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Thread: I've never made a quilt without a pattern

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I've never made a quilt without a pattern

    I have never made a quilt without a pattern. I've been quilting since 1992 but earnestly since about 3 years ago and don't know how to go about making a quilt without a pattern. I see quilts here that people have made and like parts of them and would like to make a quilt out of the parts I like, but I'm horrible in math. I never took algebra in school...didn't have to. I don't have any fancy computer programs to help me. I know I could make an applique quilt if I just appliqued the middle and put borders around it. Couldn't put piano keys around it because I wouldn't know the right size and I can't use my useless brain to figure out how to. Any suggestions?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
    Senior Member pacquilter's Avatar
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    Jeanne, you might want to experiment with putting some of your quilt ideas on graph paper. The nice thing with that is that you can use the little squares to represent whatever size you want them to be. You can use it to design a block or blocks, and then you could use it for making a miniature drawing of your quilt. Colored pencils are helpful too, if you want to get ideas for color schemes. I'm not great at all that math either, but the graph paper helps to keep it all in proportion. It's kind of like having a computer program, only you have to do all the work! This is just one idea, but with all the awesome, experienced quilters on this board, you are sure to get some great feedback!
    Bless, O Lord, the works of my hands....

    P. C.

  3. #3
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacquilter View Post
    Jeanne, you might want to experiment with putting some of your quilt ideas on graph paper. The nice thing with that is that you can use the little squares to represent whatever size you want them to be. You can use it to design a block or blocks, and then you could use it for making a miniature drawing of your quilt. Colored pencils are helpful too, if you want to get ideas for color schemes. I'm not great at all that math either, but the graph paper helps to keep it all in proportion. It's kind of like having a computer program, only you have to do all the work! This is just one idea, but with all the awesome, experienced quilters on this board, you are sure to get some great feedback!
    That sounds like a great idea. And I have graph paper also! Thank you sooooo much!!!!!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    First of all, there is nothing wrong with making all your quilts from patterns. Do you really want to design your own? Or do you feel "inadequate" because you don't? If so, quit it! Your originality comes through with the fabrics you choose and the artistry with which you execute the pattern.

    If you really want to design your own, you might want to consider using EQ. I use EQ a lot, and I also use Excel spreadsheets. But I'm comfortable with computers and math, and hate the idea of graph paper where I would have to work hard and erase to make a change. Use whatever works for you, and remember this is QUILTING, not math.

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    First of all, there is nothing wrong with making all your quilts from patterns. Do you really want to design your own? Or do you feel "inadequate" because you don't? If so, quit it! Your originality comes through with the fabrics you choose and the artistry with which you execute the pattern.

    If you really want to design your own, you might want to consider using EQ. I use EQ a lot, and I also use Excel spreadsheets. But I'm comfortable with computers and math, and hate the idea of graph paper where I would have to work hard and erase to make a change. Use whatever works for you, and remember this is QUILTING, not math.
    I am so computer illiterate. I don't even know what a spreadsheet is. I was a conductor for the railroad so I didn't use computers. My main computer use now is this board and my email and YouTube videos on quilting. I think I'm too old to learn new tricks. I'm 57.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  6. #6
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I am so computer illiterate. I don't even know what a spreadsheet is. I was a conductor for the railroad so I didn't use computers. My main computer use now is this board and my email and YouTube videos on quilting. I think I'm too old to learn new tricks. I'm 57.
    You're never to old to learn anything!

    All you need is graph paper, a ruler and a regular calculator. The math is simple math. Not even the slightest bit of algebra or even geometry needed!

  7. #7
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I agree. We are never too old to learn something new.

    Graph paper and colored pencils are great.

    EQ is relatively easy to learn as they do have video tutorials. You may know of someone with a local quilting group or a LQS who could help you learn EQ.

    Just because you haven't before ... doesn't mean you can't do it now.

    You got this far on the QB. You can go further and have even more fun.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  8. #8
    RST
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    Senior Member RST's Avatar
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    Depending on your personal style, you might find that you prefer to create "improv" quilts. There are several books coming out currently, or in the next few months that guide you through the process of improv quilting, or you could start following a blogger who uses that construction technique. Many (not all) of the "modern" bloggers are improv - my favorites off the top of my head would be Tallgrass Studios and Sew Katie Did. In this style of design, there is no measuring, no graph paper, no math -- you cut, arrange, sew, cut, rearrange, sew, keep moving things around until you like the look, and call it done. I find it refreshing and fun, though it's not my predominant style of quilting.

    RST

  9. #9
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I do feel less than because I don't make my own patterns. I like what dunster said. She said "quit it" about what I think about myself because I don't make quilt patterns. I think I will "quit it". Thanks dunster!
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  10. #10
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I have a problem with patterns.. I have never used one, as I would probably have a problem following directions.. I would have a problem with being a perfectionist, and I wouldn't do it because it is someone elses work..
    I use graph paper, and design as I go along.. I've needlessly increased the work on my quilts, and end up laughing about it..
    Barri

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