Name: Daughter’s Love
Designed by me
Fabric: 98 different colored prints, 20 white on neutral prints, 4 Kona solid neutrals
Backing: Tula Pink Free Fall wideback
Binding: Carolyn Friedlander, Carkai, Grid Diamond in Creamsicle Metallic
Dimensions: 70″ x 70″
Quilted: Spiral design, 1/2″ spacing, Aurifil #2021


Succulent meets Bauhaus designs

What do you get when you are inspired by succulents and Bauhaus designs?? This is what came out of my quilt design a day exercise.


I love this color palette as it is somewhat outside of my comfort zone as many of the colors are muted.


When discussing with the wonderful Alice from Love Patchwork and Quilting, on submissions, she asked if it would be possible to take this initial design and make a 3 part pillow set. I was so excited about the idea, and thought it would be great. The second design was pretty quick and the third took about 2 weeks, but it was so worth it as I love how all three came out.

This month two of the three designs, are now available in issue 34 of Love Patchwork and Quilting, which was released today (digital format).
Issue 34 cover

The process of making these into pillows was really a great new experience. These designs are super complex for such a small space. I did make the first design a Euro style pillow size 26″ as it really couldn’t easily translate any smaller.  This original design did not make it into the magazine but I am working on making the pattern available soon.

Abstract Trio _1

The other two designs, inspired by this one, were somewhat simplified and worked great as a 20″ pillow. Love Patchwork and Quilting does such a great job of staging – look at this second design. The design picks up on the triangular negative space within the center of the above design and the triangle border.

Michelle Wilkie(1)[Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting]

The third design, focuses on the mix of the lines and the smaller triangles nested in the larger triangle and border.triangle cushion front[Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting]

I love the pillow backs, I used Heather Givens, grey succulents fabric which is still available online at my LQS – Cary Quilting Company.


Name: Abstract Trio
Designed by me
Fabric: Kona Cotton – Silver, White, Seafoam, Sweet Pea, Pesto, Amethyst, Dusty Peach
Backing Fabric: Grey Succulents, Heather Givens
Dimensions: 20″ x 20″
Quilted: Straight Line quilting, Aurifil #2420 Light Pink 50 wt

There are some other amazing projects in this issue, so I hope you take a look, available today via digital release (arrives in the US in 4-6 weeks).


Treehouse Ladders {a finish}

I recently attended Sewtopia in Atlanta. You could choose to participate in a fabric challenge – in this case it was using Michael Miller fabrics. I decided I would use the 3 solids and 1 of the prints ( the four most right) in my quilt. I also added 3 additional Cotton Couture; the blue, green, orange for a pop-art feeling.

I decided that my Treehouse  Ladder Design would be great to play with the these bright fabrics. This was one of my designs from Quilt Design a Day.

I loved how it turned out, especially the balance of color. I made a couple of design changes:

  • Worked on color placement and decided to add white.
  • Decided that the print was too overpowering for the solids and decided to just use partial pops of the print.
  • Added additional ladders in column 4 and flipped column 5.
  • Deciding on black striped binding, in line with the pop art feel

Treehouse Ladders Finish

I had an interesting time with the back as I made two of them. My first make will now be a quilt as it didn’t seem quite right for this one and could easily hold its own as a front. It’s a large improvisation Log Cabin block

I simplified the back using a simple improve strip with left over Grey Cotton Couture I had from a previous quilt. Back Treehouse Ladders

The quilting was to echo the ladders both vertically and horizontally. I used invisible thread (premium sulky invisible thread), as there was no good color that matched the bright color palette of this quilt.  Additionally, I added 5 quilted detail areas in light grey Aurifil  thread, to add interest (example: top left).

Treehouse Ladders Close-up

This quilt will be donated to our Guild’s (Triangle MQG) Charity.


Name: Treehouse Ladders
Designed by me
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture and Valencia, Color Play Blue, Laura Gunn
Binding: Michael Miller, Stripes, Clown Stripe in White
Dimensions: 42″ x 42″
Quilted: Straight Line quilting, Premium Sulky Invisible thread, FMQ, Aurifil light Grey 50 wt

Linking up for Finish it up Friday with Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts.