Saturday, April 26, 2014

Which Comes First:  the Fabric or the Pattern?

In your creative process to make a quilt
do you choose the fabric first...

...and then the block/quilt pattern?

Or do you choose the block/quilt pattern first and then the fabric?

Is it always the same process?

If you choose the pattern first do you use colors you've seen others use in a similar quilt or go a different way with colors?

How do you begin the process of creating a quilt?  Are you thinking about a quilt to make long before you begin cutting and sewing?  What inspires you when you begin making a quilt?

I hope you'll respond and I also hope you'll send others this way to answer, too.  I'm interested in how quilters begin their quilts.  Thanks!

I'm linking this post to Anything Goes Mondays #61 at Stitch by Stitch.  Thank you, Marelize.



  1. I tend to do both! Sometimes a pattern inspires me to go pull fabrics that are begging to be used in it. But sometimes a fabric demands to be used, and I go to my inspiration book to look for the pattern it wants to be used in :)

    1. It's interesting how creative inspiration comes in different ways at different times, isn't it?

  2. Mostly I have a stack of fabric that I gradually pull together and want to make a quilt out of. Once I get the look/blend I want then I go looking for quilt block ideas etc. Occasionally I decide I want to make a certain style of quilt or make particular blocks and start there instead but it's more rare for me than fabric first, quilt plan second. Like right now I've been pinning a lot of Tree of Life quilts on Pinterest. Once I realized that I've developed a new love for these quilts, I started thinking about how I would want to put one of my own together. I'm rarely interested in copying someone elses quilt colors anymore though. I love to use the fabric I buy because I love it and then try and incorporate it into a quilt--my style, my way. And although I will impulsively start a quilt once in a great while, most of my quilt ideas have been simmering for a long time before I dig in and get started. That way I know for sure I'll want to stick with the idea and finish.:)

    1. Hi, Audrey --
      Thanks for the insight into how your quilts come to be. Having followed your blog for a little while I know you make quilts that are your own but I didn't know your creation process. I appreciate your sharing.

  3. Like Teresa, I tend to work both ways. At times the inspiration comes from the fabric and other times it comes from a pattern. Alas, I haven't been doing much of either lately. However, I have been thinking about my next project. I'm still working on finishing up some quilts so I hope to stay focused on that when I get back to the sewing machine.
    I am trying to use what I have so that generally dictates my color scheme. I found a quilt a while back that I really want to make, but I will use different colors. I haven't decided which way to go yet, but I imagine I'll find something as soon as I find a bit of time to dig through my stash. I really enjoy the planning stage. I never know where it might take me and that's half the fun!

    1. Hi, Karin --
      Thanks for answering my questions. Are you finding it hard to use only the fabrics you have? You probably have a closet full of fabric that you love and that will work together. I'm like you, trying to use what I have. Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge but I just have so much fabric: I'll never use it all before I die!

  4. I too am like Ranch Wife. I am trying to use what I have onhand. Most often I will choose pattern first. I am inspired by the details in the carpet, or the colors in the vase on the dinner table. It has worked for me.

    1. Hi, Angela -
      I get inspiration that way sometimes, too. If I see something in a magazine - the colors, shapes, etc., I clip the image out if I can and lay it aside. (Unfortunately I probably won't remember it for long unless it's REALLY striking, but at least I can see it again later.) Thanks for visiting and sharing your experiences. I appreciate it.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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