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Thread: How do you make a beautiful quilt?

  1. #1
    Junior Member stephaniequeen's Avatar
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    My quilts never look as good as everyone else. What am I doing wrong? They lack something. Is it the pattern choice...is it the fabric choices... what is the secret to making a beautiful quilt? :-( :-( :-(

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hattie Frances's Avatar
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    I admire your tenacity, keep working on it. I have only done one complete quilt, I admit it didn't look to bad but the stippling was not good. I have several started and in different stages, but no completion. All I can say is keep working at it and your hard work will pay off.

  3. #3
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Well, you should post some pictures....i looked back through your posts. You've only posted 2 pictures, one for your gd, and your "ugly quilt", both of which I find charming. How many have you done? How do you chose pattern, fabric, colors????

  4. #4
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Personally, I think fabric choice can make or break a quilt. It is also the most difficult part for me. Getting great fabrics and practice will make each quilt you create better.

    BTW, I really liked your butterfly quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    Your own quilt will never look good to you but others will love it I think you are lot like me My stuff never looks goos enough to me I always love everyone elses work It is so much better than mine but other people always rave over my quilts They must see something I am missing I have only seen I quilt I thought was bad that I didnt do

  6. #6
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    Loosen up, try something you're not sure of just because it seems like a fun idea. Have fun!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Go to some quilt shows ... see what attracts you to certain quilts. I know attending a few national shows really shoved me into be more adventuresome with colors... that was the one thing I walked away from every show ... the colors were just so fabulous. So every time I found myself navigating back to my comfort zone... I had to make a very conscience effort to go against my norm.
    If you examine what captures you about a certain quilt(s) you will know what you want to work on to improve.

  8. #8
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Your eye gets so used to see the combination of colors and the patterns and they don't seem pretty anymore. Take a break from it and your perception may change.

  9. #9
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I looked at the quilts you posted here and I think they look great. Sometimes we are to hard on ourselves. Maybe if you buy a kit you would feel happier with the results? Confidence its a tough one that we all have struggled with. Honestly from what I've seen of your pictures you got what it is your looking for.

  10. #10
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i haven't seen your work so i'll just mention a common mistake with beginner quilters and its fabric pattern scale.

    some beginner quilters get caught up in all the beautiful prints on the market and put them all together in one quilt.

    when working with prints its best to have large or medium size prints with small prints and blender/solid fabric.

    this allows for your eyes to rest on those sections and see an overall design instead of getting lost in a sea of prints.

  11. #11
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    There are some websites that let you look at how colors look together. There is one that shows you all the colors in a picture. Find a focus fabric and use coordinating fabrics from the little colored circles in the selvage. Ask for help picking colors in your LQS- or here! I hope this helps, keep at it. I had no idea how to choose colors for a quilt when I first started about fifteen years ago. Now I am really into scrappy quilts and buy what pleases me.

  12. #12
    Faren's Avatar
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    How do I make a beautiful quilt? With Love. Of course, that answer popped out before I actually read your post, but I think it still might apply. I saw you made one for your gd, didn't you make that one with love? Thinking about how much you love her and wanting her to feel that love every time she wraps up with it? That is the way I make quilts(and with their tastes in mind, of course!)and I think they can see the love sewn into their quilts so they see the quilt through love colored glasses, they don't really see the mistakes. So, that is the way I try to look at my quilts. They instantly become prettier. Sorry this got so long, sorry for the run on sentence too!

    Also, I just finished my second quilt and find using collections of fabric that are already color coordinated is one less thing I can mess up.

  13. #13
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    I think it depends on how you define beautiful. Not everyone would agree on what is beautiful. Even quilts that take the top prize at quilt shows will be appreciated by everyone; and, some quilts will be absolutely adored by a few that are considered tacky by others. You really need to know what you yourself consider to be a beautiful quilt, what you consider to be very ordinary and what you really wouldn't want to see in your home.

  14. #14
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    Do what you like. "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!!"

