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How do you Decide on Fabric then piece, and then quilt a pattern? What's your M.O.?

Last night I was able to sew for about an hour, I actually got 3 rows of sashing attached to the Sitting Pretty quilt top.

I'm liking this quilt top as it's coming together! I got to thinking about how this quilt top came to be and decided well, maybe my way is somewhat Whacky!

I either buy a kit or purchase the pattern. IF I purchase the pattern, it sits, I look at it, think about it, then pick material out of my stash (if I have enough) let it sit for a week or so, and then start the process - cutting, etc.

I normally do not have enough material to completely finish the quilt, so I have to run to the LQS to purchase material to complete the top!

I think this whole process of mine is out of whack!

The kits of course are much easier, it's all usually there with the exception of the backing.

My friend who also quilts will not purchase a KIT, she loves the whole process of finding material that works, etc. She does material then the pattern, then the material again.

I of course will in a heart beat purchase a quilt kit, as all the hardwork is done....I'm thinking I don't have enough faith in my ability to put colors together............hum

I'm just curious as to how others work when it comes to a top!


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Comment by Gigi2Landon on January 13, 2009 at 11:37am
I'm trying not to have too many projects going at one time. I'm trying to plan what I will work on otherwise I think everything will overwhelm me and I won't do anything! All of the responses are good ones. Each makes me feel more normal!!!!!!! LOL

The beauty of quilting is there aren't really any rules!

I don't have a huge stash either. I always keep creams, neutrals, etc. I do this on purpose as I believe for me, a lot of fabric will cause me to NOT do anything........too much of a good thing!

I've just about gotten the Sitting Pretty together, my colors are nothing like the pattern! Maybe that's what I'm trying too hard to do is keep up with the pattern?

Anyway, all of the responses make me feel Normal! LOL Thanks for the positive feedback.

I'm going to check into the software package!

I don't like not being able to respond to each comment individually either!
Comment by Long on January 13, 2009 at 9:59am
Good Question! I usually have my favorite projects in mind. Once I see something I want to make I mark it somehow, download a picture, slip a piece of paper in the mag/book, etc. In the case of the little Connecting Threads purse pattern (it was free!) I HAD to make that. Then it was so much fun.... I assembled stacks of coordinated fabrics to make eight (yep 8!) more. I recognize I am an optimist so I'll probably make two or three more! I intend to enlarge the pattern for maybe a book bag to take to the library. I usually carry too many things for such a tiny bag, but it is hanging on a door knob now and I just look at it as I pass by.

Pulling all the various fabrics is the biggest hurdle. I usually cut off a piece the right size if I know it will only take one or two pieces of that fabric. Hopefully, I refold and replace the fabric back on the shelves. When I have the pieces ready, templates cut or strip pieces cut and subcut, labeled or bagged for easy reference THEN I can begin to piece and sew. After ironing when needed, squaring up, etc. then it is on the floor they go in the correct order.

I use a flannel or batt covered board to take them to the machine as I don't trust myself to remember!!! I have done too many twists and turns in those few steps. I don't have a design wall YET, no room. I consciously get up and down, walk, go downstairs, etc...because I like to eat and I need to move!

I take pictures of my project at different stages, download them and of course delete the fuzzy ones. Boy, just realized how much work a quilt is. I checked out the Lost Quilts page a while ago...not good. That is what I do, tweak my procedure as I become aware of new tips. Always open to suggestions, but sometimes I love to toss the rules out the window...and just create. Never done a kit, but I'm tempted!
Comment by Barbara Graham on January 13, 2009 at 9:47am
I tend to work in spurts and start and stop a lot. I usually have several projects in various stages. My best friend, another quilter, starts at the beginning and goes until it's done. I don't like the idea of having one of my quilts look like another so I don't do the kits. I buy fabric I like and keep it until I need it--of course, I never have the right amount and have to make adjustments. I have noticed that fabric companies don't always produce good fabrics in all colors each time--some years seem great for greens for instance. Luckily it doesn't go bad.
When I'm actually designing, if I have pattern I really want to do--I drag out fabric, audtioning it. If I have a fabric I really want to use, I pick some that look right with it and then look at block or quilt patterns until I find one I like. Sometimes it's great--sometimes it not--it's still fun.
Comment by Donna on January 13, 2009 at 9:44am
Gigi ... I looked at your photos - your process works quite well for you. Your quilts are beautiful.
Comment by Donna on January 13, 2009 at 9:27am
Hi Gigi, I truly understand your dilema - I've been there. About 6 yrs ago, my husband bought me a computer program Quilt Pro, and it's a valuable tool. Every quilt I've made ( 7 finished - ooodles of UFO designs), was designed on this program first. I painstakingly scanned every piece of fabric in my stash (yardage as well as fat quarters). That was the most time consuming project. The file name for each included the yardage on hand. In the program, the design you would come up with, tells you "how much" fabric is needed (it's a great help). Once I actually make one of the quilt designs I've work on in the computer ... I then adjust my "fabric on hand" ... so I always know how much of each fabric is left in my stash. I know this sounds a bit obsessive - but it works for me. Anytime I purchase new fabric, I scan it, add it to the Quilt Pro program, and then put it in it's respective drawer in my sewing room. The Quilt Pro program allows you to design your own quilt using the bmp. pictures files of your "own" fabric stash ... you get to see what the quilt will look like when it's finished. But, even with the use of this program, I too will think about it ... sometimes for years. The "Friendship Star" quilt I made for my husband (my profile pics), was one of those quilts. I had the fabric for 2 yrs before I designed an actual quilt. I then pieced it, and again ... it sat for another 3 yrs before I actually quilted it. So, Gigi ... you're not alone.
Comment by MaryLee on January 13, 2009 at 6:32am
Well as far as my self I have only bought 1 kit, and it is paper piecing, and have not started it yet! I buy patterns and books that I see something I want to do and the if I have enough stash ok, if not I go buy material. I will also hold the pattern till I am really ready to start it and then go buy material when I can aford it. So you see you are not the only whacky one, I am also! Thanks MaryLee

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