Nancy Rink Blog

Quilt maker, pattern designer, fabric dyer, and lover of all things quilting

The Process of Designing a Block of the Month Quilt: El Camino Real

Ode pic 2A lot of times a block of the month quilt begins with a fabric collection.

Ode to the Blue and Grey (right) began with a set of swatches from the Adelaide collection designed by Faye Burgos for Marcus Fabrics. It was one of those collections I immediately fell in love with. Before I knew it, my computer was fired up and I was busy designing in EQ.

The block of the month quilt I am working on now was conceived differently.This time I was going to get to design the fabric collection. My idea was to design a line that was California inspired because the line was going to do double-duty and be used in a new book Oliver and I am currently working on.

After doing some preliminary artwork, I scanned everything into EQ and began playing with quilt design. Here is one of the early ideas. Let's call this El Camino One. (below).

bom concept 1a

I liked it, but I was not over the top. Did it really feel like California? Back to the drawing board. By the way, I usually let these ideas marinate a few days. Then I come back to them and tinker with them or discard them. El Camino Two has undergone a few changes. But, perhaps this is too much applique. And I think I am straying from the California inspired theme.

bom concept 3b

Here the quilt has been re-vamped a bit. The applique borders have been replaced by pieced blocks. The idea was for them to look like Mexican tiles, which are found all throughout California architectue. This is still not it, though. At this point, I decided to just leave the whole project alone for a few days.

bom concept 3

When I came back to the El Camino Real project, I decided to start from scratch.I narroweddown the fabric swatches a bit and Ifocused on the Mexican tile concept. Thisworked much better. Now Icould set to work on the blocks themselves, and figure out the alternate blocks. They need to be more than the "X marks the spot" things I have going here.

bom concept 2a

Here is the quilt with the alternate blocks pretty much figured out. Now it was time to work on the blocks themselves.bom concept 2b

So, the blocks were figured out. The fabric was finalized. Then the wait began while the fabric was being printed. As of today, the El Camino Real quilt is made, quilted, and bound.It very closely resembles the quilt above, but the blocks are not those pictured. The pieced border is a tad more elaborate.The pattern is being tested by Peg Spradlin, a very talented quilter in her own right. El Camino Real will make its debut at Fall Quilt Market in Houston and be available in shops early 2014.

As soon as I know it is okay to show you the actual quilt, I will post it here!

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