Designing Samplers in EQ8: Behind the Lakeside Sampler

I love designing samplers.  They are the love of my quilting life.  And designing the Lakeside Sampler in EQ8 was an absolute thrill.  I was able to use the latest Electric Quilt software tech to design this quilt exactly the way I wanted it.  I thought I'd share a little about the design process I used to create Lakeside Sampler with you today.

With Lakeside, I sat down with the idea of a series of oars in mind.  The eye sees objects as visually appealing when displayed in odd numbers, so I knew I wanted a sampler with 7 oars.  I began with judging a block that was 8" x 12" was about the right size to build the quilt.  I do not sketch out my quilts on graph paper first.  Instead, I solely use the EQ8 Quilt Worktable to design and build the quilt as I go.  There are often many iterations before I find the final design.

Lakeside Sampler Sketch 2.jpg

The quilt shown above/below is the first sketch of Lakeside.  It is built as a grid of 8" x 12" blocks with vertical sashing between the oars.  This initial sketch helps me figure out if the proportioning of the oars and background works.  I liked the proportions here, but you can see the initial sketch includes curved waves where water meets sand, only one color of water, and a small handle.

Lakeside Sampler Sketch 1.jpg

I decided the curved wave at the sand/water intersection added advanced piecing techniques that were not necessary.  If you remove the curve, you still can visually pick up the strong idea of sand and water.  So those curves were removed.  I also started to play with several colors of blue water across the quilt top.

Lakeside Sampler Quilt Pattern Sketch 3.jpg

It is very easy to save all the iterations of a quilt as you advance through the design process.  I enjoy being able to test several color variations and quickly see their impact on the overall quilt.

Lakeside Sampler Quilt Pattern Sketch 4.jpg

Once I was happy with the background behind the oars, it was time to develop the components  of the oar blocks themselves.  Below you can see the many iterations of oar handles I tested before finding the right block pattern.  Again, I plugged each handle block into the overall quilt top in the picture above to test for proportions before deciding on the right block.

Lakeside Sampler Quilt Pattern Sketch 5.jpg

The MOST fun is designing the color combos and patterns inside the oars.  Here I tested many different patterns and combinations on the Block Worktable.  You can see there were many versions of oars that did not make the final cut (pinwheels, gridded squares, nine patch, etc.). I was going for a very graphic impact on the paddles. I kept the colors primary to achieve this look.

Lakeside Sampler Quilt Pattern Sketch 6.jpg

For the final design of the quilt, I changed the layout of the quilt from a series of horizontal gridded blocks to a Custom Quilt setting.  This allowed me to easily sketch the long horizontal pieces across the top and bottom of the quilt.

Lakeside Sampler Quilt Pattern Sketch 7.jpg

This explains a little of my thought process behind designing.  I love to play with all the possibilities.  I start with my idea for the overall quilt on the Quilt Worktable, then add in the sampler design on the Block Worktable. Of course, writing the instructions for these quilts are a whole different animal!

 EQ8 is more intuitive than EQ7, and more drag and drop like other softwares. I've been enjoying using these design methods in the new software.  If you're interested in designing your own quilts, I recommend it.  Use code EQ8CHANY over at Electric Quilt to receive 20% off all products.

Ready to get sewing? START HERE

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AnneMarie Chany is an author and pattern designer who teeters on both sides of the modern and traditional quilting line.  She loves using bright colors and solid fabrics while nodding to traditional blocks.  On the website, you'll find many resources to inspire and get you sewing right away like free quilt patterns, the Quilt Block Library with links to 350+ free quilt block tutorials, Block of the Month Clubs, and the Quilt Pattern Shop with clear detailed instructions to make your quilting easy and fun.

"all I need is fabric and coffee.  and maybe chocolate too.  yeah, definitely chocolate. let's create!"

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