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Design Tips

Do you have a design in your head that’s just fighting to get out? Maybe you’ve thought of an image or had a dream and that would look spectacular as a quilt?

What’s stopping you? Get out those pencils and start designing! Ah, I remember – you can’t draw!

So many quilters are brave as Vikings when it comes to curved piecing and Y seams, but turn as girlie as Pippy Longstocking when asked to draw a simple image without a template. I’ve heard it all – “I can’t draw, I’m not artistic, This is too hard, etc.” The only person you’re convincing is yourself. When is the last time you actually tried?

Do this: Grab yourself a pencil – make sure it has an eraser – and a piece of paper and draw one line of your design. How does it look? Should the line curve in more, or straighten out? Erase and try again. Lightly draw the whole figure this way, constantly stopping and evaluating your work. If at any point you feel like erasing the whole thing, just start over with a fresh piece of paper. Sometimes a clean slate can do wonders to your focus and concentration.

When you get the design mostly done close your eyes or step away from the paper. Come back to it later and look again. How are the lines now? Are there any trouble spots that your eye was immediately draw to? Fix those first, and continue until you’re mostly happy with the design.

Drawing isn’t rocket science. You don’t need a degree to get your designs down, you just need the design! I find that the designs I have the most trouble with are those that I haven’t thought through completely. If the lines are still fuzzy in my head how can I possibly draw them correctly? Just TRY and I’m sure you’ll be pleased you did!

~ Leah

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