Five Questions with Deanne Quill

Recently, Quilt talked to Deanne Quill, who designed “Retro Picnic”, the cover quilt for the spring issue of Simple Quilts & Sewing magazine.

QUILT: How did you come up with this pattern?

DQ: I wanted to create a fast, fun, & fresh pattern that features a big, splashy print with great coordinates.

QUILT: How did you decide the color palette for this quilt, and what to use for the framed/stripes?

DQ: I love the clean and crisp combination of the blue and green in the Pillow & Maxfield “Ooh La La” line.  It seemed the perfect match for my pattern idea. Popping the red was an easy choice for me!  It gives the spark to the entire project.

QUILT: When you designed this quilt, did you originally think about having the focal fabric ”match” or continue on around the stripes?

DQ: Definitely!  I love using really big prints, and I like to play with ways of maintaining their continuity even as I’m cutting them apart and placing them in a pattern.

QUILT: How was the machine quilting chosen for this quilt?

DQ: My best friend Patricia designs machine quilting patterns, and her panto that I used (“New Delhi”) was the perfect combination of fresh and playful for this fabric line and quilt design.  I enlarged it on my digital quilter to compliment the scale of the prints, and love the result.

QUILT: What is your favorite thing about this quilt?

DQ: This quilt makes people smile, and quickly became known here as “The Happy Quilt.”  That’s my favorite thing about it! Also, the back of the quilt is a white Minkee with green, nickel-sized polka dots that match the green on front.  The Minkee back is an unexpected treat that brings on even more smiles.


Deanne has been a quilt-shop owner in New Braunfels, Texas for nine years, and a quilt pattern designer for seven.  She has four kids at home, 9 to 17 years old, and loves interacting with children of all ages.  In her “former life,” she did biochemical research, and taught college chemistry and middle and high school math and science.  A graph paper spiral is her constant companion, since ideas and inspiration can come at the most unexpected times and places.

Deb Hearn, Editor-in-Chief

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