Over the next few posts (probably on and off), I want to share with you the process I typically use when I create a quilt from start to finish. I can’t stress the “I typically use” enough. This is what I have been doing and seems to work for me pretty well. I have only been quilting for 2 1/2 years so I don’t have everything worked out, but I would like to share with you what I’ve had success with in the hopes that it might help a “newbie” start or I might get some wonderful advice from those veteran quilters out there.
Step 1: The Purpose and the Pattern
I love gifts. I love getting them and I love even more to GIVE THEM. There is this idea around that everyone has a Love Language. That people like to give and receive love in certain ways. They might feel the most loved when their partner spends time with them and they show love by making time to spend with their partner. My love language is gifts. I feel the most loved when I receive a gift and I show my love by showering people with gifts – even for no reason. Why bring this up?
As I mentioned in another post, most of the quilts and other projects I have are for other people. I love the fact that from the start to the finish of the project I will have been working on a GIFT, that I have created, to give to them. To me there is just something about a handmade gift. And in my opinion a hand made gift does not have to consist of glittered macaroni – not that that doesn’t have its place and merits.
When I start on a quilt I first think of who that quilt is for and what it might be used as. Is Christmas coming and so and so needs a lap quilt to snuggle under? Is it someone’s birthday? A guild gift exchange? A just because present? (they start out as just because presents and then are given at a special occasion.) Is there a baby coming?
Once that is decided I go on the pattern hunt. For example, my good friend was moving away because her husband was being transfered. I wanted to make her a going away quilt. So I hunted through patterns that I own (waiting for a time to be made), stalked the internet (good thing for google), and maneuvered my way through wonderful blogs to find a pattern that SCREAMED HER! It took a long while and a lot of back and forth, but it was well worth it.
In other instances, I have patterns waiting to be made for particular people. Patterns are a wonderful thing. I have a weak spot for them, more then I do with fat quarters. I will be out at a store, online or a some quilt show and see a pattern and think how wonderful it will be to make that quilt based on the pattern. Usually though I see the pattern and think, “Oh, that is totally ________, that really suits them.” And I end up with the pattern for them – knowing eventually I will get to and create something just for them.
That is my first step. Once I figure out what occasion the quilt is needed for, I hunt the pattern. OR Once I have the pattern I think of the occasion to make it. Either way, people are getting a handmade gift from moi.