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Planning is everything!

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Debbie Posted: Wed, Feb 1 2012 5:55 PM

I have been quilting on and off for years and I have learned a very valuable lesson. Planning is everything! Take your time and really think about what design you are putting together, especially is you are just starting out. I can't tell you how many "quilts" ended up scrap pieces, because I didn't plan. Will this color work with that...do I have enough batting, backing, binding material? It really stinks when you think you have enough of one kind of material to use for a binding, only to find out you are short! But...like my mom always said...those are happy little mistakes. Sometimes mistakes turn out to be miracles for other quilt projects. So, Do Not throw them away. And...just remember...plan, plan, plan.

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The Quilt Daddy:
the experienced quilter looks on these kind of mistakes as possible quilts that would never of happened otherwise.

I'm far far far from experienced but I totally agree, I have several to do when I get the grands quilts done, I bought fabric and then did not like the way it looked so it went into the stash pile.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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gini replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 6:18 PM

I'm with richard on this one.  I try not to plan too closely, 'cause I don't like quilts that are too matchy-matchy.  If I need to use a different color for a couple of background blocks, that's cool.  or if i run out of red,iuse some other red.  I deliberately throw in "off" colors to keep it from getting boring.  Some of my favorite quilts are the ones I ran out of a color on and had to make do.

gini in north idaho

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Nana replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 6:24 PM

I rarely totally plan any of my projects.  I find a focus fabric that I love and just start adding to it.  Sometimes I have to substitute fabrics because I don't have enough of one.  I just make those quilts into something different.   The best advice that I can give to newer quilters is to just relax and enjoy yourself.   And don't take any of your projects to seriously....LOL>

Vinton, Virginia

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Sukochi replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 6:28 PM

Y'all this will sound like a stupid question but if you see a pattern for a block and it says 12 inch finished, is it always 12-1/2 when completed before adding to a quilt. Or, does it mean that this block pattern is 12  inches when the pattern is finished? This has always confused me.

Sukochi

 

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It means it is 12" when the quilt is finished so you would need to start with a 12.5" block.  BTW, there are no stupid questions LOL

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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LaJuan Sukochi Lee:

Y'all this will sound like a stupid question but if you see a pattern for a block and it says 12 inch finished, is it always 12-1/2 when completed before adding to a quilt. Or, does it mean that this block pattern is 12  inches when the pattern is finished? This has always confused me.

 

No such thing as a stupid question!

The "12 inch finished" block is actually 12-1/2 inches when that single block is finished.  The extra half-inch is seam allowance (1/4 inch on each side).  Once the blocks are all sewn together, if you were to measure that "finished" block, it would measure 12" (theoretically, anyway - we've all had blocks that don't obey us!)

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Agnes replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 7:32 PM

gini:
I try not to plan too closely, 'cause I don't like quilts that are too matchy-matchy.

My mantra is: Matchy-matchy is boring. In fact I am selling a quilt because it is downright boring so that I can make something else that has color "edges." I really have little idea what the final will be so it is impossible to plan. I work at a project and it may take me on a plan I had never envisioned. 

Agnes in NW Ontario

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Agnes replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 7:37 PM

Nana:
The best advice that I can give to newer quilters is to just relax and enjoy yourself.   And don't take any of your projects to seriously....LOL>
 

I firmly believe if it isn't fun, then you need to find a new hobby. My best friend was going to quilt. After a second attempt I told her to pack it in. Eventually I showed her how to make simple rag quilts and yet I have never made one. That was the answer. She couldn't see the block corners and couldn't obsess about the corners being off by a thread. Quite a few babies were blessed.

Agnes in NW Ontario

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Arzella replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 8:09 PM

Hello Debbie;

Really, I have never planned because I usually don't know what I'm going to do.  I just do it.  But you are right about planning.  I know I must give it a little more thought before I get started on whatever I am going to do.

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Hi Debbie!

always have a plan before I start a quilt. And I always have a mental picture of what it will look like finished pinned up in my brain so I know what I intend to do. I keep checking that mental picture as I go along.

But I learned early on in life that "Flexibility" and "Adaptability" would make my life less stressfull. That lesson has applied to a lot of things besides quilting.  So some of my finished quilts didn't match the plan I started out with, or the mental picture I had of them. But most of the time I found they had improved along the way.  Sometimes by imput from others, sometimes the quilt itself told me what it wanted to do, sometimes I just changed my mind.  But as of today, there is not a single unfinished quilt in my house because it was scrapped, rejected, or given up on. There are a few orphan blocks who haven't yet 'spoken' to me, but they will get around to it.  I just haven't adapted my way of thinking enough to hear them yet.

I plan with good intentions, but refuse to be locked in by them. (Yes... I do know the road to hell is paved with good intentions! LOL!!)

Happy quilting!

Max

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Barbara replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 11:21 PM

Debbie,I rarely plan a quilt ,I do a lot of scrappy quilts and I just go with the flow ,I know it sounds strange but My quilts usually come out fine, I guess that's why I like scrappy so much

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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Absolutely! I agree with all of you!

I guess what I'm really getting at is not necessarily the aesthetics part of the quilt, but more the engineering part of the planning lol. For me...I have to have measurements in hand. I've tried venturing out on my own and I'm not that mathematically inclined haha. As far as the planning part, I get much joy out of it all. Looking thru magazines, searching the internet for patterns, talking to others about what they did/will do.  

I guess my post made it seem I was taking the fun out of it all lol. But, that's not what I meant by it. I agree totally it is an art and should definitely remain an art. But (again, for me) if I paint a picture of someone...I study their face, get to know them, examine the emotions they are putting off. It's the same for quilting, for me. I enjoy the journey (as I am sure we all do). And the end result is that much more satisfying. But, that's just me. Like I said..."sometimes mistakes turn out to be miracles for other quilt projects" lol. 

I truly love this club! There is so much wisdom and great advice. I know I have A LOT to learn and am looking forward to it. What a wonderful group of people we have here :-)

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Barbara replied on Thu, Feb 2 2012 10:54 AM

Debbie, I think we can all relate to what your saying , We are just telling you about us, You have to do what works the best for you ,That's what makes us all so unique and our quilts so special . We are glad you are with  us and hope you stay for a long time ..Barbara

Liberty,Missouri

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