Do Your Quilts Speak to You?

by:  Sharon Alves

What a beautiful morning. As I am writing this blog I am listening to the beautiful sounds of nature outside. I have birds everywhere in my yard with nests and babies. I have a family on my deck that are on at least their second batch of babies. Nature is a wonderful thing and it gives me so much inspiration. I could sit here all morning with a cup of coffee and just listen to nature. I guess that I should get back to the second best thing – quilting.

Remember that wonderful fabric collection that I showed you a few months ago? Well, I am finally on my way to really making the quilt. fabric photo_2As you may not know, I have had a crazy work load with my job at a consulting firm. There have just never been quite enough hours in the day to work with all of the quilt designs that I have swirling around in my head. Things are changing and I am making more time for my quilting. I just gave my house a makeover – new paint, new wood floors, new carpet in the bedrooms and new baseboards. Now I really want a new summer quilt for my bed, so I have tried to concentrate on the pattern for this fabric.

Detail 2

Typically, I will start with the pattern design and then decide on the fabric. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I found this fabric and knew that I wanted a summer quilt made out of it, so I designed the pattern around the fabric.

I have learned something interesting about quilts. They will tell you where they wish to go. Most of the time I tell my students not to purchase their border fabric until they have their quilt in process. I can’t tell you how many times I thought that I knew where I was headed and wound up changing direction. Well, that is just what has happened with my new quilt which I have yet to name. Maybe you can suggest a name.

But first let me talk a little bit about the pattern. The pattern seemed to look simple after I sketched it. The fun for me when I design a pattern is figuring out how the pieces will all fit  together. It’s like a puzzle. It usually takes me several tries before I find the best piecing solution.  I will admit that I was briefly stumped on this one. But it came together. This is the block.

Detail 1Now a word or two about fabric choices.  As much as we may love our fabric choices, they don’t always work when we start to put them into our piece. I had added the Kaffe stripe to the fabric choices for the quilt.  This was my first attempt. I placed it on my design wall and decided that it just wasn’t working for me. The Kaffe stripe was just too strong. And the shot cotton wasn’t exciting.


Then I found this lovely ombre at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop and it started coming together.  But there was another problem.  The fabric definitely is a directional print.  When I cut out my first diamond shapes, the print was on the diagonal.


Because the diamonds are quite large, I created one of my template sheets so that I would not have to try to cut the fabric on a diagonal.

Diamonds_recover Model (1)

I am finally starting to piece the quilt.  Here are the blocks as they are going together. I hope to have most of it pieced this weekend.  Once I had finally worked out the details, the blocks were very easy to assemble.


Well, I did keep a couple of my original choices. As you see, for me a quilt is never over until it’s over…… How do you feel when you look at your quilt on your design wall. Sometimes for me it just comes down to just one thing – does it make me feel good. Allow your quilt to talk to you and feel free to change your mind.

This pattern will be available at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat in September. Send me your name suggestions. The person whose name I use will receive a free pattern.


10 thoughts on “Do Your Quilts Speak to You?

  1. I love how your fabric choices evolved. The interaction of the subtle stripe, the “floral,” and the solid is quite wonderful. The design has both variety and unity, and that adds up to harmony. Well done!

  2. From the moment I saw the smallest of sections that you were working on, I knew you had a Winner here! “Diamond Brilliance” (as in a brilliant cut diamond ring!), that’s my name for it.

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