Thursday, May 19, 2016

Designing Lucy's Quilt (with Pattern Jam)

A few months after Lucy was born, I finished her baby quilt. It was the first quilt I ever made, and I still love it. However, after 5+ years, this 40"x48" quilt is a little small for my Kindergartener!

I'd been looking on pinterest and Instagram for a while, and finally found this gorgeous "Girlfriend" fabric by Ann Kelle. After looking a quilt ideas for this fabric on pinterest, I was still very uninspired, and had a hard time visualizing how it would look. Lucy did too. 

Around that same time I learned about Pattern Jam. It's a website that lets you upload your fabric and design your own quilt....for free! So I decided to try it out. First, I uploaded the Girlfriend fabric I was thinking about buying. Then I started messing around with different blocks and patterns. After each try, I would show it to Lucy, and get her approval. It was so nice to be able to show my 5 year how her quilt could look! She gave me lots of feedback. :)

We finally decide on stars. I tried a bunch of different star layouts, background colors, and border options. Again with Lucy's approval each time.

We finally settled on this design:

When I was designing this quilt, Pattern Jam only allowed you to make quilts with 12 rows and 12 columns (Now Pattern Jam upgraded to allow 16 rows and 16 columns!). Since I wanted mine to be bigger, I made this little "quilt" as an add on to make Lucy's quilt the correct size.

Also, since I wanted the "Girlfriend" squares to be one big 8"x8" square, not four 4" squares, I pasted the images in Microsoft Word and aligned the pieces to make this composite design.

I was finally ready to start shopping and sewing. Yay! I looked at the fabric requirements provided by Pattern Jam to verify how much fabric I needed. Their calculations were a bit more conservative than I wanted to be, so I used the "40 inch strips needed" column and did my own math from there. Note: I had to add these requirements to my smaller tack-on "quilt" for my total fabric requirements. And since I used one big square for the Girlfriend fabric, I disregarded the Pattern Jam calcs for that fabric and did my own math.

Then, Lucy and I went shopping! She helped me choose the fabric (and decided she wanted red, not purple). And after much cutting and sewing... here is the final quilt top!

Now I'm off to quilt and bind it! :)