Behind the Scenes of Launching a Quilt

Ever wondered what goes into getting an English paper pieced quilt pattern in the shop? Let me bring you behind the scenes to show you my process from idea to listing.

quilt tops

How a Quilt Design Begins

When exploring a new EPP idea, I sometimes play with actual paper shapes to design my quilts (this is how I discovered Ice Cream Soda), sometimes I use traditional designs (like Spring Whimsy), sometimes I use blocks I've started playing with and turn them into something new (like Wild Sage), and sometimes I use Inkscape, a free drawing program. 

For my recent quilt launch, Pirouette, I used Inkscape because it's not just a “make a block, make rows, make quilt top” kind of quilt. I needed to be able to move shapes and blocks around to figure out the different ways they tile together and what I liked best. Often I just work in black and white, but for this quilt, I coloured the shapes to make them easy to count and keep track of.

Pirouette digital diagram

Creating the EPP Kits

Once I have the final count, I ask Techy Tim (partner in crime/husband) to sit with me to create the cutting files for the laser cutter. The laser cutter fits A1 sheets of paper in the machine, so we need to work out the most efficient way to lay out the shapes for cutting. Once we've arranged all the shapes and double checked the numbers, Tim turns these line drawings into laser cutter code and sends it to Laura from Cut Once Templates to check. 

TOC labels - Pirouette quilt

Laura tests the files and organises the labels and packaging, and creates the codes for the acrylic templates. She then sends the sparkly new paper pieces and acrylic templates to me to check, and I give the go ahead! Then Laura starts cutting her little heart out, ready for launch, so that she can send most kits out on the same day they're ordered. (Jackie and Laura made an amazing video about how your orders get packaged. Check it out!)

Paper Pieces packaged by quilt

Meanwhile, I make the quilt!

As I stitch, I'm constantly taking note of the best way to construct the quilt top, and how to describe it in the pattern. Sometimes the easiest way to sew is not the easiest way to explain, and I need to make sure that not only is the construction simple, but it's easy to understand, too. 

Lisa from Stitching the Journey, who is also my assistant, helps create the pattern as I go. I'm a great big picture thinker, and Lisa is excellent at details, so we make a great team! She's like my sieve, catching instructions or processes that don't quite make sense or need to be explained in further detail, sometimes with words, but mostly with extra diagrams. 

Pirouette packaged

Countdown to quilt launch!

As the launch date approaches, I madly finish the quilt top, baste and quilt it, take photos, finalise the pattern, write a blog post, calculate prices, and create the listing(s). Phew! Sometimes I'm also starting another version of the quilt so that I can share more of the process on Instagram in different colours. Bringing a new product to the shop has lots of detaily bits that I find dizzying sometimes, but it's also my favourite part of my job. Much of running a business is living in a constant state of spilt attention or context switching. I love having weeks of super focus where my only job is to bring a new quilt to the shop.

Want to make a quilt of your own?

I pour my heart into each pattern I create, in hopes that it brings joy to everyone who makes it. Click below to pick one of our customer favourites for your next quilt!

1 comment

  • Deborah

    Thank you for explaining your process of creating your lovely quilts! It does sound a bit dizzying! You show your love for what you create and show real concern for wanting others to be successful in what they make. I so appreciate all the time and effort you put forth❤️😊

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.