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Thread: how do you know which pattern to use

  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    We all do the light and dark for contrast but you also need a PUNCH color to make the quilt stand out.

  10. #10
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    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.

  11. #11
    RoxanneS's Avatar
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    Sometimes I am given fat quarters and whole cloth to work with, a wished pattern stated....sometimes a quilt pattern will be remembered, and a beautiful quilt will result.
    I do both...start with fabric.........start with a pattern. I learned originally to start with a pattern first with a DVD. Some friends talked about colors, which I purchased. Then, I worked with fabric, and looked at patterns. I prefer to find the pattern first, the find the fabric. Both methods have produced great quilts. There is no "right" way.

  12. #12
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I find patterns, then fabric. i LOVE the disappearing nine patch...it is an easy one for beginners and has so many combinations of fabric that you can do!

  13. #13
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliaslaceygreen
    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!
    I have to agree with this. Sometimes while I am browsing the fabric at any place I can, (much to DH sorrow), I have to have some fabric-be it color, design, feel....and sometimes as stated above...I wake up in the middle of the night beacuase a pattern has popped into my dreams and then the search begins for the perfect fabric for it. Welcome and just remember which ever way you do it...it will be perfectly fine.

  14. #14
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I buy the fabric then worry about a pattern later. Generally the fabric just goes into my stash to be used at a later date.

  15. #15
    Pam
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    I, too, buy fabric and save it, then I go and buy some more! Then I just need one more color. I love the fabric, yes indeedy-do.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I do both!

  17. #17
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    Normally fabric first, then many time might need 1 more color, don't always have a specified pattern in mind, but do have favorites. Good Luck and Welcome Enjoy !!

  18. #18
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    There is no right or wrong way to choose.

    I do both.

  19. #19
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam
    I, too, buy fabric and save it, then I go and buy some more! Then I just need one more color. I love the fabric, yes indeedy-do.
    Gosh, you sound like me. I buy, buy some more and then add something else to go. Then I find a pattern to use it in!!!

  20. #20
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    Mostly I start with a pattern and then buy the fabric. There have been a few times when I started with the material.

  21. #21
    DJ
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    Yes!

  22. #22
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    I like to have a pattern in mind and then go get the fabric. When I first got into quilting, I went to www.quilterscache.com and selected several EASY 12" block patterns. I got some new fabric and used some that I already had from other projects. Then I made a sampler of those blocks. I make 2 blocks from each pattern but used different fabrics for the 2 blocks. Then I could really SEE the difference on using lights and darks, etc. Love my sampler quilt.

  23. #23
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I almost always have fabric on hand so when I find a pattern I like I "shop" at home. I have been quilting long enough, and buying fabric long enough, that at this point I may have to buy fabric for the border or something like that. I very rarely buy they show in the pattern because it is usually new that year or season and most likely won't be on sale.

  24. #24
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Funny thing about me. It kind of happens at the same time. I start thinking of a pattern and immediately think of some fabrics for it. Sometimes they stay the same and others, it might evolve to something slightly different.

  25. #25
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I usually find a pattern first. But I have lots of fabric I bought because I loved it so I need to find patterns for those.

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