Here’s our final interview with members of the inspirational Quilt Design A Day group, a community of designers who design new blocks and quilts every day! We interviewed Amy Gunson of Badskirt, Michelle from Factotum of Arts and QDAD originator Anne of Play Crafts. Now we have Stacey Day from Stacey in Stitches, sharing a little about why she joined QDAD, what her process looks like, plus some of her favorite designs. Stacey also has a giveaway on her blog so hop over to enter to win!
Check out the group’s Facebook page and lots of amazing designs on Instagram (#qdad). You are welcome to join anytime, and you can choose how often you create a design. (It doesn’t really have to be every day!)
How did you find out about the group?
I found out about the group through Anne. I follow her blog, and we had chatted back and forth a couple times in the past. It looked like so much fun, so after a split second of thought I jumped right in. In a funny way I felt a little like a wallflower; I was posting my designs but not really saying much, and very self conscious. I remember posting my first design (the inspiration photo was a bowl of cereal) and thinking that my design was so obvious and derivative, and there was no way I could be as good as everyone else. Right away Anne and the group were super encouraging, with lots of good things to say, and feedback that was helpful, non-critical and very friendly. It brought me back the next day, and the day after that. Now I feel right at home, and I can see my style morphing and changing into something awesome, and I love it!
Tell us about your process…
I try to look at the [Design Seeds] photo first thing in the morning. That way if it’s a doozy, it gives me time to roll the image around in my brain until I get home from work. Often an image will evoke an emotion or feeling, and that comes out in the design. Every so often I will go through a theme for my designs. I have a love affair with stars and New York Beauties, and they tend to crop up every once and a while. Right now I am doing fruit and veggie cross sections when they come up (what else do you do with an eggplant?) and playing with alternate gridwork. I tend to stay within my time limit, around 30 min. I have to be done before Cat in the Hat finishes, otherwise I don’t usually get to sit down again until after bedtime! I use EQ7 for my designing.
Ivy Garden, Finished Quilt: This is showing in the Modern Metallics Special Exhibit at the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show in Portland, August 14-16. The original design is one of Anne’s, and I immediately knew it was what I wanted to make with my challenge fabric. I long-arm quilted it myself.
How many designs have you come up with?
I have been making two designs a day for 120 days. Actually seeing that number blows my mind; I wasn’t even sure about getting through a week, let alone four months! But here we are, and it seems that the more I design, the more ideas I have. Being able to sit down and design something every day is like yoga for my creative side. The more I practice the easier it seems to get, and the better my mind can stretch around a challenging inspiration photo. There seem to be a lot of repeating themes with the inspiration photos, so it can be a challenge to find a new way to represent a flower or feather! It makes for really creative designs from everyone.
Zombie Zebra: Zombie Apocalypse has become a kind of tongue in cheek theme here at QDAD, thanks to a series of haunted looking doors and crazy chihuahua inspiration photos.
This particular photo was of a really washed out purple hued savanna with zebras, and instead of a digital design I rummaged through my stash and pulled the colors to match and went to town. It is completely improv and I love how it turned out.
Do you have plans for your designs?
Right now I have a few designs that are being turned into working patterns. I did post one of my favorite block, the Feather Block, as a free paper-pieced pattern on my blog. I have made a couple of quilts from my designs, and hope to have some more patterns available soon.
Ore Mineral Whatever
Stars and Knots
In general, how do you feel about this experience of having a daily creative practice? Any advice for others?
As much as I love designing and sewing quilts, it’s the community and friendships in QDAD that keep me going. It is amazing to see all the different ways we interpret an inspiration photo, and how all of our styles are unique and still manage to reflect each other as time goes on. I don’t think Anne realized just what she was starting when she invited us to come over and play. I would tell anyone thinking about participating to just do it! Jump in with both feet and have fun with it! I am so thankful I get to be a part of this group, and I hope everyone tries at least twice to make something!