How I Choose a Quilt Block Layout

How I Choose a Quilt Block Layout

1 comment

Sometimes, while you're trying to solve one problem, a solution emerges for a problem you didn't realize you had.

This exact thing happened while I was working on a memory quilt for my high school swim team friend, Michelle.

When I make memory quilts, I make a point to get my clients' approval of a rough layout, to be sure I'm including all the special elements. 

Memory Quilt Layout

After I snapped that photo, I shuffled some things around and took another.

Later, when I opened my email app to send her a photo, I flipped back and forth to decide which was better. And...

Lightbulb moment!

"Why didn't I catch that before it was quilted?"

Have you ever pieced together an entire quilt top, stepped back to admire your work, and then asked yourself, "Why did I put those two blocks together?" Or "Why didn't I rotate that corner block?" Or "Why is that one row of star points up-side down??"

(In case you're wondering ... yes, I know this from personal experience!)

Turns out, shuffling blocks around and trying to remember which you like better isn't the most reliable process. Instead, I snap photos of the different layouts and compare the pictures to choose my favorite.

In a photo, things like visual weight, color balance, and value jump out. 

This is even true if you have a design wall to stick your blocks to.

Here are some options I played with for a new upcoming quilt:

 Star Quilt Layout Options

And since I have the photos, it's also super easy to get a friend's opinion!

Give it a shot (pun intended)! The next time you're ready to lay out your quilt blocks, take photos and see how your options look on the screen.

I'd love to hear your favorite method for choosing a block layout you're sure you'll love!


P.S. Here's the final version of Michelle's memory quilt. Looks like it's kid-approved!

Memory Quilt with Kids  


After you find your perfect quilt layout? See How to Choose a Quilting Design

1 comment

Great advice. If my blocks repeat, I photograph one, copy it to Google docs or something like that and copy and paste a bunch of times and turn and twist until I have something acceptable. Sometimes I add sashing or take out blocks. Your advice is a great way to avoid costly mistakes. Love the Memory quilt. Been putting it off but you make it look doable. Thanks!

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