I know you've been designing quilts for many years. Please tell us about some of the patterns that were your favorites or that were well received by our readers. How many patterns do you suppose you've created since you first came to work for Bonnie Leman at Quilter's Newsletter Magazine?
My first pattern, Melon Patch, is probably my sentimental favorite. Picket Fence and Give-and-Take are one-patch charm quilts that have been very popular. I love to design quilts for children. While my sons were small I designed several baby quilts, including The Little Quilt that Could, Dolphin Bay, and as my boys grew older, Camelot, Sports Field, and My Storybook.
I also enjoy designing foundation-pieced quilts. Seasons and Celebrations is a miniature calendar quilt available on our website, featuring twelve 3" x 4" blocks, one for each month of the year. Garden Patch and Farm Yard were inspired by two of my sons' teachers, and Red Hats is a fun and timely pattern.
I like to try new techniques in quiltmaking. Arbor Shadows, and more recently Downy Ducklings, use a "cutaway applique" technique I developed. Swayin' Trees features appliqued trees cut from a string-pieced panel. And Theresa's Stars uses a technique I think of as "strip & flip"; pieced units or strip sets with triangles added to the corners.
All in all, I have designed close to one hundred quilts since Bonnie Leman hired me almost twenty years ago.
If you could offer one piece of advice for quiltmakers today, what would it be?
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Look for interesting shapes and patterns in everything around you--a fence, a tile floor, wallpaper, even hubcaps and tennis shoes. Ask yourself "Is there a quilt design here?" and then sketch interesting patterns you notice using familiar quiltmaking shapes like squares and triangles.
Theresa Eisinger is a graphic artist for Quiltmaker magazine. Her quilt designs appear regularly in QM.