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Spotlight on Quilter and Pattern Designer Heidi Pridemore

How would you describe your quilt pattern design style?

As a designer for quilting and craft industry, I have learned to design in a large range of styles. When I do create a design for our company, The Whimsical Workshop, I use a bright color palette and happy fabrics. I also love to create designs that look complex but are easy to make.  Another one of my favorite ways to design is to use two quilt blocks that create a secondary design when the are placed next to each other.

Do you prefer pieced or appliquéd quilts?

I enjoy working with both techniques but tend to design more applique quilts for my company since this showcases some of my drawing. I always like to create whimsical and happy quilts. I think applique quilts have their own unique personality since the artwork used has to be created from a drawing.

For our clients I tend to design pieced designs since this pleases the majority of quilters. Though we have done some fun applique quilts for Camelot Fabrics in the past.

For the Aladdin collection we made a magic carpet quilt. This one of my favorite designs and for one of their Star Wars groups we made a Light Sabar quilt and A Galaxy Far Far Away.  A Galaxy Far Far Away is still a great seller at www.TheWhimsicalWorkshop.com

Aladdin Quilt 


Light Saber Quilt 


A Galaxy Far Far Away Quilt


What makes for a good, successful pattern?

As a pattern designer this is a question I ask myself all the time. A good pattern needs to be written for both literal and visual quilters. The illustrations need to be clear and the written instructions need to explain the images well to make the pattern easy to follow. The cutting instructions need to be clear and together. We like to tell the customers how many strips to cut first and then how to sub-cut the strips in the shapes. This leads to fewer cutting mistakes and less fabric waste.

Are there certain quilt pattern designers who inspire you/exchange ideas with/collaborate with? If, yes who are they/what about them inspires you/ why do you think the collaboration works?  

I am always inspired by my fellow designers, there are so many wonderful people creating new and exciting designs. Since I work mostly with companies in the fabric and crafting  industry most of my collaborations are with my contacts at these companies and work with them to help their vision come to life.

Teaching and Lecturing about Creating


What do you enjoy most about the design process and what inspires it?

I love to watch the concept become a reality. I also love to see how people interact with my designs and how they may change it. To me a quilt pattern is just a starting point, the inspiration for others to take and make their own. I am so lucky that my job is to be the starting point for this process when I design a quilt pattern.

Teaching on a Cruise


Can you give us a brief walk-through of the design process?

Since most of our designs are for clients, the process for us is usually to discuss the upcoming project and see what the client needs. Then I review the fabrics and/or supplies we need to showcase and consider who the final project is meant for. Once I have this info I start sketching ideas in the computer and decide which ones are best for the projects. Then we proceed with creating a digital image for the client to see with the fabrics dropped into the drawing. Once a design is approved, we move on to the illustrations then the yardages. Finally we are ready to write and edit the patterns. Here at The Whimsical Workshop, we have multiple editors checking different parts of the pattern to minimize errors. Once the pattern is finished, we are ready to make the quilt if needed.

Where do you design?

I design in my studio on my computer, I am so lucky to have a creative space that includes my desk and my sewing space so I can go back and forth as needed.  I also spend a lot of time on the road with my quilting and lectures schedule, so I also work anywhere I can set-up my laptop. I am always surprised how inspired I can get when working on the road.

Can you talk to us about designing the patterns for Camelot’s Sunflower quilt and the Mountain Trails quilt?

Sunflower Quilt- I used the group name Reflections as my inspiration for this design. I wanted to design a unique star pattern that was full of light. I thought a more modern look also fit the color palette and print designs. 

Sunflowers Quilt designed with the Reflections collection


Mountain Trails Quilt- For Mountain Trails, I wanted to create a quilt that was reminiscence of western or Navajo blankets that I have seen here in Arizona. The repeating flying geese motif and using columns for the layout are common elements found in these blanket designs. I also wanted a quilt design that showed off all the fun prints in the group. 

Mountain Trails Quilt designed with the Prairies collection

What do you love about Camelot fabrics?

I love the people at Camelot fabrics, the people are what makes a great company. From the owner down, everyone has always been friendly and helpful from the moment I met them. I also love their fabrics. They are well made and are available in a wide range of styles. The people at Camelot fabric are not afraid to try new things and expand into different markets. I find that diversity helps a company to stay fresh and new with their products. This means you can always expect new ideas year after year. It also helps that there are some Buffalo Bills fans that work there.  


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