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Thread: how do you know which pattern to use

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Richmond, VA.
    I'm a beginner. All the quilts on the site are beautiful. Being a beginning quilter now when I see fabric, I see it differently. I'm starting to see the light and dark. Oh, I can't forget the feel of the fabric. One thing I'm not clear on.

    Do you pick a pattern first and then pick out material or do you pick out the fabric first then try to pick out a pattern?

  2. #2
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Oh boy, have you asked a question where you will get a lot of different answers. I have made quilts both ways. I go the fabric store and see fabric that I cannot live with out then go look for a pattern. Other times I see a pattern that I just love and have to go buy fabric for it. For a beginner, I would suggest selecting a simple pattern first, like a nine patch then select the fabric. Use the search function for pattern ideas. Whatever you select first with quilting doesn't really matter to me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member renee765's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    i think many of us do it either way, depending on our mood. When I think back to my first quilt, however, I think it was easier to settle on an easy pattern like a Rail Fence, then pick the fabrics for it. After you've finished a couple of quiilts, you might find that you are ready to branch out and develop the pattern after you've found your perfect fabric. JMHO

  4. #4
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blog Entries
    It totally depends. When I was a newbie I took a sampler class so I would learn how to do different blocks. I made them from scraps so fabric/color didn't really matter. The sample blocks helped me learn new skills and build on skills. They also helped me figure out which blocks (or types) I like and dislike.

    After that experience it was much easier to pick a pattern and match the fabric OR pick a fabric and find a pattern.

  5. #5
    Senior Member aliaslaceygreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    South Chesterfield, Virginia
    You are going to hear it now!!!

    There are some people who see a need (gift for someone) search for a pattern, and then take it to the store and choose JUST the same colors if possible, and JUST the amount of fabric for that project. And THEN, they MAKE the thing. Complete it even, before they LOOK at another piece of fabric or dream of their next quilt.

    I am not that person! :mrgreen:

    I sometimes am inspired by a fabric, sometimes dream about a pattern....rarely have someone to give it to in mind....
    There is no RIGHT way!!!
    Just enjoy!

  6. #6
    community benefactor Conniequilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Usually I fall in love with a pattern and then seach for the material.

    For instance I saw a pattern, fell in love with it and then decided it would be great done in black/white. So I have been on a mission to collect black/white, white/black fat quarters to make it.

    But..on the other hand, I fell in love with civil war repro fabric but have yet to find the right pattern for it.

    There is no right or wrong, just what you want :) And I have been quilting less than a year but closing in on my anniversary :)

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by berryberry
    I'm starting to see the light and dark. Oh, I can't forget the feel of the fabric.
    Don't forget those mid-tones!! They are what ties it all together. :)

  8. #8
    Senior Member stpatmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Mt. Sterling, Ohio
    When I first started quilting, I would buy the fabric after I chose a pattern. One thing I did do, was buy too much. This served me well when I went to do a scrap quilt for my son and others. I can look at it and remember when I made something for one of my girls or for him when he was a baby. The scraps are as good as pictures to me. Sorry, I went a little off topic. I guess my point is, whichever you choose first, buy a little extra of each fabric if you can. Scraps can create memories of these days!

  9. #9
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    We all do the light and dark for contrast but you also need a PUNCH color to make the quilt stand out.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Alturas, CA
    I do it both ways, sorry I can't help. Since you're a beginner and probably don't have a "stash" to do scrappy, why not go to Quilter's Cache and look through her patterns or try Goggling easy free quilt patterns, you'll get a ton of ideas, then try buying your fabric with a favorite color and get colors that will compliment it, if you need help, ask one of the clerks where you're buying the fabric at.

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