  15. #15
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i bet your quilts are just as beautiful as anyone elses= we tend to be too critical of our own work!
    i have a couple quilts---i do not like- am horribly unhappy with---that other people just *gush* over...one i have been so tempted to just cut up-and do something different with- but everyone that sees it---loves that quilt! i don't get it- but i'm not brave enough to cut it up- they see something i do not.
    don't be so hard on yourself-
    show us some pictures- if there really is a problem- need a color fix or something we can help you figure that out if it's really there- and if it's not-maybe we can get you past that --mines not as good as yours---thing going on in your head

  16. #16
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    I wonder if the quilter who made the quilt that we all think is beautiful, and compare our own work to, thinks the work is wonderful. I think we are all our own worse critics. If everyone else thinks our work is beautiful, who are we to argue with them. As for me, when someone is complimenting something I have done, my mind is saying, they are just saying that, I know where all the flaws are.
    Sue

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephaniequeen
    My quilts never look as good as everyone else. What am I doing wrong? They lack something. Is it the pattern choice...is it the fabric choices... what is the secret to making a beautiful quilt? :-( :-( :-(
    I just had a look at your "ugly quilt' and I thought it was beautiful :)

  18. #18
    Senior Member It'sJustMe's Avatar
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    I looked at both quilt tops you posted pics of and do not see ugly quilts at all. When you look at your work are you seeing only what you could have done differently or 'better'? Guess that's something many of us do.

  19. #19
    Super Member Carrie Jo's Avatar
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    I always feel the same. But I think we might be alittle hard on our selves. Iam sure what you make is every bit as beautiful as what everyone else does.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Cheri_J's Avatar
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    You have to create what you will enjoy. I see some fantastic and beautiful quilts, but when I ask myself "would I enjoy that pattern?" and the answer is No, then I become the admirer. Also, I know that I have a little trouble with that color wheel thing. You can't compare your quilts and creativity with everyone else because you are unique and an individual. You have to be happy with you create. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we all have our own style - the important thing is: Have fun.

  21. #21
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    I believe color choice is everything. Pay attention to value change, a quilt must have light, medium & dark to be effective.

    I was taught over 45 years ago, before all the fancy gadgets and fabrics were not out there.

    Simply learn the color wheel and it's principles. There is alot of info on the web about color theory.

    here is a link to a good explanation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_theory

    I first select my theme fabric, from there I select 2 colors, and working the value scale, find colors that will work. Background colors of white, neutral or black do not count as colors, they are the canvas that you work from.

    I have always found this method the easiest, as the fabric designer has already done the hard work. They have created the color pallet.

    If I am not sure of a color and if it will work, I make a sample block, and use mirrors to multiply it and see if the effect I am looking for is there. At this point if I don't like it, I've only wasted a small amount of time & fabric.

    Hope this helps.

  22. #22
    Super Member Deborah12687's Avatar
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    It might be crazy but I scan the fabrics that I want to use in a quilt and then print of the picture of the fabrics I want to use and cut the paper into the desired blocks. That way I am not wasting the fabric on a sample block.

  23. #23
    Senior Member lileth1374's Avatar
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    In my opinion, I think all quilts are beautiful. :D

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    Go to some quilt shows ... see what attracts you to certain quilts. I know attending a few national shows really shoved me into be more adventuresome with colors... that was the one thing I walked away from every show ... the colors were just so fabulous. So every time I found myself navigating back to my comfort zone... I had to make a very conscience effort to go against my norm.
    If you examine what captures you about a certain quilt(s) you will know what you want to work on to improve.
    I agree with this advise. Examine, also, the quilts that are just so, so, what makes them (to you) not as attractive as others. You will learn a lot about what you really like in a quilt.

  25. #25
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    In most of the quilts that I really like, there is one 'pa-dow' fabric. The one that says 'look at me!' When you find that one fabric that you absolutely love, work off that and coordinate your other fabrics to that.

    It would be nice if you appreciate your own work. That may come with time. There are some quilts that I've made that I'm not quite fond of. But then again, once given, I usually don't lay my eyes on them much. If the recipient enjoys your quilts, that's good too!

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