To me, absolutely the best part about designing quilting patterns is seeing finished items made from my designs. It is soooo cool to open an email to find that someone's sent me a photo of their latest creation! I get more than a little thrill knowing that my design provided a creative spark for its creator.
Whether it's an unexpected choice of colors and fabric prints, or how the design is incorporated into an item (not just quilts, but all kinds of things!), I am constantly surprised and humbled to discover what clever and original things people do with my patterns. This is why I generally design block patterns, as opposed to complete quilt designs -- blocks are literally building blocks (pun quasi-intended) for quilters. They provide a basic starting point for a quilter to build her project upon, while leaving plenty of creative space to develop and express her own ideas and tastes.
Two quilters recently sent me photos which help illustrate my thoughts on this. The first is Suellen M.'s quilt made for her mother's 90th birthday, using a variety of PBN heart blocks with some Rosie's Roses scattered around. A true labor of love, each block is beautifully unique. I love how she uses a different set of colors and fabrics in each block. Click on the photo for a better view - Suellen's workmanship is exquisite.
Diane S. created the totally adorable door banner at left for her daughter and son-in-law who own a Westie and a Schnauzer. Diane says "The eyes are googly eyes. I just glued them on with a little fabric glue. The nose is felt. The pattern was easy to follow. It's the first time I ever did foundation piecing, but the instructions you sent me to on the web were easy. I made some of the typical beginner mistakes, but I corrected them and went on with the project. Thanks again for a very cute pattern."
The red, black and white color scheme with lime and yellow highlights is perfect for this project. The googly eyes give the Scottie blocks such a mischievous personality (click on the photo for a better look), and the overall feel is modern and fun. A thoroughly successful project, even more so for being Diane's first attempt at paper piecing.
Many thanks to Suellen and Diane, for their generous permission to post these truly inspiring photos!