My Year of Design - Introduction

Path to the Lighthouse

This version of My Year of Design is over. Please go to MYoD2015 to read about the second edition of My Year of Design! Moreover, we will shortly publish a book with all MYoD2014 exercises, interviews with some of the participants and some bonus material.

What My Year of Design offers:

Short exercises to push your creativity and learn new design techniques

Gallery for My Year of Design results

Online discussion with the Quilt around the World team and other MYoD participants

For all Quilt around the World paying members and special members (e. g. IBS2 participants)

The idea behind My Year of Design (MYoD)

Do you want to broaden your horizon as quilter and venture off the beaten paths? Do you want to challenge yourself, play around with new creative ideas, and experiment with techniques you’ve never tried before?


You would love to, but the time you spend with your family and friends, pets, house, garden and other commitments and hobbies prevent you from enrolling in a regular patchwork class or course following a proper curriculum with lots of homework?

Covered Bridge

If that is where you are at the moment, then we are sitting in the same boat. If you still want to find new textile adventures and surprises, we invite you to join our small creative team at Quilt around the World for our new “My Year of Design” project. 

For each week, we will reserve little “islands of time” in our schedule for our favourite hobby and work on one creative task which can be realised in very little time, and which at the same time has potential for further development.

We have created a gallery space for “My Year of Design” and will publish the results of our team’s creative outcome each week. You are very welcome to e-mail us pictures of objects (e.g. sketches, blocks, quilts, textile experiments, etc.) you have made based on the exercises of “My Year of Design” and start a lively creative online exchange with our team and other participants. 


The creative exercises

Many of the design exercises are ruled by the principle of coincidence to create a strong element of unpredictability. This helps us to sharpen our senses, look at things differently and start to think outside the box. Some tasks belong to ongoing projects throughout the year, while others are self-contained without sequels.

In the course of My Year of Design 2014, you are invited to

  • create a series of 12 small quilts (or patchwork blocks or textile objects) on the basis of different exercises such as the example week available for free download for everybody (Everything but 90° - Week 2 to be published on 4 January 2014).
  • design and perhaps even make your Coincidence Quilt where the basic design decisions like format, colours, center motif, etc. are made by rolling the dice.  
  • make a Mystery Line Quilt based on 12 line drawings with only minimal information on colour values and patterns/textures
  • work on several independent tasks covering several aspects of design, creativity, and creation...

Materials and tools needed

As it is up to you whether and how you put these design impulses into textiles or other media, you need to determine yourself how much and which materials you will need. Here are some tools you will need:

• a binder where you put all MYoD exercises

• sketchbook, ca. DIN A4 or letter format

• tracing paper in the same format as your sketchbook

• a hole puncher, a stapler, adhesive tape, glue

• pens, pencils

• a regular dice with 6 numbered sides

• a stoppwatch, an alarm clock or egg-timer which makes a sound

• a small inexpensive camera which you can take with you wherever you go

How you can participate 

For each weekly creative exercises, we will publish an introductory article online and a 2-page instruction in PDF format. As a regular paying member or special member (e.g. IBS participants) you can download the “My Year of Design” issues free of charge.

“My Year of Design” is an open project without deadlines, commitments or restrictions. You can start anytime and you decide whether you work on all the suggested projects and exercises or just as you can spare the time. But you can also make it your New Year’s resolution to get more creative throughout the year and work hand in hand with our team on a regular basis…