We are excited to share more about quilt pattern designer Leanne Parsons this week. Leanne has designed for us before, and she’s done it again – another fabulous quilt pattern for the 2022 Quilter’s Planner!
This year Leanne has been industrious with her scraps, and designed the Scrappy Playground Quilt, which is a great way to use up all those tiny pieces left over from other projects. It’s such a playful and fun quilt! We caught up with Leanne to find out more about her quilt, her design process and her favourite fabrics to use in her work.
Thank you so much for designing such a beautiful project for our 2022 Quilter’s Planner! Why did you decide to make this, and can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind it?
In an effort to tame the scraps, I try to cut them into useable pieces as I go. I’m not the most diligent about it, but I still have quite a stash in various sizes. Scrappy Playground came about when I challenged myself to design something that would use those pieces I had cut and waiting. As a bonus, needing to cut only the background made the quilt top come together really quickly!
Tell us a little about the fabrics you worked with for your project.
Because I’ve been stashing those pre-cut scraps for years, it was fun to use squares of fabrics from long ago projects right beside squares from more recent makes. Working with scraps is a trip down memory lane as I remember where a certain fabric came from or what quilt I used it for. I don’t worry about mixing styles of fabric at all and especially not in a scrappy quilt, so the geometric could be next to the floral, next to the batik, next to the solid. Anything goes! The only fabrics I excluded were greys that would have blended into the background too much. Grey was the perfect choice for the background. It’s a neutral, but not as stark a contrast as black or white would be, which allows the scraps to be the focus.
How do you go about designing quilts and projects? What is your design process?
Some of my designs happen because I have challenged myself in some way. Sometimes that’s to design a quilt using a particular unit, HSTs or drunkard’s path blocks say, or to make a particular size quilt. Other quilts come about because I just sit with EQ8 and play around to create a block with an interesting secondary pattern. I design everything using EQ8 and I love how easy it is to change colours to get a different look or to rotate blocks and change the secondary pattern. I very rarely start with the fabric and design a quilt to suit it.
What type of fabrics are you drawn to? Would you say you have a distinctive style?
I am most drawn to blender style fabrics, though I use a lot of other fabrics, too. The only fabrics I tend to avoid are large prints. I just don’t know what to do with them! I like to use small pieces in my quilts, so large prints don’t fit well. I like solids, especially for how well they show off the quilting, which is why I almost always use a solid backing. As for colour, I gravitate to blue fabrics, mostly, and even the quilts I’ve made in other colours were probably coloured in blues in EQ8 just to see how it would look.
Tell us a bit about your sewing space. Do you have a dedicated space or are you making space on the kitchen table?
I sew at my kitchen table, which is also used for all of our meals and for homework. I have a couple of cupboards next to the table where I store current projects, my thread stash and notions, etc. My sewing machine goes on top of the cupboards, along with a mess of stuff that doesn’t get put away as often as it should. I keep my fabric stash in an old dresser in our spare room along with my batting (and a big box of batting scraps – they accumulate almost as fast as fabric scraps!). My son jokes that when he starts university a year from now, I won’t be waving goodbye as he’s leaving because I’ll be too busy moving my sewing stuff into his old room! He’s not far off, lol!
Thank you so much for sharing so much with us Leanne! You can find out more about Leanne on her website and follow her on Instagram @devotedquilter.