Workshops » Crystal Quilts

Crystal Quilts    NEW

Learn to make both reflected and tessellated Crystal Quilts

With: Dena Dale Crain
Skill Level: Intermediate

Learn to make both reflected and tessellated Crystal Quilts

Crystal Quilts calendar image

5 Lessons
Type: Ebook Workshop
Price: $51.00 or $66.00
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Tags: crystal quilts, abstract art, quilt, design


In this online patchwork quilt design workshop, we travel together down a path that leads logically from one design idea to the next. We move away from the traditional block-based grid and discover an exciting new way to design more patchwork quilts than you could make in a lifetime.

Crystal Quilts is a quilting workshop about patchwork design. In it, you learn to make both reflected and tessellated Crystal Quilts, as you create one or more original patchwork quilt designs with an emphasis on the underlying design structure. We begin with a simple folded paper exercise that is the basis for the first designs. We talk about how to make a good design better and you make changes to your initial design sketches accordingly.

This workshop introduces some new sewing techniques just in time to get you started making your best design into a patchwork quilt. Discover how to finish your first Crystal Quilt with some unusual techniques and tools. See intuitive tessellation become demystified and learn how to use it to make even more beautiful Crystal Quilts.

Whether you work with rudimentary hand drawing methods or draw with the help of a sophisticated computer program makes no difference: the design methods you learn in this workshop can be developed and used in many ways. We discuss a few of those applications, and when our time together finishes, you will be well equipped to explore some new patchwork quilt design directions of your own.

This workshop is chock-a-block full of information, ideas, tips, and techniques to help you grow as a quilter and as a quilt designer!


Lesson 1: Learn how to

  • Size a Crystal Quilt
  • Make a folded paper pattern for your quilt
  • Draw an original Crystal Quilt design
  • Produce a full pattern for your original Crystal Quilt design
  • Design, draw, and print a Crystal Quilt pattern on computer

Lesson 2: Understand WHY and how to

  • Improve the focal point in your design
  • Use variation to improve a design
  • Eliminate criss-crossing lines
  • Work with lines and shapes
  • Where and how to add details
  • Consider options for borders and bindings
  • TESSELLATE, by one of two different methods!!!

Lesson 3: Discover how to

  • Convert your drawn design to a pattern that remains in the quilt
  • Work with a design wall
  • Choose fabrics for your Crystal Quilt design
  • Maintain color consistency throughout the quilt
  • Use the Crystal Quilt pattern to help you sew the patchwork
  • Construct the quilt in sections for easier piecing
  • When and where to shift from patchwork to appliqué

Lesson 4: Meet a set of specialised sewing techniques including

  • Point-to-Point Piecing (discipline)
  • Half-Seam Piecing (very useful!)
  • Outline Piecing (decorative)
  • Inset Angle Piecing (NO unnecessary seams in our patchwork!!)
  • Appli-piecing all kinds of seams (the MASTER technique)

Lesson 5: Find some special embellishment tools for Crystal Quilts, including

  • Bias tape makers to add strips of color
  • Double-needles for two kinds of embellishments: tape applications and double-needle pintucks for added texture
  • Kantan hooks for beautiful beading by hand
  • Consider several options for quilting your Crystal Quilt without marking it first, including
    • Stitch-in-the-Ditch quilting
    • Outline quilting
    • Echo quilting
    • Division quilting, and
    • Free-motion fills
  • Finally, we will examine a few methods for finishing your quilt, and you will receive detailed instructions on how best to hang it to show off all your wonderful handiwork!

Supplies Required for Workshop

Drawing Tools

  • Paper – inexpensive large sketch pad or loose sheets as large as the quilt you intend to make; several large sheets or a roll of inexpensive tracing paper may be useful
  • Pencil with sharp point or mechanical pencil, eraser
  • Glue stick, cellophane tape or masking tape for sticking printed pages together if necessary
  • Medium tip black felt tip pen (Sharpie)
  • Disappearing or washable marking pen (test it to make sure)
  • Paper scissors
  • French or other curve drawing tool
  • 2 x 10″ mirror tiles from a hardware or home improvement shop OR graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw or any similar but less complicated program that you already know how to use. EQ and QuiltPro are not suitable.
  • Sharp needlepoint tracing wheel optional but very useful.
  • Piece of cardboard to use with the tracing wheel as a protection for your work surface

If you cannot find or do not wish to buy a needle point tracing wheel, you can work with a push-pin by hand or use an old sewing machine needle and use your machine to make perforations through several layers of paper. We do not recommend sewing through paper with a sewing machine without thread in it. Doing that can negatively alter the machine’s timing.

Lessons for this course teach anyone with paper and pencil how to design. Some computer drawing instructions are included, but no program-specific advice either is, or will be, offered.

To design Crystal Quilts on a computer, you must know how to draw, copy, paste, rotate, cut or slice, delete, group, ungroup, mirror, enlarge, reduce, color and print the designs to full-scale on computer software of your choice and installation.

Other Supplies
  • 1-2 yards or meters of Pellon 911 Featherweight Fusible or Vilene H250 fusible iron-on interfacing
  • 8-12 fat quarter or larger pieces of solid color fabrics
  • Neutral color piecing thread
  • Sharp dressmaker shears for cutting patches
  • Rotary cutting equipment (cutter, mat and ruler) for finishing the quilt
  • Craft size 1/4″ thick cotton, polyester or blended batting or wadding
  • Solid or print fabric for backing and hanger sleeve
  • Solid color fabric for binding
  • Threads to match or be one shade darker than your solid color fabrics
  • Selection of notions, decorative threads, beads, found objects to use as embellishments
  • Sewing machine ready for machine piecing and quilting
  • Walking foot, free motion foot, specialty feet as needed and available
  • Utility threads 

Student's projects