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Thread: how to I break my quilting block?

  1. #1
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    how to I break my quilting block?

    My problem is I get quilters paralyzis when it comes to cutting out a new project. As long as the fabric is whole, it has the possibility of so much but once I cut it...maybe another pattern will show up tomorrow that would have been perfect for it. So I collect and fondle my fabric and dream quilty things. Arrange it into piles that might go together, then change my mind.

    Another problem I have is matching fabrics. I can match 2-3 fabrics ok, but then usually I don't have enough of the fabric so I have to find more fabric to go with the project and when I finally put my blocks together I wonder what I was thinking.

    I have a huge stash that I bought on various sales and yard sales where I didn't buy coordinating fabrics or I have ~1/4 yard pieces. I go to my sewing room with great expectations then after 20 minutes of look at fabric I give up.

    It's so annoying. I have time to sew now but can't get started.

    What do you do when you have this problem?

  2. #2
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a problem committing to a decision.

  3. #3
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I have 2-3 pieces of fabric that I won't use until I find the perfect project. The rest get used. Have you thought about doing a sampler with a little bit of a bunch of different fabrics. I would use a solid white like kona and make a bunch of 6.5 inch blocks(all different and each block with a different fabric). You should have enough of each to do a lot of blocks.

  4. #4
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    You should start picturing someone else wacking away with a pair of scissor at your beautiful stash. If you don't use it, someone else after you is going to. Find a pattern that excite you and go for it! So what if you totally screw it up, it's just fabric. Finish it up and donate it to a worthy cause and start again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Group your fabrics by color and do something scrappy. The first Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt I did required a bunch of string pieced blocks with neutral backgrounds. I had a collection of shirting FQs sitting in a container for years and I was very hesitant to cut them up. I finally asked myself "WHAT am I saving them for?" and started cutting away. It was very liberating. Nothing is safe in the stash now, and I often buy 1/4 or 1/3 yard pieces just to expand a particular color.
    Laura

  6. #6
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I ponder this all the time but if I keep waiting I'll never acomplish anything so I just jump right in. There will be more beautiful fabric to play with tomorrow and other patterns to play with too. Have fun. It's quilting not brain surgery.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  7. #7
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    I used to have the same problem, then I realized that I would never work on anything if I didn't just force myself to use the fabrics I liked. Try a mini quilt maybe.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rush88888's Avatar
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    what is the worst-case scenario? after you answer that, answer this: what is the worst-case scenario? keep answering this question until you can't. THEN you can cut your fabric!
    "perfection is the enemy of done."
    "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do."

  9. #9
    Super Member Moonglow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rush88888 View Post
    what is the worst-case scenario? after you answer that, answer this: what is the worst-case scenario? keep answering this question until you can't. THEN you can cut your fabric!

    Great advice. Applies to most things in life.

  10. #10
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I always buy FQ bundles and a few yards of a couple of the fabrics I like the best or a jelly roll or layer cake and a few yards of the fabric I like the best so I know I can find a pattern to make. The extra yardage is for sashing and borders. But I do have rubbermaid tubs full of FQs that match 3 or 4 of each other and I, too, don't know what to do with them. I've never made a scrappy quilt before and I really want to so I just might do that with all of them.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  11. #11
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Ah....paralysis by over-analysis...ask me how I know.....Time to throw caution to the wind and JUST DO IT. Maybe a scrap or crazy quilt might just be what you need to get you on your way.

  12. #12
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    Don't over-think fabric choices. Pick a few and go for it. Quilting should be a time for creativity. I just went shopping on ebay for quilt tops. Wow, some of those fabric choices were absolutely awful but that didn't stop those quilters. Have fun with it.

  13. #13
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    All my quilts are made for charity. I just finished a big clean on my sewing room, I donated all my strings and scraps to a new charity quilter on freecycle. I gave her 6 computer boxes full of stuff because I was so tired of doing scrappy and wanted to focus on planned few fabric quilts. I posted about my scrappy adventures here: http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...ml#post4907571

    I had a huge stack of 6", 8" and 12" strip blocks leftover from what I made last year. I put them up for adoption at one of my sewing dates. A few people took some to play with. I was completely amazed with what they came back with.

    Now I remember about 4 yrs ago, I borrowed a friends accuquilt Go and her strip die and cut a huge amount of my fabric into 2.5" strips and made probably 20 quilts in different variations. I also cut a lot into 5" strips and made scrappy 4 and 9 patches.

    I guess I'm just more comfortable with wild scrappy with 1 fabric to pull it all together. Guess I need to cut down my small pieces again and go for it.

    I guess the worse that will happen is that during show and tell when I turn in my quilts for distribution I won't get many oohs and aahs. I feel I've done a good job when, after I finish it , I don't want to give it to anyone.

    After I leave this world my dh has been instructed to contact my quilting group and donate all my stuff to them. So I know that it wil be used by someone for the same purpose.
    Last edited by charity-crafter; 02-10-2013 at 04:20 AM.

  14. #14
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I have a problem with mixing colors too. Cutting up my stash was made easier when I made the Farmer's Wife sampler quilt. I was able to cut what I needed from pieces of my stash. To me, it wasn't like cutting up an entire piece, I was just "snacking", not eating the whole thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by charity-crafter View Post
    My problem is I get quilters paralyzis when it comes to cutting out a new project. As long as the fabric is whole, it has the possibility of so much but once I cut it...maybe another pattern will show up tomorrow that would have been perfect for it. So I collect and fondle my fabric and dream quilty things. Arrange it into piles that might go together, then change my mind.

    Another problem I have is matching fabrics. I can match 2-3 fabrics ok, but then usually I don't have enough of the fabric so I have to find more fabric to go with the project and when I finally put my blocks together I wonder what I was thinking.

    I have a huge stash that I bought on various sales and yard sales where I didn't buy coordinating fabrics or I have ~1/4 yard pieces. I go to my sewing room with great expectations then after 20 minutes of look at fabric I give up.

    It's so annoying. I have time to sew now but can't get started.

    What do you do when you have this problem?
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  15. #15
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    ha, I like that phrase. been there. usually when my space is too clean.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  16. #16
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    Find one of your fabrics that you like but don't love. Tell yourself this one is for practice. Pick a new technique to try, maybe a disappearing 4 block, tube quilt or ten minute block. Pick out some coordinating fabrics. Play around, remind yourself it's just practice. Now, what can you make from your practice pieces? Placemats, a comfort quilt, sewing machine cover? I'm keeping track of how much fabric I'm using up because I want to free up some breathing space. This is helping me. It can't be that important if it's just practice.

  17. #17
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I have been making quilts for longer than I want to say and it still happens to me a lot.I have some beauties that I hang on to that I just can not cut.Just pick a few that look good together and dig in-it should be fun.start with a lap quilt and after you get 1 done maybe you will be happy to cut more fabric.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  18. #18
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    I like to sit down with my books and magazines, then when I run onto something I absolutely love I start looking for fabrics in my stash that are close to their colors. If I don't have every color I just substitute in the same color family.

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