Now we have put together a kit for beginner quilters, we must choose a pattern to work with. A pattern is the design you will imprint around your quilt.
It is an important step, since we do not want to choose something that will be an impossible task and it will be left unfinished. Think about your level of expertise, comfort and what the main risk will be. If you want to practice a new technique, because practice will make yu perfect, then think of a quilt that will be given to a child, dog, a picnic quilt or a quilt that will be used for emergencies.
It is almost certain that your first quilt won’t be perfect, as well as a quilt you are trying a new pattern on. It is okay, that is how we all started and then practicing took some of the most talented quilters to win contests and awards for their beautiful pieces.
Try making small quilts for your dolls, your kid’s dolls or baby quilts, then move on to trying larger ones, also, start with simple designs and work your way up. Do not get discouraged!
We have a small list of the things you should consider when picking a pattern for your quilts, and will surely make your life a lot easier:
- Choose a style
One of the first things you should think of, is if you want to make a design all over the quilt or break it down into sections and do something different in each one. Now, maybe it is overwhelming how many things there are you would like to do, but consider the time you have available and the type of quilt you are making – whether it is for a rough use or more of a showpiece – because if the quilt will be hidden in a corner of your house and you will never be able to see the pattern, there is no much use in wasting your time.
Finally, see if the fabric you have for that specific quilt is too busy or too plain. If the fabric already has a design, it will probably be better to focus on making the fabric stand out. On the other hand, if it is basic, you could enhance your quilt by choosing a beautiful design.
- Select a method
Will I be quilting freehand, using a computer, rulers, etc? Take into account the resources you have. For example, if you are sewing freehand you will be slower and won’t be able to execute some patterns precisely.
Or in case you are using rulers, you are limited to the ones you already own, or the ones you are willing to buy. Most of the time, more complex designs are more expensive, so consider these things when picking a pattern, not just the beauty or appeal of the design.
- Get inspiration
Think of the recipient or final user of the quilt. Are you giving it as a present? If so, what are the things that are most important for that person? What colors do they like?
Maybe it will be something to use in your house, then, what color are your walls or furniture? Do you have a motif you would like to include so your quilt matches your interior decorations?
Or do the fabrics you own have a special pattern? Maybe they have a flower design and you can use that along your entire quilt to incorporate a theme in it.
There are so many things you can do!
- Get the big picture
Many times, when we see a beautiful pattern in a magazine or on the computer, we get so excited and carried away we think we can accomplish anything! And we can, do not get me wrong, but understanding what a project requires will help us to prepare both mentally and physically for it.
We recommend you read the entire list of requirements and the steps before you start cutting your fabric or sewing, since you will be ready with all the materials you’ll need and you will get the big picture of the time, effort and seat you will be putting into that quilt.
It is important because when you get it beforehand, it is more difficult to abandon the quilt midway because it wasn’t what you signed up for.
- Sleep on it
Maybe you have already done all the things on the list and still cannot get your mind on a design, set it aside. Rushing things is never the best way to go.
You should get some sleep or think of something else for a little while. Inspiration sometimes finds us where we least expect it.
You can call a friend and ask for advice, brainstorm ideas on what to quilt or have a long conversation on their favourite patterns. Draw or sketch a few things on a blank piece of paper, doodling can actually become a great design for your next quilt, you never know!
Finally, why not look for ideas on Pinterest or even quilting blogs, community will get you a long way with advice on which quilting pattern suits you best. Go on and give it a try!
Quilting is fun, creative, and cathartic. See what I have made, so peaceful not watching the news, or following current political crap. Go quilt, it does a soul good. pic.twitter.com/41Zkactx6f— Kate McCloskey (@kzmkayatee) February 3, 2020