Retro Tetro was the first quilt pattern that I ever published. But before that, an earlier version of it was also the first quilt that I ever designed and made. (It’s also my oldest UFO, but let’s ignore that for now!)
My goal was to make a baby blanket that looked like a Tetris game that was going well. All results when I searched for images of “Tetris blanket” showed a major lack of understanding of how the game was played. In fact, they looked like someone was deliberately trying to play the worst game of Tetris possible, making it impossible to get any full rows.
This was simply unacceptable.
As a non-quilter, I started the design process in PowerPoint. It was my go-to program for drawing geometric shapes, and I knew my way around it very well.
I played around with a few iterations based on different game play strategies, assuming I would use the 8-at-a-time method of making half square triangles. (Yup, I did a ton of research before starting my first quilt!)
Before I finished piecing the quilt top, though, I decided that this wasn’t the right quilt for this particular recipient, and it went into the UFO pile as I went a completely different direction for the baby quilt.
When I quit my corporate day job to focus on my passion of sewing and quilting, I bought a copy of EQ8 and explored the many designs that were brewing in my head. I had at least half a dozen designs ready to rock, and decided to publish Retro Tetro first.
I had been collecting Libs Elliott‘s Tattooed and True Love fabric collections for the eventual cover quilt, but when Libs announced her Mixtape collection, I knew I needed to use it for the cover, along with her When Sparks Fly collection of black and whites.
When I imported the fabric swatches into EQ8, I thought, wouldn’t these look even better if they used Libs’s signature block styles instead of just HSTs?
EQ8 made it a snap to swap the blocks and confirm that, yes, the awesomeness factor definitely increased with that change.
A few more tweaks and I was convinced. I proposed the idea to Libs, and a collaboration was born!
Want to know more about how I use EQ8 to design quilts? Leave your questions in the comments!
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