Question #1 Discussion

Overwhelmingly, the results are that the pattern comes first.  That’s how it is for me too.  Recently I was asked to come up with a design for a new fabric.  That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done . . come up with a design for a fabric that was handed to me.  I so often work with tone on tones and this had prints . . I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it.  It was nothing but luck that I finally came up with a design and I must say . . it was fantastic with the fabric but I don’t think I’ll ever sign on to do something like that again.

There was a time when I thought it would be fun to design quilts to go with new fabric lines but I don’t think that any more.

Here’s a little exercise for you:

If you’re one of those who usually chooses the pattern first . . do this:

Choose a fabric from your stash . . maybe one that’s been there for a while.  You can draw a design in EQ, you can buy a pattern, you can choose a pattern you already have but start with the fabric and come up with a design.  You don’t even have to really make the quilt if you don’t want to but just stretch . . get out of your comfort zone a bit.

If you’re one of those who usually chooses the fabric first . . do this:

Choose a pattern . . a pattern you’ve purchased, a pattern  you have to buy or something you’ve drawn in EQ.  Then pick the fabric for the pattern.  You don’t have to make it either . . just do something different from how you usually do it.

If you’re one of those who do it either way . . you’re ahead of the rest of us.  You have no assignment today! 🙂

If you want to talk about this on your blog . . choosing your pattern/fabric and stepping out of your comfort zone, you can comment here and leave a link to your blog.  You can comment here whether you leave a link to your blog or not! I love comments! 🙂



  1. 1


    Gee…..thanks, teacher….not a hard assignment seeing as how I have quite a collection of patterns and books that haven’t been touched yet, either….so I can pick any one of a number of them and then go to the silly-sized stash I have and find any number of good choices for that pattern! Thanks for easy homework today. LOL

  2. 2


    But, this is another project to start!!! arghhh!! I’ll do it, but are we going to get the next step soon to move along on the borders of the stash sew along quilt with brights that we’ve been working on?? I do so want to get that finished and on the frame!

  3. 3


    I fall in love with fabric because the color hits me between the eyes and instantly 3 or 4 patterns or possibilities come to mind. When it gets right down to using the fabric, I hate to cut my lovely fabric and just know it will never shine in a quilt like it does in yardage. Of course, this is a grave illness for which I fear there is no treatment or recovery.

    • 3.1

      Karla says

      I’m with you on this I usually see the fabric, color and then a pattern comes to mind. 🙂

  4. 4

    pdudgeon says

    sounds like this is my get-out-of-homework-free day, but i’ll play along.

    the latest foray into ‘reverse designing’ for me was some recent talk on 3 other blogs about charm squares from the Kashmir line from Moda, nine patch quilts on a second blog, and an idea from the Moda bakeshop blog featuring the “Spring Magic” line from April Cornell.

    I took the three ideas (charm pack, nine patch,and Spring Magic fabric) grabbed a charm pack of Spring Magic and some border and binding fabric from the same line and started looking for a pattern. So in this case the fabric came first.

    I found my pattern, “Korby”, in the book “Comfort and Joy” from Acorn Quilt and Gift Company. I started with the charm pack, added the sashings, backing, and cornerstones from my stash, and i’m on my way to another quilt.

    I did change the sewing order in the pattern so i could use fabric from my stash. I’m changing the 9 patches into 4 patches with sashing and cornerstones and doing a different pieced border. I’m also shrinking the size of the individual squares in order to use the charm pack. it should be interesting!