I’ve been experimenting with ideas for a fall table runner. I started off with graph paper and colored pencils – one of my favorite ways to rough out new designs – but I had so many potential patterns running through head I switched over to the computer so I could play with them more easily.
I don’t use anything fancy for planning. While it won’t work for more complex shapes, for simple quilt designs based on squares Microsoft Excel is actually my tool of choice. I just set the row height and column width to the same size and fill in the cell colors to lay out a design.
Once I get to a design (or three) I like, I use letters to label the different color cells and a simple “count” formula to add them up. Like this: =COUNTIF(B2:H20, “a”).
In this example, the formula counts all the tan squares because they’re the ones I labelled “a”. Once they’re all added up, it’s easy to figure out how much fabric I need for the project.
Who says you can’t be creative AND analytical?