Hey Quilters! (and those of you that haven't tried quilting-- this post will make you want to start!). In this article you'll be hearing from Stefanie Satterwhite of Satterwhite Quilts, a Seattle-ish based pattern design company. I had the opportunity to meet + hang out with Stefanie last summer-- she's a sweetie, a great mom, and her technical-thinking mind is next level. Her quilts are complex with simple roots and were featured at QuiltCon!
anddddd here's a beautiful guest post from Stefanie with insight about her creative process:
This month I am so excited to be releasing print versions of my 3 self-published patterns: Suncake, Totality, and Topaz. Though each design is distinct, they are all based on the same principles:
(Mostly) HSTs – The half-square triangle, or HST, is one of the most fundamental shapes in quilting, second only to the industrious rectangle. I usually start my design process by playing around with triangles, looking for interesting compound shapes to emerge. Once I'm in the D-Zone, I listen closely to my intuition, breaking the rules to throw in other blocks whenever it feels right.
Radial Symmetry – The real beauty of each of these designs is in the symmetry and the scale. Inspiration for the large-scale composition and radial symmetry comes from traditional Hawaiian quilts.
Grid Layout – Sticking to a regular grid for the quilt's layout ensures a level of simplicity in construction that will persist independent of other complexities.
Balance – Before patterning one of my quilt designs, I pay particular attention to the placement of color and shapes. It is important to me that the integrity of the design remains intact with a range of color value relationships. This part of the process also includes fabric requirement considerations. The color examples on the back of each pattern will always include at least 3 variations to show how the design changes when set on dark, light, and medium backgrounds.
One of the really innovate aspects of these patterns is the number system used to organize your fabrics during cutting and assembly. I created this system to optimize for quilters that like to personalize patterns with their own fabric choices. Using a sequential number system to keep track of each different fabric is not only home-printer friendly (for PDF downloads), it is color-blind inclusive and removes any potential ambiguity that might arise with subtle color palettes or abstract terminology.
If you are interested in making other quilted goods like wall hangings, throw pillows, tote bags, or maybe you just enjoy working small – Satterwhite Quilts has got you covered! Each of these patterns include instructions for a mini version of the quilt that would lend itself to these applications, or any other ways you can dream up to put a quilt on something!
All the patterns include a coloring diagram that allows you to visualize how the design will look with your chosen fabrics. I also like to use the diagram as a reference tool – when I'm sewing pieces together, I compare the diagram to the assembled rows as a way to double check that I've got all of the blocks in the right order.
Suncake is a great overall pattern to start with. It is particularly good for quilters who might struggle with picking color palettes. I tested the design with over 100 different mockups to make sure that no matter which colors or fabrics you use, the final design will be visually interesting. So all you have to do is choose fabrics you love, and you're guaranteed to love the results.
Inspired by the solar eclipse of 2017, Totality features a radiating, circular design and is well suited to gradient fabric pulls. The pattern features 4 different ways of organizing your fabric by value or hue to bring out different shapes in the design.
Topaz contains the fewest number of HSTs, making it the most beginner-friendly of the 3 patterns and the fastest to construct. The large areas of negative space make this one a great option to show off your quilting skills.
All 3 of the patterns are recommended for confident beginner quilters – this includes self-guided learners and beginners with the following skills:
Can measure, cut, and trim squares of fabric
Can construct half-square triangles using the
Can sew together a grid of squares using consistent ¼" seam allowance
Detailed instructions and diagrams are included for constructing HSTs using the 2-at-a-Time assembly method, half-quarter-square triangles and diamond-in-a-square blocks.