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Thread: Which way to go fabric first or pattern

  1. #1
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    Which way to go fabric first or pattern

    Hi

    wondering which way to go look for fabric then pattern of pattern then fabric, sometime it just come to you but other times I'm not sure which way I should do it.

    Lyn

  2. #2
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    I usually find the pattern first and the fabric follows - but I do buy a lot of fabric just because I like it, and no idea what I am going to do with it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I think either way works....of course....but I tend to select fabric and then go looking for a pattern online. If I can't get inspired that way, I just reverse it. Not much help, am I?

    Dina

  4. #4
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    It really depends. Sometimes I find a fascinating pattern and then buy or find fabric to enhance it. Other times I get a fabric set I like and look for a pattern that will set it off well. My favorite is to design my own patterns, but even then sometimes I have the fabric first and others I go searching for the right fabrics.

  5. #5
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I've collected fabric for years before I started quilting. So mostly I have the fabric and figure out what to do with it.

    Of course I see quilts I like and then put fabrics into the design and discover I need one or more fabrics I don't have. So it does go both ways.

  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Both equally.

    Jan in VA
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  7. #7
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    Like others have said - both! I love to collect quilt books (especially love Kim Diehl's) - so many quilt patterns I want to make! But whenever I'm out & about I find fabric I just have to have and usually don't have a pattern. THAT's my problem - I end up buying so much fabric because I'm afraid I won't have enough & it will no longer be available once I decide on a pattern!
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  8. #8
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyn Hut View Post
    Hi

    wondering which way to go look for fabric then pattern of pattern then fabric, sometime it just come to you but other times I'm not sure which way I should do it.

    Lyn

    More often than not, I see fabric I must have---------------then figure what design I want to use. But then there are special patterns like STORM AT SEA that I spent months looking for just the right fabric--------------and I've still not started on it.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  9. #9
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    Either way works. I often have the fabric before I choose the pattern to use. But if I see a panel for a baby quilt, that may just be the quilt. I add borders and backing, which sometimes are purchased with the panel, but often, I know I have something at home that will work.

  10. #10
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    I usually find a pattern first, then get the fabric. I really don't have room for a stash and am terrified that after spending all that money on fabric 'just because' that my tastes will change and I'll not use it. I have a bit of a stash from left overs from projects but that's about it. It works for me.

  11. #11
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    If I actually want to get something made, then need to have a pattern first. If I just buy fabric I like, it will take me forever to come up with the perfect project, and then find all the other fabrics that I'll need to "fill in". A pattern, shop for fabric and I'll be in business right away.

  12. #12
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    I do both. sometimes I fall in love with a fabric....so have to buy it. right now, i'm trying to work on stash reduction......

  13. #13
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have a rather large stash, so i tend to choose a pattern to use these with. however, if i see an interesting pattern, i may buy fabric for it.
    Nancy in western NY
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  14. #14
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    My stash is composed of fabric left over from projects I've done with a few estate finds and 'gotta have it' pieces. It's not a huge stash. I think I always choose a pattern first. Then I go to my stash to see if anything will work. Most of the time the amount of fabric I have isn't large enough for a full quilt so I either have to start thinking of ways to use that up or take a trip to the LQS. It works for me.

    Right now I'm making 2 twin sized quilts from my UFO pile. The blocks were from a class I did years ago and most of the fabric for sashing and borders came from my stash. I only had to buy a couple more coordinating fabrics and it will come together nicely. I'll have 2 quilts for very little $$$ outlay...... Again, works for me!!

  15. #15
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Whatever catches my eye and I HAVE to have it, whether a pattern or fabrics

  16. #16
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    I find that if I buy the fabric first, I never have enough to make the quilt that catches my eye. Another problem I have is if I get the fabric first because I just love it, I don't want to cut it and it just sits there in my stash. Quirky I know.
    Sue

  17. #17
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    I've never gone to a fabric store & purchased fabric for a quilt pattern totally. I have nearly 40 years accumulation of fabrics & scraps, though. I figure out what block or pattern I want for a purpose (I've made dozens and dozens of quilts from baby to king size, so lots of scraps), and use what I have from my stash, and occasionally will pick up a bit to supplement. Made a quilt for my boss that I found the PERFECT feature fabric for (mainly used in the border and a little in small bits in blocks), and a couple of fat quarters that I had to have for it, but 90% of what went into the quilt was my fabric. The cool thing was I used fabrics from the 50's and every decade to current in it. It was basically an "I Spy" for an adult. I always pick up fabric that catches my eye when I see it, and if its a "I've gotta HAVE this" reaction, then I get a few yards of it. I've found I'll never find it again if I don't. I love scrappies, so my method works for me. I've got 80's florals that I still use for backing quilts and cut into small pieces for the front. I also subscribe to the Bonnie Hunter ideas: 1) if you don't like the fabric or it seems 'ugly' to you, you haven't cut it small enough, and 2) you can always use the back side, too. I've done both as I don't like wasting fabric.

  18. #18
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    I find that sometimes if I have a pattern first I tend to buy more fabric than I need. I keep finding fabrics that will work and before I know it I have spent way more money than I needed to. I guess I like to have choices, but then I tell myself that I'm just building stash. Isn't that the way it works? I'm hoping that once I have a decent size stash, I'll be able to shop from my stash and buy only what I need. I also buy fabric that I just love with no pattern in mind and will then buy coordinating fabric. Of course I have only been quilting for a few years and have been bitten by the fabric buying bug! But to answer your question, I do it both ways.

  19. #19
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    I am much more comfortable picking a pattern/design first and selecting fabrics to go with the pattern. This feels like a much easier process for me than the other way around. That said, I do "occasionally" buy fabrics because I love them and or have a pattern in mind and I do 'try' to put said pattern with fabric before I forget. And yes, I have some in my stash that i wonder what in the world was i thinking ... lol.

  20. #20
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    I usually go for the pattern 1st. Then my color's. But, this time, I got the ideal for a dble wedding ring, and started right in, cutting out the pieces. I have all of the pieces to sew around the center, already done. In fact, I'll pin all of the pieces to make 2 rows this evening.

  21. #21
    Senior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    I have picked patterns first and then fabric, but I made a purchase from CT a couple of months ago ( 6 different 1 yard cuts of the 'soaked' line they had) that I really don't know what to do with. I bought it to make a quilt for my niece for her graduation...next year 2014! Thinking ahead. Anyway, I figure I have a little time still to find a pattern that will go good with the fabrics, but it's something I really want to work on now. Never mind that I have 2 quilts sandwiched and ready for quilting and some bright fabrics for a kids quilt with the warm wishes pattern and then my secret santa sent me some fabric at xmas that I finally decided on 2 other colors to go with, but can't think of a pattern I want to use yet....Pattern 1st, definitely. Too much indecision with fabrics first, plus the worry of do I have enough fabric to make the pattern I might chose later???? I hope this help. LOL

  22. #22
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    Thank you everyone, it looks like we moslty do the same thing in different degrees.

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