Creating versatile designs


Hello everyone. Today I’ve got a few simple tricks to create versatile designs. Here’s the original design:

I love making designs in all shapes and sizes so I made a square block, then square, X shaped and circular borders.


Just a few of the ideas.


Then I created some more versions where the size of the centre and flowers were different. Warped and unwarped versions of the flower were used with different borders.



In figure 1, the wreath uses flowers of the same size that are unwarped. They have a little space between them and fit the border perfectly. In figure 2, there are still 8 flowers but the alternate flowers are larger and they touch the ones next to them.  By doing this, (in my opinion), it creates a little more movement, the wreath is larger but creates a better negative space which adds an interesting element. The eye will seek out those new patterns, holding the viewer’s attention.

In figure 3, the central area is smaller and uses 6 warped flowers which draw the eye out to the rest of the design. As both designs are busy, I left more negative space between them.

The border used in figures 4, 5 and 6 may not suit the design as well but illustrates the same points as the top row.  This border has an unusual negative space on the inside (4 larger areas and 4 smaller areas) to accommodate the central design.  This means you might have to change up the central design to get the most out of it.  The new designs will be able to fit into other borders with a similar shape.

The wreath in figure 4 has to be smaller to fit the border but the larger flowers in figure 5 use the negative space in a better way. Once again, the wreath in figure 6 draws the eye out to the border.  You’ll also see the gap between the outer rim of the petals and the next circle is smaller than the previous version. This was because the flowers were the main event in this design.

I was able to use the same petal design in the centre because I’d deliberately made it with 24 petals. This means any design put around it will line up with the petals if it has 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 or 24 units making it incredibly versatile as I don’t have to alter it each time I change up the outer design.

It’s a lot of fun to change up designs. You don’t have to have a quilt in mind either to have a play with them. In fact it’s better if you don’t.  If making one design for one area in one shape, that’s all you’ll concentrate on and the idea won’t progress into potentially dozens to hundreds of designs in all shapes and sizes.


This little border is one of over 800 designs created from the flower.


So in your next design session, take any design and see how you can change it up. Mix and match it with other designs even if they don’t suit that design. It may take the design in a new direction. Wherever you are, have a great day!

Happy designing,






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