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Creating Blocks without a Plan

Creating Blocks without a Plan

Old 06-03-2014, 01:28 PM
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Default Creating Blocks without a Plan

Answering the question on the Project Process thread made me think about how many things I begin without a plan. Maybe I'm justifying my jumping from project to project because I am learning. But isn't each new block a lesson? Or to see if you enjoy it?

I just learned how to hand make hexes so I made dozens. Same with Dresdens. (I have no plan, may appliqué few tote bags with them.) I never would have guessed I would enjoy hand piecing hexes. Now I love it. (Do not like hand piecing Dresdens)

I'm playing with some HST triangles now (no plan) if I love it I'll continue and make a baby quilt or wall hanging. If I don't like it, it was a learning experience. I use fat quarters that I know I can purchase more if I like the look and method.

I figure I can always turn an experiment into a mug rug.

Do others begin a block just to learn or see how hard it it? (probably why we have BOMs).
Do you always have a plan?

Last edited by heartofwisdom; 06-03-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:39 PM
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I am one of those who has no plan. Most times it eventually works out, but, sometimes I get stumped. I really get dizzy when I see a pattern that says "cut 150 2 inch squares of the light, dark and medium" and so on. Some patterns are really pretty, but, I don't want to put in the effort to actually make them. Then a technique interests me so I do some of that. Sometimes that turns into blocks and sometimes that turns into a quilt. Well, most times, although they are just for me and fun to play with. I quilt mostly for my own pleasure, give or take a baby quilt here and there, so I just enjoy myself. I have a stack of varying size quilts all on the guest bed.
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:37 PM
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I buy a piece of fabric when I like a piece of fabric and it goes into my stash. 1/3rd of the time I buy all the fabric for a quilt top project. But when it come to starting a project, I always start out with a plan or pattern. And almost always change the plan or pattern along the way. I may enlarge or decrease the size, don't want to finish the borders as shown, not have enough fabric to complete the borders, or blocks. I may change one of the blocks b/c I don't like the block, or the way the block goes together, or I figure out a better way. Most of the time I change one or all of the colors in the pattern. I guess I only use the pattern or plan as a starting point or guide. Very rarely do I practice making a test block. I usually think about a project for months or years, before I start working on the project. Then I sew and quilt and start the creative process.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:44 PM
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Oh yeah!! I have lots of "test blocks", some to see how a new technique works. I also have a bunch of mixed blocks in the same color-way from boomerang groups (3 sets total), but not enough blocks in any of the three sets to make a whole quilt.

I have a throw pillow sized cathedral window I made just to test the technique. I love the fabric choices I made and I might (someday) finish it.

I have a bunch of sampler blocks from a free BOM that I never finished because I kept finding errors in the block directions. Someday.

I LOVE making new blocks - which is why I enjoyed the boomerangs so much, and why I'm itching to make a DJ.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:48 PM
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I make blocks at times and if I really don't care for them I donate them and the guild makes quilts with all different blocks. Like a sampler quilt. So they never go to waste!
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:50 PM
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Rarely do I have a plan ~ and I'm okay w that.
The perimeter of my cutting table is cluttered w strips and pieces from various experiments/blocks. Beneath my table are 3 boxes: one for blocks/experiments I like ('yes') and will incorporate into something down the road, one for those I don't like ('no'), and one for those that I'm unsure about ('?').
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:37 PM
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Gotta have a plan. Can you say control freak?
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Terri D. View Post
Gotta have a plan. Can you say control freak?
Me too! I always have a plan/project. But I like your method and you probably learn more by trying many different blocks. I am just not that adventurous yet I guess.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:54 PM
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If I want to try a new technique- my plan revolves around fabric choices. I make a block or blocks that I can turn into throw pillow covers. I pick a season and a room and base fabric choices on that. So unless I just hate it or mess it up I've got something useful, but not a huge investment of time, effort or money.

Last edited by Cybrarian; 06-03-2014 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:08 AM
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My hexies now are blue and white/ cream big and small so hope this will help me combine into a quilt( I love these colours)
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