Writing My First Modern Quilt Pattern Book

my goalPeople say that one way to get a goal accomplished is by declaring it publicly.  Well (deep breath), I am declaring a HUGE goal for 2016.

This week I am deep into the first steps in book writing and publishing.  I am taking all the pattern drafts and workshop instructions that I’ve created over the past 2 years, and started laying out my first modern quilt pattern book:  Sarasota Modern: FreeForm Patterns for Contemporary Quilts,which I am optimistically saying  is scheduled for publication in February 2016.

I’ve decided to go the ‘self-publishing’ route and use Amazon’s CreateSpace platform.  It is a bit daunting, but I’m actually enjoying the process.With all the tools out there, self-publishing has become a whole lot easier and affordable.   So, in this blog, I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

UPDATE JUNE 2018: I did not use the CreateSpace  editing or graphics services but you can do a search for other firms that do this.  I also abandoned the idea of setting up my files in InDesign–learning curve was too steep.  If you need assistance, best idea is to join a group like Craft Industry Alliance where you can find many freelancers and members who have self-published who can help you quite a bit. [Note that Craft Industry Alliance is an affiliate link for me.]

I owe a huge debt of thanks for some wonderfully generous tutoring by Ranae Merrill and Susan Cleveland, two amazing quilters who gave me a boost in self-confidence and the push to take this project off the back burner and put it front and center for the next 60 days.

InDesign logo

To create the layout file,  I am using Adobe InDesign.  It’s a pretty intuitive graphic software that lets me design my pages.



After I finish my initial layout with all my content and images in place, I’ll enlist the services of a professional graphic designer to clean up my file and ‘pretty it up’ to make sure the book looks fresh and modern.  I’ll also have the document proofread by a professional editor.

layout sample for blog 2Of course, I’ll be using Inkscape and EQ7 to create the patterns, estimate yardage, create layout graphics and so forth.









Detail shot--no markingWhat will be in the book?

Well, I’ll have 6-8 quilt projects.  I call these ‘FreeForm Patterns’ because the quilter will have the option of following the provided layout OR adapting it to make it look uniquely her/his own.  In other words, the pattern is a guide, not a strict recipe.

Modern quilting design techniques that I’ll feature will include:

  • Cutting and piecing curves freehand–no templates needed
  • Improvisational block piecing–including fracturing a block improvisationally
  • Using negative space
  • Using big, bold modern prints
  • Using subtle, low volume modern fabrics
  • How to design and layout blocks to disguise seams–eliminating the need for Y seams or other precision piecing to create ‘flow’
  • Combining hand quilting and machine quilting

Ombre fabrics, batiks and commercial prints



I will be working on this project every day–fortunately, this is a perfect time of year for me to really focus on getting my first book done.  Very little travel AND since I’m still recovering from my broken shoulder, I can’t sew for awhile.  So, I invite you to go on this journey with me.  Thanks so much for your support and encouragement!

3 thoughts on “Writing My First Modern Quilt Pattern Book”

  1. Here’s a great big CHEER! Looking forward to the end result … just sorry, though, that it took an injury to sideline you from sewing, thus making it possible to create this effort. Thankful your turning that lemon into lemonade!!! ??

  2. Terrific Carole ! I saw you and your book in my mind’s eye some time ago. What a delight to see it manifest in this reality. I support you in this worthwhile goal/endeavor. Cheers! Lenore

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