Category Archives: Quilt Design a Day

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.

Cheri d’Amour: A finish

It has been a busy but extremely fun week and now it’s time to catch-up a little. I want to share with you all this finished quilt, Cheri d’Amour. It is a gift for a close friend at work. So excited to be able to finally give it to her.
Cheri DAmour

An original design (QDAD), it turned out exactly how I imaged it.  I love this predominantly, black and white fabric line, Cherie by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics.


I loved that pop of pink which I also added onto the binding to keep the cohesiveness of the design. Kathleen from Kathleen Quilts did an amazing job implementing my design asks. I really wanted each of the blocks in the center to be framed and have decorative borders (like picture frames).

Cheri dAmour Front

The back uses the brighter flowered print to bring in the color. You can also see more of the amazing quilting texture.

Cheri dAmour Back

I also had some scraps left over and decided that it would make a fantastic patchwork block that will bring an additional level of interest. I really like how the back turned out.

Cheri dAmour Closeup


Name: Cheri d’Amour
Designed by me
Fabric: Cherie, Frances Newcombe, Art Gallery Fabrics and Kona White
Dimensions: 60″ x 60″
Quilted: by Kathleen Quilts

I hope you stop by again tomorrow, we will be discussing the color Green in the Color Blog Series.

QDAD: March

March was a little intermittent, as far as designing went, but I got a lot of quilting time in. Below are the color palettes and the design based on the color palette/inspiration.

March 06: In the Clouds
Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 3.19.48 PM

The palette was so low-key and spacious, that I wanted to use a minimal design to ensure that feeling was portrayed in the design as well. 6MAR_2016(1)

March 07

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 6.10.29 PM

I did not want to use all the colors with this design. I was inspired by Donald Judd’s wood print blocks. I played with the lines and in the end liked the irregular distances and directions. 07MAR_2016

March 08: Butter Knives

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 4.27.52 PM

The inspiration photo definitely drove the idea for this design. Look it’s missing a butter knife in the picture. I really was playing with improv. shapes and lines. This is my favorite design for the month.

March 09: Sintra Gardens


A little bored of the design-seed palettes, I decided to use one of my own photos. I pulled in the angular shapes of the castles garden architecture. I love the unusual palette but think its cool how well all the colors play with each other. 09MAR_2016

March 11: Improvisational Log Cabins

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 8.20.34 AM

I am always in love when I get a navy, cerise, coral palette. After playing with the butter knives design, I thought I would continue with some more improv. designs. This one is taking a log cabin and playing with the reverse colored borders in each log cabin block. I am thinking about going large-scale with this one. It’s on my possible make list.


March 22: Mountain Range

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 3.08.07 PM

The mountains in this photo made me think of how rock formations are pushed up when tectonic plates crash into each other. I thought that was best represented by these lines stretching up in the air. The triangles represent the generalization of mountains and strength. 22Mar_2016

March 28: Barred Windows

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.07.00 PM

The barred window in the barn here, perfectly reflected how I was feeling being stuck in bed from a round of Bronchitis. I actually like this one a lot too. 28MAR_2016(2)

Thanks for stopping by. You can check out my other designs on my QDAD page. If you want to join in check out our closed group on facebook (click join).

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”.

Ideas = New Designs

With all the ideas this week, the one thing that did work, was the creation of new quilt designs. They have been following nicely with several this week I would like to make.

22 February

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 7.34.06 PM

I loved this color palette. I was watching TV and saw this sign with writing down the side which inspired this design.


I think, if I make it, I am going to make it in flame and citrus/highlight.22Feb2016(1)

25 February

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 7.27.21 PM

I loved the palette but this is not a design I will like. It was inspired by the stamen of the flower. 25Feb2016(1)

26 February

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.32.49 AM

I decided to try to redo a couple of my favorite designs (originally posted 06 Dec 2014 and 28 July 2014 which I published the finished project on SMS 05 Dec 2014), that used circles but this time add more negative space between the circles.

I like how this turned out, it will be on my possible make list. I am likely to change the palette though… not sure if I like this masculine palette.  26Feb_2016

28 February

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.30.52 AM

I am not overly keen on this palette, but I was inspired by the daily post by @designmilk (on Instagram), of this cool hanging like staircase. This is on my make list.


I think the palette will be something like this with pickle or highlight as the background.28Feb_2016(1)

2 March

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.25.04 PM

You probably know how much I like a neutral color palette. I just started playing around with the placement of lines. I like how this works and it reminds me of road markings. This is one of my favorites this month. 02MAR_2016

I may have to make at least two versions of this as I like the negative of the above design as well.

3 March

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 8.46.46 PM

I was inspired by a book cover my friend was reading and posted on Facebook. The secondary design/ the look from a distance is interesting. It makes the lines look slightly bent, an optical illusion.

Here is the design with more repeated blocks. 03MAR_2016(1)

4 March

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 8.47.52 PM

I loved the geometric shape of the fans. I was also watching TV, again, and saw a sonar-radar. This is an abstract view of the sonar-radar. This is one of my favorite designs this week (along with 2 March).

I tried using the pink as well in the design and it just did not work (in my opinion).

Hope you found some inspiration this week. I will be back tomorrow, with Blue: Colour Blog Series post (and winner’s from last month).

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”.