A good day to stay inside…and play!

Today we got our first snow where I live and it is still coming down…about 4″ to 6″ so far, with freezing rain expected. I love it…it is pretty, even though gray out there. As I have said, I would not want to live where the seasons don’t change.

Remember those pretty fall colors from my kitchen window post?
Remember those pretty fall colors from my kitchen window post?
Part of the backyard
Part of the backyard

However, I digress! This weather gives me great cause to stay inside, yes. And do things I really enjoy…like my sewing, quilting, crafting, painting, etc. I am known to have multiple projects going on at once, for sure.

Today I am working on my first REAL quilt top. I feel good about how it is coming out and want to share some ideas for how to plan the layout of your quilt top. I want to thank my friend and muse, ModJBrown, for inspiration and getting me started in quilting. Other inspiration is Quilting Line and Color by Yoskiko Jinzenji. My thinking is way over my head relating to my level of experience, but this is me…just jump in! I am using 3 main batik prints and 3 plain colors. The blocks are traditional patterns like shoofly, chevron and lots of HSTs, with the layout leaning to modern style with lots of negative space.

Let’s see what I am up to today…Below is one easy way to work with your pieces. With a piece of batting (or a fleece-backed vinyl tablecloth) hung on the wall, you can just stick your squares and pieces to it…voila, they stay in place! Moving them is easy!


Ok, that said, I wanted to play a bit more with fill-in colors and borders.

Now keep in mind, I have never done a written tutorial, but I do use Photoshop and if you do too (or Elements or even some other programs most likely), you can really start to see your work take shape right before your eyes.

Moving blocks in PS

A screen capture of my Photoshop file where I have created a layer of each quilt square or piece. This is done by taking a picture of each square OR cropping a piece out of one original image to create each layer (I used the image taken on my wall to crop from.) Create a base layer of all one color…I chose white, thinking this may be my actual final choice. By using the move tool (upper left corner), you can select any layer and drag it wherever you would like to try it.

Next it gets even more fun…

Change the background color

Remember, I said I think I want my background color for the quilt top to be white, but hmmmm? I can create another fill layer in Photoshop and change that color to anything I want to try! (Or, just change the color of the white layer too…even easier.) There are text notes on the image above about just where to click, etc. You will also notice that it isn’t perfectly clean because of the crop on each square, but it gives you a great feel for the colors and how they will work together.

Ok…now you have an idea on the color for the background. What about the border?

border colors

Well, the image above shows a simple way to create a border space and change that color, as well. Of course, you can make that a pattern fill, gradient fill and more, but we are trying to keep it simple here today.

I am sure you have other ideas too. How about using an Excel file? (which I actually did for my first little quilt piece, my meditation mat…

Meditation Mat

As pretty much a novice here, I would love to hear how you plan. Please share a comment! As you a likely a creative yourself, if you are reading this, you may know as much or more about this than me, but if you need more details on the Photoshop process, leave a comment! I am happy to share anything I can with you.

In the meantime….I am off to play! My final decisions are not what shows on the pictures here, so I hope you will drop back by to watch for the finished quilt. Hope you are having fun too!!!