How Do You Decide on a Quilt Design?

by Nicole

This weekend I went to my LQS and picked up this pile of lovelies.

Did I get some looks from the ladies in the shop as I laid a tall stack of orange bolts on the cutting table?!? I told them about the Tangerine Tango challenge.

I wasn’t planning on entering the challenge, but Debbie from A Quilter’s Table inspired me with her entry.

So now that I have the tangerines, I’m ready to tango. I started thinking about the design of the quilt. That got me wondering about the whole process of deciding on a quilt design. The deadline for this challenge is March 2, so I’ve got to figure out a design soon.

My process of designing a quilt is somewhat “organic.” I’m driven by things around me that attract my attention. I start thinking about how I would translate that thing or image into a quilt. It could be a pattern on a dress, the design of windows in a building I pass by, or a painting in a museum. I file these away for later. I often buy fabric without a specific project in mind. When I’m inspired, I go through my stash, sketch something up, and start cutting and stitching.

How do you decide on a quilt design? Do you have a design in mind before you buy the fabric? Or do you get the fabrics and then decide? Do you use a pattern or create your own design? I’d love to hear what works for you. Please leave me a comment. Comments make me smile.

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beth lehman January 31, 2012 - 3:02 pm

I fall hard for fabric and just get it. I often pick out things that "go together" much later. To be honest, much of it sits there while projects that "have" to be done get done first (baby showers, etc.). When doing my eldest's birthday quilt, she actuallyl picked out blues and greys I may not have put together. I love the vision she had and was happy to put it together. My twins have birthdays in March… not sure if I'm going down that road or not!

Have fun with orange!

Debbie January 31, 2012 - 3:09 pm

This year has changed me. Prior to that, I never bought fabric w/o a project planned. Now I but to stash & absolutely love when I can pull a project stack from my stash. I follow patterns alot and am just recently trying my hand at my own. It often starts or is inspired by a block I want to try – which is what happened with my Tangerisk. Can't wait to see what you come up with, Nicole! That stack is awesome!

M-R February 1, 2012 - 1:38 am

For me, it can happen the way you describe, but sometimes the design may be inspired by the fabric itself. That stack looks fun – can't wait to see what you do with it!

Joy February 1, 2012 - 7:02 am

Im just found your blog.. I am new to Quilting.. so at this point, I buy and buy with no idea what I am going to do with it 🙂

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