How Do You Know When Your Quilt is Done?

Hi Everyone! A big welcome to all the new readers!

Last week I lectured at the Durham/Orange Quilt Guild.  It was a lot of fun, and I got some great questions from the audience.  Here’s one I think most of us can relate to:  how do you know when your art quilt is done?  This is a great question, especially for those of us who have stepped off the “pattern train”.  In other words, you are making your own original work.

The title of my talk was “What Every Quilter Needs to Know, Before They Sew”.  And the time before you sew everything together is exactly the time to make the changes that can make or break your design.  This is when you need to ask yourself some important questions and look at your piece with detachment.  By the way, this is a key piece of training I do with all my Private Art Quilting students.

But today, I  am giving you the short version.

Here are some question that will help you with this process:

  • Ask yourself, is it too chaotic or busy?
  • Is there too little variety, is it a predictable snooze fest?
  • How’s your visual balance?  Does it look heavy on one side, or top heavy?
  • Does it appear unified?  Do all the parts seem to belong?
  • Does it  have a bull’s eye? You want your eye to move around the piece, not get stuck in one place.
  • Is your main idea clear? If not, eliminate anything that doesn’t belong.
  • Is there enough value contrast? (Take a B & W picture if you’re not sure).
  • Do the colors play well with each other?
  • Does there appear to be some kind of underlying structure that organizes the parts?

Feel free to borrow these, print them out and post to your studio wall.

Here’s a visual example of a 3-D piece I was working on last year.  I took pictures along the way to help me be more objective.

First attempt
First attempt

I liked the turquoise shapes with the other colors, but to me with all those shapes and colors going every which way, it looked chaotic.

Second attempt
Second attempt

In this version, I organized the blue shapes into a diagonal pattern, which helped the chaos, but I decided it was too busy in the end.


My last one looked something like this.  I decided to edit out the blue shapes and concentrate on the diversity and variety of the shapes I already had.  I think it’s much simpler and clearer.  Later on, I made another one that came out even better, I think!


This is the one I used on the set of Quilting Arts TV.  Which reminds me…..

Don’t forget to get yours:  Quilting Arts TV has the new 1500 Series available for download-  YES this is the one I am in (squee!!) Click HERE to get yours.

Susan and I on set
Susan and I on set


I hope these tips will help you when it comes time to evaluate your quilt before you sew.

As always, a big thanks for reading!


Master Art Quilters Guild 

For details read below  ↓


The Private Coaching Program for art quilters who are serious about their art making (see below).  But also, I’m adding the Master Art Quilters Guild, the new group coaching program, for those of you who like to work with others.  This Fall’s group is now closed, but for more info, just click HERE for .  Next one will probably start with the New Year.

That’s it from me, hope you have a wonderful, creative week!



I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 15+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top.

Did You Know? That I am on Pinterest?  Did you know that there are many amazing art quilts and traditional quilts being pinned every day, just waiting for you to look at? Never before has so much inspiration been in one place.  It’s like having an art museum in your hands.  If you haven’t checked it out, there are many, many types of things being pinned. It’s super easy to get started.  You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.  Once you are on that page, you can click on the Get Started Button to make your own page on Pinterest.  Then start pinning!  I can spend a lot of time on Pinterest, because it’s all visual.  And I have a feeling, you will too!

CUSTOM COMMISSIONS And don’t forget, I make custom commissions too! Read what my client Glenda had to say about her custom commission experience: “Normally, I would be anxious about commissioning someone to do a work of art such as this. However, I felt a connection to you when Leigh showed me your work. It resonated with me and when I met you, you seemed almost a personification of your work. I immediately felt comfortable with you and knew that what you would create would be stunning. And it is!”

About Roxane Roxane-Web-Images-007 Roxane is a full time studio textile artist and teacher with two girls and 1 fat cat. She is a 2012 Niche Award Winner and exhibits her work all over the world. Her work is in several private collections and loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to If you and a small group of folks want a more private instruction experience, call me. We can work out a studio workshop in my studio. Just drop me an email: Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)


Powered by WebRing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr