The following is from the Designer Spotlight feature with quilt designer, Terri Vanden Bosch, from the Quiltmaker January/February 2019 issue. Look for her Desert Caravan quilt—part of the camper series—in the same issue!
The Wandering Quilter
What happens when a quilter buys a camper and travels the country with her husband? Quilt designs inspired by the experience, of course! With over 25 years of quilt making experience and over 10 years of longarm experience, Terri Vanden Bosch creates many quilt designs for QM. Here, she shares a bit about her inspiration for her “Camper Series”.
What was your source of inspiration for this quilt series?
A few years back was our 30th anniversary. In thinking about what would be a fun way to celebrate, we looked into an Alaskan cruise. After a bit of sticker shock and deciding that we were still too young for this cruise, I came up with a new plan. I convinced my dear husband to find me a gently used pickup/truck camper–the kind that fit on the bed of a pickup. He found one 4 hours away—we purchased it and the adventure planning began. The plan was to put our motorcycle on a trailer behind the pickup/camper and see America. So all these little Happy Camper vignettes are places I would like to visit with our motorcycle and camper. The maiden voyage for our camper/motorcycle was a trip to Yellowstone last summer. Oh, what fun it was!! I wrote a blog post about it on my blog.
If it is a series, Do you have a favorite quilt in the series?
I really like all of them—and of the ones that have been published I would have to go with the Mountain scene—of the ones still to come—Polar Lights is my favorite. Or I could say that the next one I design is my favorite.
How do you design quilts/what is your process?
I do all my designing in EQ7, I have EQ8 in the box—but too busy to install on my computer. Starting with a general concept in my mind, I look for quilt blocks that might convey that thought, like the “arrows” going around the camper scenes. These convey the thought/feeling of adventure, following the dream, movement and at the same time “frame” the scenes. From there I just start drawing, playing with shapes, adding color and finally ending up with something cute!
I also try to keep “quilt math” in mind as I design. Like not making a block finish at 8-3/8″ but instead 8″ so that the cutting is easy. Starting a design with a set of parameters is also one of my favorite things to do. For example, when I design patterns for Island Batik’s market catalogs, getting the fabric SKUs and trying to come up with quilts that will showcase the fabric lines and yet appeal to quilters is the best part of design to me! I look at the SKUs and then think about them as I go about my day. Inspiration can come at the craziest times—you just have to be open to listening for it. Nature, a song on the radio, something my grandkids say, flowers outside my window…you get the picture…be inspired and ready then the design will come!
What do you find most challenging about designing quilts? What do you enjoy most?
The most challenging part is finding time to actually make all the designs I have floating around in my brain. The most enjoyable is when the last stitch is finished on the label and I turn the quilt over and oh the joy in seeing the concept become a reality.
What is your best tip about making this design/designs?
I use the AccuQuilt dies #55410 to cut the “arrow” pieces and this makes the process soooo much easier! If not doing that, I would strongly suggest paper piecing them for best accuracy.
Is there anything interesting you would like to tell us about your experience designing this quilt?
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, all the fusible shapes are always the same from quilt to quilt—just arranged and colored in different ways. I challenged myself to see how many things I could create from this set of shapes. It has been soooo much fun! The fish in the beach scene make me smile, as do the pine trees coming in Northern Lights. Creative challenges make me happy.
Mostly—I am just very grateful to the Lord for the gift of creativity and am so blessed to be able to share it with others. I just pray that my designs may inspire others to create something for someone they love.
See more of Terri’s quilt designs, when you check out the Designer Spotlight feature in the January/February 2019 issue of Quiltmaker!