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Thread: Starting a quilt?

  1. #1
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    Starting a quilt?

    I was just wondering, being a newbie how each of you begin a new quilt. Do you first pick out material then pattern or pattern first than material ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I pick out the pattern first and then shop for the material.

  3. #3
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    For me it depends, but I usually start with a fabric or fabrics I love, and find a pattern to use them in. Just a note though...I have accumulated quite a stash of fabrics this way!
    Wendy

  4. #4
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    I usually have fabrics in mind but purchase a pattern first, so I'll know how much fabric I need to buy, whether I need small, med. or large prints, tone on tones ect.

  5. #5
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    It depends. If I find fabric I really love, especially if it's perfect for someone in particular, I'll buy it and then look for a pattern. Other times if I fall in love with a pattern, I'll buy it and put it at the bottom of my to-do list. There are sooo many quilts I want to make.

  6. #6
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Both ways - sometimes I see fabric I love and then search for a pattern that suits, and sometimes I see a color combination in a quilt on Google that I absolutely have to make. I'm really bad at color and usually end up with a muddy look if I don't stick with ideas from others.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    most of the time, i start with the pattern and look for the fabric. but some fabrics are special and i find a pattern to go with it.
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I pick out the fabric first...I change me mind all the time on what I will do with them....patterns...the fabric will speak to you...Have fun. never stress over it...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by azwendyg View Post
    For me it depends, but I usually start with a fabric or fabrics I love, and find a pattern to use them in. Just a note though...I have accumulated quite a stash of fabrics this way!
    This is my approach too - and like Wendy - it leads to an enormous stash

  10. #10
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I almost always start with the pattern. Otherwise, how would you know how much fabric you need. I've heard about people starting a quilt and running out of fabric with only a few blocks to go. I usually buy extra and now I have a pretty good stash.... for scrapy quilts and baby quilts they work fine.

  11. #11
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    For a beginner, start with a pattern so you know how much fabric you need and the colors and patterns of the fabrics that go togather.
    Also go with a Quilt In A Day pattern. Eleanor Burns is the perfect teacher for beginners. She pays attention to the details like which way to iron the seams.

  12. #12
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I've done it both ways. I have collections of fabrics that'll go into one quilt when I find the right pattern for them. I don't worry about running out of fabric though. The amount of fabric in the collection determines how big the quilt will be. The fabric first approach tends to require math though.

    It's also nice to have somebody else figure out how much fabric a pattern is going to take and just be able to go to my stash and pull fabrics.

  13. #13
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    For me, I pick pattern first and then fabrics. Then again, I don't maintain a stash either. I purchase for projects. I do over-buy a bit and will keep the left overs for 'stash' but that's it. Just don't have the room to do anything different.

  14. #14
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    When I was a newbie I would pick out the pattern before the fabric. I didn't want to build a stash so I only got enough fabric to complete each project. Now it can go either way since I do stash a little. Usually its pattern before fabric, but I've had a couple times where the fabric had dictated the pattern. Sometimes I'll have an idea like "I want to create something with a lot of blue in it" or "I want a lot of Asian prints", but not know what kind of quilt it will turn into. I had green strips that were left over pieces from a quilt and they were going to border that quilt, but I never finished the quilt and one day while organizing the stash I happened to lay some pink batiks I had near the strips...now I'm collecting pink fabrics to one day make a green and pink Railroad quilt. So it can go either way, but I would say the majority of my ideas have been pattern first then fabrics.
    I am my own worst quilting police...but sometimes I let myself off with just a warning.

  15. #15
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    If I am making a quilt to give to someone I don't know, I start with the fabric, usually from my stash. Never use patterns (except ones I make, as for a landscape quilt, or the dragon I'm doing now). I start most of my quilts by thinking about the person to whom it will go. I buy fabric because I really like it, because it makes me think of someone for whom a quilt is due, because I need it (as in little boy fabric with neat pictures for a new baby), or because it will be good to fill out a quilt I've begun. Right now I am amassing fabrics for a wedding quilt which will be, somehow, an ocean scene. I always start with my stash because these are fabrics that I really like (well, a few because they were on sale and are tones I "know" I will use). Yes, I do have a lot of smaller pieces in my stash because I overbuy (to be sure I have enough) but as time goes by they tend to get used. I have to bring myself to do a scrap quilt!

  16. #16
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    I have a wonderful stash. Often the fabric will jump out and speak to me.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
    I choose to give my life away for things that last forever

  17. #17
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathbug View Post
    I was just wondering, being a newbie how each of you begin a new quilt. Do you first pick out material then pattern or pattern first than material ?
    Sometimes pattern first-----------sometimes fabric first. I'm a sucker for fabric----------sometimes it just follows me home.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  18. #18
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Sometimes I start with a pattern, sometimes with the fabric. Sometimes I buy fabric, for a specific pattern, then change my mind and use it for something different. That gives me an "excuse" to go get more fabric!
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  19. #19
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    For the Storm at Sea, which has never been started, I decided I needed a SAS and then looked for fabric. Since I love paisley I found a blue with black paisley, then a white on white paisley and searched for a medium blue paisley. Lost cause. Can't find anything I really love. So the dark is going to be black with blue and white (you have to look closely to see it's black), the blue/black will be the medium and the white tonal the white of course.

    I LOVE paisley, but to me the paisley also looks like waves swelling and foam swirling. I can't think of any other pattern I'd HUNT that hard for. Well, maybe the Carpenter's Wheel---------I want bricky red, woody golden tan, and then a beige tonal. I've not put a lot of work into finding these pieces yet.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  20. #20
    Senior Member batikmystique's Avatar
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    Usually the pattern first, but like everyone else if I see fabric that I like then I buy at least 1/2 to 1 yard. If I just absolutely LOVE it and might use it as the focal fabric in a quilt then I might buy up to 5 yards. If you are really struggling, then opt to buy a kit that already has the coordinating fabric and in the correct amounts. I made a wall quilt from a kit when I was a new quilter and it was so nice to not fret over the fabric...I just put all of my energy into making it! :-)
    Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.

  21. #21
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    First I design the pattern, then I buy the fabric.

  22. #22
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    I learned something w/ my current project - buy fabrics locally so that I can try out fabrics in the blocks, then go buy the full yardage. I went thru about 10 revisions before I came on the final combination....sigh!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teddysmom View Post
    I pick out the pattern first and then shop for the material.
    Yes because if you don't have a pattern you may not buy enough of a fabric you may want to use
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  24. #24
    Senior Member YukonViv's Avatar
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    I feel like I was a beginner only a short while ago so I can remember! I started with a pattern, then looked for the fabric. After 3 years now I am finally at the point where I have stash that I can start with and then find the pattern. So now that's what I do, I collect fat quarters and work from there.
    Vivian
    Yukon Territory, Canada
    www.quiltingunderthemidnightsun.blogspot.ca

  25. #25
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    Sometimes the pattern first, but usually the fabric, and then follow up with a pattern.
    Theressa
    Cowgirlquilter

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