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Thread: Which comes first - Pattern or Fabric

  1. #1
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    I am in the process of reorganizing my fabric stash and have come across fabric I've had for several years but haven't used.

    Most of my fabrics were purchased because I liked the fabric but didn't have a specific project in mind. When I have a specific project in mind and then "shop" my stash I never seem to have the right fabric and end up buying more.

    I'm thinking that I should first have a project in mind or a specific pattern, and only then should I buy fabric. How do the rest of you handle this?

    Pattern first, then fabric????

  2. #2
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    I always buy material just because I see it, and can't live without it. Then every once in awhile I will find a pattern I like and go through my stash and pick out material to make it. Put the pattern with it and stick it in another stash of make one of these days. There have been times I have actually went back and made one.....

  3. #3
    Super Member Beachbound's Avatar
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    I'm a fabric first girl too. I just love it all...

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Most of the time, I pick the fabric first. I'm more confident that I can locate a pattern than to find the fabric I love if I pass it up.

  5. #5
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Pattern first, then shopping. Trying to reverse that trend and start with fabric!

  6. #6
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My stash is big enough that I should be able to make a quilt a month until 2032. HOWEVER, there is always that bolt of fabric that begs "buy me, please!" OR the occasional project that is missing the perfect border. I do both - as long as I can shop for fabric. lol

  7. #7
    liblueeyes's Avatar
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    I almost never buy fabric just to buy fabric. I have a project in mind first and then go pick fabrics. I use the fabrics I do have from other project leftovers or gifts for scrap quilts.
    Just an opinion.

  8. #8
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Fabric first girl, also!!! I have enough in my stash for lots of quilts but I find it hard to pass up fabric that begs me to buy it.

  9. #9
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I do both. I buy lots of fabric just because it calls to me. Some of it makes it into quilts but most of the time I end up at the fabric store after I find a pattern I like. Then I end up buying more fabric on top of what I need for the quilt. :-D

  10. #10
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    I buy fabric first and yes, I buy fabric just to buy fabric(I'm addicted) and then shop from my stash when I pick out a pattern I want to make. I'm sooooooo proud of myself last weekend I went to LQS with my DM and didn't buy any material. I had a pattern in mind and my own material picked out, but wanted to see if I liked something else better and I didn't. Good for me!!!

  11. #11
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    What else can a person do when a fabric begs to be bought and brought home? I have to listen and bring it home, pattern or not. It will fall into place eventually.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    When I see a pattern I want to make I check my stash first and then shop for fabric if I dont have what I want. Sometimes I buy some fabrics for a project and find that I need another one so check my stash. Fat quarters are very useful for fill in colors for a project.
    Having a stash is a big help.

  13. #13
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    I work in a fabric store. 'nuff said, lol!

    I keep telling myself to either finish what I already have going before buying more fabric, or find a pattern, browse my stash FIRST, and then hit the stores for whatever is missing, but I tend to see a certain fabric and tell myself I love it so much that when I actually find a project that I could use that fabric for (or finish a current one so I have an excuse to start another) there's no way I will be able to find it... so I buy it, lol!


    OR, I buy fabrics that go in a set, and I don't want to use just one of the fabrics from that collection in a project, because they were bought to go together, and the pieces that I bought to go together don't necessarily all 'fit' for the project at hand.

  14. #14
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I am constantly looking for bargin fabrics for the Linus Project. If I happen to find something I like just for me, oh well!. I rarely use a commercial pattern for a quilt. Occasionlly I will see something in a magazine and decide to make it. I collected striped fabrics for a while and another time large floral prints. I also love the Lorieli prints. So much fabric so little time or storage space.

  15. #15
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    For me it's almost always the fabric. I can generally pull enough fabrics that work together out of my stash for almost any quilt.

    Recently I pulled almost enough fat quarters plus borders and bindings for a queen size Orion Star Thangles quilt. I ended up buying three orange fat quarters because they fit into the color range better than what I had on had but that's all I bought and I really didn't have to buy it. I did buy the backing but I found one that goes with the top for 50% off.

  16. #16
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I buy the fabric, then find a pattern to use it with!

  17. #17
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I don't have a large fabric stash for this reason. I pick my pattern and then my fabric. Most of my stash is from my years of sewing clothes, curtains, etc.

  18. #18
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I almost always buy the fabric because I love it and then figure out what to do with it. I can only think of once in the last year off the top of my head that I bought yardage specifically for a particular pattern.

    I saw a fabric just today that I love and I was shopping the fabric as I was designing it in my mind. I kept changing the yardage of different fabrics if I changed the design in my mind. I finally thought... I'm going to stop and not order the fabric until I can get home and do some work in EQ6 to at least get a few design ideas where I can see them first! Then I'll get that fabric. But still, the fabric came first and then the ideas to use it.

  19. #19
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Saw BEAUTIFUL fabric today at LQS that called mt name and begged me to buy it but I said no. Not that I wouldn't love it BUT I just bought my husband's present for me for Valentine's day and my birhday which are 5 days apart. It was purple and had a lovely coordinating green side by side but I still left without it. Hubby doesn't know about the present for me , yet. :mrgreen:

  20. #20
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I do both equally. I will see a fabric and not only will I buy it right then and there but usually get a couple more that will look nice with it in a quilt. Other times I will pick a pattern out of my ever increaseing "Someday I want to make that list" and head off to the LQS with yardage requirements in hand (usually do that on the big sale days). Then there is always the fat quarter or something I see at a quilt show that I simply can't live without. Oh and there is always room in the stash for blenders or neutral background colors, better get 3 or 4 yards just to be on the safe side. :lol:

  21. #21
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Always pattern first for me.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ladygen's Avatar
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    Almost always pattern first for me. I shop the racks waiting for that perfect fabric to jump out at me, and it often doesn't... because I like them all! If I have a pattern in mind, I can almost always find everything I want to make the entire quilt, and I get it then and there.

    There are a few pieces that I have, though, that I loved and bought. They've all been pieces that I know go with other things I have, or have a (semi) idea in my mind for.. never JUST because I love it, but have no idea what to do with it.

  23. #23
    Super Member Dragonfly Nana's Avatar
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    Most of the time it is pattern first but if a fabric talks (or screams) at me, I will buy and then hunt down an appropriate pattern to show it off.

  24. #24
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    Pattern first for me but thats because I have not built a huge fabric store stash like some of you guys have yet. But I did make my last quilt out of my stash and it felt really great!

    But I love buying fabric just to buy it thinking I can find something to use it for later.

    Billy

  25. #25
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I use to be fabric first. But found I really am accumlating a lot of fabric and not sure where I will use it. So now I think project first, doesn't mean it will get done right away, but started making more sense after 28 years of collecting fabric.

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