Virtual Quilt

comments: 52


I was playing with the cross stitch program I use (PC Stitch) this morning and started putting together a virtual quilt. I've never really planned a quilt before, or even made one that was sort of complicated. Now I kind of want to make this one. Each little box represents one (finished) inch, so this is 92" x 92". I wonder if I can do a quilt lke this. I don't think it would be that hard if I took the shapes apart and figured out how to build each section. I would do it in some tiny prints, not all solid colors. So maybe I'd have to simplify the design. But I think my colors would probably be less contrasty and less bright than these in real life. So maybe that would compensate. And I want it to feel flowery, in spite of all of these . . . what's the word . . . it's a math word . . . geometric. Shapes. Good grief, girl.

I was going to tell you some stuff about making cross stitch patterns but then this design started happening. Classic. Sorry!


It's kind of funny that it came out like this because I was wanting to make a new quilt but I couldn't decide which kind of design to make. So it's kind of a mish-mash, which is kind of how I was feeling. Super fun program to play around with, though. You get to make it without making it. Maybe there's some kind of quilting software that does this, too?

Thank you for all the farm name suggestions — they were so awesome! I need to check in with Brady to see what he thinks. I will report back! ;-)


The software is called 'Electric Quilt'. Looks like u did great w/o it...finished one inch sqs, really, wow, by hand or machine ..can't wait to see it, please post pics..I've been a quilter for a long time & have always wanted to make a quilt that I designed or just start w/o a pattern & see where it goes. Thanks for always being an inspiration!

Wow Alicia, what fun this looks. You can make all sorts of quilts without even having to make one. Dream quilt after dream quilt can flow.

Looks fun but hard! I wanted to tell you that last night I had a dream that i came home from the store and my husband had been working on MY winterwoods kit... How dare he! This would so never happen in real life but I still feel the need to hide it away now.

Thanks for sharing what software you use. I've been looking for one to play with.
This would make one amazing quilt.

Kathy Dignum says: March 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Hi Alicia, there is another software package called 1-2-3 Quilt - I think it's less elaborate and not as expensive as Electric Quilt! I have a copy somewhere!!


my brain hurts...I wish I had the brain strength to do crafting like this. LOL "MATH IS HARD"
this is why all my crafting is freehand, no patterns, I just make it up as I go along. :)
Have fun playing

Ooo that software sounds like fun :) not that I need any more forms of distraction!

denise f in c'ville va says: March 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

unrelated but I hope to the MUSIC GODS that you're going to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops at their show in Portland!!

That looks pretty awesome. I painted a patchwork quilt many years ago, in watercolours - think I prefer the fabrics, but at least there were no blocks to match up exactly or ends to tidy! Ditsy prints would be very pretty - what sort of colours - fresh & clean for Springtime maybe? Will be interested to see your progress. Good luck!

I've also used Quilt Soft, and there is MacStitch for Mac, which I really love too. Nice design :)

Love your quilt design-so fun! I usually sketch all of my own designs out as well- I've only used a pattern twice (and I've made close to 30!)! Your quilt would be completely doable, just a lot piecing.

You can ABSOLUTELY create a quilt like this! And I would love to see how it turns out. Take it a little bit at a time from the center and keep adding on. That group of 4 inch squares would be a great place to start.

It would be fun to make a quilt and a cross-stitch project from the same design and compare/contrast the differences...

i've been wanting to make a quilt myself but haven't yet decided on the pattern. i should totally try and plot it out like this visually before hand. yay quilts!

Will your cross-stitch program let you draw half cross stitches? That would give you cleaner diagonal lines.
If you should feel the urge to get a program for designing quilts, I can really recommend EQ (Electric Quilt:
I can't count the number of quilts I have designed in mine (most of which will never be sewn...). The great thing is that you can try it out with different patterned fabric, print templates and foundation patterns that show you how to break the pattern down into units you can actually sew.

Ooh, I think that would be really fun when it's finished! I love those quilts that look kind of modern and traditional at the same time. If you used smaller prints, like basic calicos, this would definitely have that feel!

That software looks like a lot of fun! I am thinking of making a quilt with a very blocky, geometric pattern of something floral, if that makes sense. Plain, bright fabrics depicting a soft, feminie shape...something like this:

Another vote for EQ/Electric Quilt. Worth the money. With a country set design like you've done here, you just break it down to the biggest individual block combos, eg the set of stripes on the left, and then work out the assembly order. With the grey section top left you'll have to add seams to float those elements...or you could appliqué them. If you don't want it 92in square, revise the maths by making each box represent 3/4in. 92 in is a big 'un to quilt or tie, and the ties ( which you've said you like) would be under more stress because of the weight of quilt top + batting + backing. You could break it down to quilt-as-you-go, block combo by block combo, machine quilting in the ditch.
Just watch out with tiny prints that they contrast enough rather than blurring into each other. Be a shame to lose the lovely geometries and colours of what you've designed. There are mottly plains you can use such as Moda Marbles, Fossil Ferns and hand-dyed cottons which don't read as 'flat' as plain fabrics to the eye.
Ice been knitting and crocheting recently, rather than quilting, but this gives me the inclination to play with fabric again...when I get my current projects done!

My coffee is not nearly that good.

Oh...gosh... I am going to pretend not to see everyone's suggestions for quilt-design software. I would never leave my computer with that to play with!!!

Elizabeth says: March 28, 2012 at 01:47 PM

So cool! And I can't wait to see a future post on designing cross stitch patterns. :)

I received Winterwoods! I'm so excited...Thank you!

This happens to us a lot too... Start on one thing with great enthusiasm and then get sidetracked to something that we are even more enthusiastic about! Lately, I can't seem to stop doing black and white illustrations for cards and framing when I started out doing colored illustrations for a book! Must get back on track...

YOU MUST DO THIS! I've been quilting for over 20 years and you are on the right path. Let your artistic vision take you and just go. You've got a good grid going on and your color choices are very modern. You can do it - I know you can!

Ah, before I read your description, I assumed those diagonals were log cabin blocks. The quilt looks awesome! I am still stuck on symmetry on my designs, and that is limiting. This is a great inspiration for me.

One bit of caution, I've made a checkerboard in 2-inch squares and it made for a weighty bit of quilt. I would be afraid, with a 1-inch checkerboard surrounded by large pieces of uncut fabric, that there might be puckering or other weight-related problems in that part of the quilt? I'm not sure though, and of course, good machine quilting could take care of that. Maybe some of the other quilters can comment on what they think?

I definitely think you could make this cool quilt! Then come share it with us at the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Love to see you there! It's an awesome group. :o)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at