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Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Quilt Class: Reading the Pattern and Getting Started

Be Prepared

Before you start cutting or sewing
you should read your pattern all the
way through and familiarize yourself
with what you will be doing.

As a pattern designer I am always
looking for color and pattern inspiration.

I am always sketching block ideas
on graph paper and I love to use
this standard graph paper composition
book to sketch out blocks and patterns.

I do use quilting and publishing
software but for me, it always
starts out by hand.

It is important to invest in good
quality rulers, cutting mat and
rotary cutters.  I'm not a big gadget
person, I'd rather have a few very
good tools and I find I can make
almost anything with them.

Before cutting begins it is important
to properly square up your fabric.
Since this is difficult to describe I
will refer you to this link on youtube:

Once your fabric is squared, you are
ready to begin cutting but first
read on for an important tip.

In my patterns I give you cutting
instructions to make one block.
I would hope you would do this with
every pattern you use.  Our first fabric
choices are not always good ones and
I would hate to see you cut out fabric
for an entire quilt and then find out
you don't like one or more of the fabrics.
That is a waste of time and money,
especially with the ever rising cost
of quilt fabrics these days.

Look at the photo above, the top block
was the first attempt, the fabrics looked
great together but once they were in the
block there were problems.  The red cherry
print was too large a print and it didn't
complete the frame which is what I was
going for in the design.  The yellow was
not intense enough to emphasize the
compass points.  The second attempt
was much better and made the block work.

Once you have decided on the fabrics you
want you can determine how many of
each block you need and do the simple
multiplication to see how many pieces of
each block you need and cut the rest of
the needed fabric for the quilt.

This was the first time I worked
with batiks,  I stayed away from
batiks because I often found them
to be too muddy for my taste. 
But after helping a friend pick out
some fabric I decided to work with
them and made this piece.  I was
horrified!  I found it to be garish and
hid it away in a bin.  I just found it recently
and put it on my design wall and now, after
looking at it for a few months I like it.
Maybe sometimes we just have to
give it time...

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