quilting

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Sooo happy to have this quilt finished and ready to share today! Ever since seeing my friend Jeni’s double gauze quilt in person last year (and wanting to steal it) I’ve been working towards this finish.

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

In order to still remain Jeni’s friend, and not end up in quilt thieving purgatory, I decided to make my own. It took me a while to commit to purchasing more double gauze and even longer to find time to commit to making the quilt. It was harder to make than usual because I already had the end goal in mind, whereas other quilts I’ve made I’m always curious to see what the final product will look like. That always seems to be one of the driving factors for me in completing projects.

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

I took all of Jeni’s great tips and put them to use. So definitely go check out her post with all the tips! I purchased almost all the double gauze from Miss Matatabi along with a few brushed cottons and linens, all Nani Iro (there is a few Cotton + Steel double gauze prints in there as well). I did manage to pull a few cuts some from my stash as well. I threw in a little chambray once I figured out what size I wanted to make. My friend Amanda helped push me along for a bit bigger size than what I thought I would make at first. Which is a great thing! This quilt is made for cuddling and it’s going to live permanently in our living room. I’m excited to have a dedicated quilt to have there.

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

The quilting was done by my friend Christina. She always does such an amazing job and I always trust her judgement. I picked the Midnight Sparkle design and had her enlarge the scale to open it up more. I didn’t want the quilting too dense and she made it just perfect. Lastly, I made a quick decision to use a Friedlander lawn for the binding and I love it!

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

Double Gauze Patchwork Quilt - Noodlehead

I haven’t washed the quilt yet, but I’m excited to, and can’t wait to cozy up with it on the couch. Hope you have a great weekend!

 

sewing

Evolution of a Pattern

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

I’ve been asked several times when teaching classes questions like “how do you come up with your designs?”, so I figured it might be a fun topic to share here.

For my design process, I always start by sketching ideas. They’re not super detailed or very elaborate, but mostly something I do to get the basics down and get the idea on paper. After I’ve found myself sketching something multiple times I come back to the idea again and see if I have any further insight on how I might construct the item itself. I usually find myself wanting a specific item that serves a certain purpose. I typically consider what I would l like when making things. That’s why, as a busy mom, I usually go for classic simple uncomplicated items that will serve their purpose well. I really enjoy taking my sketches and solving my own design problems and trying to incorporate those ideas into something do-able in the home-sewing world.

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

After I have things sketched out I sink heavy into the prototype process. Now, sometimes I can get really close within the first few tries, but usually it takes multiple attempts and trials before I get anywhere close to what the final product will be. I usually spend a few weeks tweaking different elements or trying different variations. I’ll use the item and try and evaluate anything that needs tweaking.

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

looks pretty close, but not quite there…

When I think I have the pattern pieces and measurements all set, I’ll get started writing the instructions. I’ve taken a liking to writing them in google docs and going through multiple rounds of self-editing there before transferring them to InDesign. It feels less formal so I feel more relaxed about the process. I’ll get the basic steps down and some notes, and then build on that as I go. As I start to get closer to completing the instructions I’ll make notes of where I think I’ll need to add illustrations. It’s always a tough balance to try to include just the right amount of illustrations, rather than not having enough or too many. For the illustration part, I sketch out on paper each step where I think I’ll need one. It’s a small thumbnail containing the pertinent information. These are rough and quick pencil sketches since I then follow-up by illustrating them in Illustrator. I’ll use the pattern pieces themselves (in super small-scale) to help guide the illustration process as well as my thumbnail sketches. I sometimes take pictures with my phone of more complicated steps that I think might be harder to translate later on. This part can be quite tedious, but I *think* I’ve gotten faster over the years.

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

Once I have the written instructions as close to finalized as I can I’ll then incorporate everything into InDesign. Each time I think wow, it’s just a few more steps, but in reality there’s so much more! It is a relief to get to this stage though! So after getting everything done in the InDesign file I’ll print everything out and go about sewing a bunch of samples. I’ll take notes and make changes to the text and illustrations as I need to (which is surprisingly a lot at this stage still). So after I incorporate the notes and changes I’ll read through everything another time or two to make sure I catch as many edits as I can before sending it on its next step in the journey.

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

When I think I have things just perfect I’ll send the file over to my technical editor. I laugh about this part because each time I think to myself “Wow, this is the best I’ve ever done, there’s no way anyone can find anything wrong with this!” and every time without fail we find things. At this point I’m feeling really thankful for another set of eyes! My tech editor goes over the pattern and catches any and all weird mistakes I missed. After that, I incorporate her notes into my files and ask a few questions about this or that.

Once everything is edited I send the file to my pattern testers or sit down and do a in-person group test at my local quilt shop. Similar to my tech editor, they’ll give me notes and edits and I’ll incorporate those into the pattern as well as do any sort of back and forth questions. It’s surprises me every time what my testers find and the notes they send or what I think should be okay, but then find out a little more explanation or another illustration will do the trick. The end product wouldn’t be as good without these last steps! And sometimes this step takes the longest – the little tweaks really make the difference.

Evolution of a pattern - Noodlehead

just a few prototypes along the way…

After the pattern tester notes are incorporated it’s finally time for a few last checks and some serious panic mode. I’ll go back through all my notes and changes and make sure those were cleared up and that I didn’t miss incorporating any feedback.

Some patterns have gone through this process in a matter of three months, while others have taken up to a year or more in some cases.

I hope this has been a fun little insight into my process. It’s been evolving ever since I started designing and I’ve come a long way since my first pattern in 2010 – which by the way, sounds like such a long time ago! I’m continually trying to improve myself and my designing and really looking forward to what the future holds. I love this quote: “always be a work in progress” – such an important reminder for me. I know there’s always something new to learn!

Have a great weekend!

sewing

Summer Traverse

Summertime! It’s only the first part of June and we’re already experiencing a heat wave here in the midwest. I hope it evens out a bit so we can enjoy being outside more. Earlier this spring I made a Traverse Bag just for summer. I knew that it would be perfect for all the daily running around we do.

This canvas is a Nani Iro print I have had in my stash for a super long time. I kept grabbing it for projects then it never really panned out, until now. I think it’s a great match for this pattern. The mini Traverse Bag just looks so summery and cute in this abstract print. I love it.

Natalie chose to model this one for me. It’s kind of nice not having to be in front of the camera most of the time. And of course I love taking pictures and even more so when it’s pictures of my girls. I’m trying to find a new rhythm with blogging and business and keeping up with my kids. We’re more busy now than ever with sports and commitments so it definitely has felt challenging to keep things going on a consistent basis. I guess that’s just part of summer and the girls growing up. It’s going to be a great summer and I hope that it doesn’t fly by too quickly. I love to enjoy the slow moments here and there and all the traditional summer fun like camping, s’mores, sleepovers, canoeing and swimming.


Pattern: Traverse Bag (mini size)
Fabric: Nani Iro Mountain Views metallic from Miss Matatabi on etsy, Cloud9 Cirrus solid in shadow


Hope you’re having a fun start to summer! I do have hardware/zipper kits available for the Traverse Bag (both regular and mini sizes) plus I added a few colors yesterday a nickel/gray and antique brass/black combo.

What are you sewing? I printed off a bunch of garments to get started on including the Santa Fe top (by Hey June Patterns), I can’t wait to make one or two for yoga!