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Thread: Am I the only one?

  1. #1
    kbiederman's Avatar
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    Am I the only one that doesn't use a pattern?

    So here is the thing. Although I like the thought of being told how many, and how much of each fabric I need, when I actually look at the pattern I get overwhelmed. Looking at a list a mile long with a hundred different sizes of a hundred different fabrics is so daunting I just forget it. I have just figured out some of the ones I have wanted to try, but as of now, if I can't figure it out just from looking at or watching a tutorial on it, I don't even bother.

    So, does anyone else do this, or am I just brain challenged? Just wondering :) ~Karen

  2. #2
    Junior Member ruthruff3's Avatar
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    I do a lot of my own "designing" but I follow patterns too. Is that because I'm a Gemini????? Or maybe just crazy!

  3. #3
    pookie ookie's Avatar
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    Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. No law says you have to use a pattern.

    If you want to start using patterns, pick a quickie. That way, it won't seem like a long row to hoe. Or, buy an already cut kit.

    Otherwise, continue to enjoy figuring out the puzzles of "how do I do that!?!" It's all good.

  4. #4
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I feel the same way! I was wondering if I am just loosing brain cells. I am working on a pattern now and stuck! Got to boost my brain power to get thru this one.

  5. #5
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I have found books and magazines that have instructions that 'fit my brain". Usually the instructions are clear and concise. The ones that are 'wordy'...they make my brain turn off! I swear sometimes I cannot SEE them! My favorite designers are Terri Atkinson and Judy Martin. My favorite quilt magazine is Quiltmaker. I think sometimes they have their instructions or cutting requirements in a table. Less words works for me!

  6. #6
    Super Member sewmuchmore's Avatar
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    I get overwhelmed also, I want to enjoy quilting so I just do what I like and go from there. The first was ok but the second one was a disaster. I am not letting it go to waste. I am practicing on it with my long arm. But with the help of this board I have made a few that looked pretty good. :thumbup:

  7. #7
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Karen, I get overwhelmed also. I love clear and concise!!
    Many times I will just do a block I like and make the quilt w/o a pattern. I'm more into traditional patterns and then maybe add a little twist if I'm feeling creative :D:D
    Lots of times you can do something extra cool just by the fabrics you choose.

  8. #8
    Dee
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    Super Member Dee's Avatar
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    I look at the pictures and do my own thing. As for me this is easier for me and I like the challenge of doing it myself.

  9. #9

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    I do get overwhelmed when there are lots and lots of different fabrics. I still use the pattern, but I buy as I go. Fortunately, I have a pretty good stash now, and so I don't have to buy much unless it's for a back. Just remember: No rules.

  10. #10
    Super Member MinnieKat's Avatar
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    Are you kidding me??? I can't do anything without a pattern! I think I'm the one that's brain challenged.

  11. #11
    Super Member
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    I'm with you Minnie, I need a pattern too.

  12. #12
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Oh no, not the only one. Sometimes when I see a pattern that starts with - cut 48 2 1/2 inch squares from the light fabric, 36 from the medium fabric, the room starts to spin! I have used an Eleanor Burns pattern from a book, but she is so specific I had no problems. I like the simple patchwork quilts the best, so I usually improvise from public domain squares.

  13. #13
    Bottle Blonde's Avatar
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    I usually start with the pattern and then change it ---- I always do that --- it is a habit I developed when I used to crochet a lot and I just can't seem to help myself. LOL I think I have only followed one pattern all the way and it is a UFO right now. I've made up and improvised almost every project I have done.

    You are not losing brain cells ---- you are developing artistic habits. Have fun with it!

  14. #14
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    I usually look at pictures and then make the pattern (directions) up on graph paper to suit my needs. That's how I did my avatar and I do a LOT of paper piecing and applique that way. I make my dd and my own clothes without a pattern too. To me they're just a waste of time. Every now and then I'll use one but not too often. I use patterns in classes if it's required. I used to be a whiz in math so I thought that maybe that's why I can look at a pattern and know how big to cut the pieces to make it the size I want. I was surprized to find out that there were people that couldn't do this because to me it's just natural.

  15. #15
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I do both.

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Most of mine are my own patterns or my take on theirs :D:D:D

  17. #17
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    I make my own patterns for the most part as I like to create patterns and have fun with the different fabric colors and fabric prints. This way I understand my own directions as some times the purchased patterns are to abbreviated and not easy to fallow. I like to be as original as I can be and some day maybe I will have enough patterns to make a book of patterns.

  18. #18
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    If I like a pattern, I note the squares and then go an make my own pattern. So many patterns give you absurd amounts of fabric. 4.5 yards of this 3.0 yards of that 2 yards of each of three colors. Hey, how many quilts are we making. No one quilt needs 13.5 yards for the top. I end up with all of this extra fabric..so I design and work out my own fabric needs.

  19. #19
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    I use a lot of "techniques" rather than patterns. I have not tried any complex patterns, I prefer to keep things simple.

  20. #20
    Senior Member FranW's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting, I followed patterns to the letter. The longer I've been quilting, the less I have followed patterns. I start out with a pattern, but end up improvising along the way. Hmmm, I guess I am not really answering this question very well. Sorry, whatever works is what's right!

  21. #21
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    That's why I like to buy kits. The fabric is usually coordinated and the pattern is included. I am basically a beginner so I don't want anything that is too confusing. I bought a "raggy rail" kit last week and am so excited that it is almost done and it looks pretty good!!! :) I envy the beautiful quilts I saw this week end at the Sisters Quilt show in Oregon but, am not ready to tackle a huge project.

  22. #22
    Junior Member
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    That's why I like to buy kits. The fabric is usually coordinated and the pattern is included. I am basically a beginner so I don't want anything that is too confusing. I bought a "raggy rail" kit last week and am so excited that it is almost done and it looks pretty good!!! :) I envy the beautiful quilts I saw this week end at the Sisters Quilt show in Oregon but, am not ready to tackle a huge project.

  23. #23
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    I'm with you....I've stopped buying books and patterns because I don't end up following them. I now work out patterns on graph paper that I figure out from a picture. I can't even tell anyone how much fabric I use for a quilt because most of mine are scrappy so yardage isn't an issue.

  24. #24
    Super Member walen's Avatar
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    Most of the time I start with an idea and then go from there. Sometimes the idea comes from a picture of a finished quilt, a single block, or a pattern.

    Honestly, I have never started with a pattern and finished the quilt using that pattern. Somewhere in the quilt pattern I decide I would rather do something else than what the directions say and off I go.

    So...If you don't want to use a pattern, you don't have to, except if you are taking a class. They typically want everyone to do the same thing.

    Classes are great. If you haven't taken a quilt class, you might like to think about trying one just to get into reading and using patterns.

  25. #25
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    I have never used a pattern. Mostly I just wing it. I don't understand most of the directions anyway. By not fallowing a pattern, I just have to guess at the yardage. So I tend to over buy fabric, which is fine by me. I'm not having any problems using up the leftovers.

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