Judy Laquidara has been posing questions on her blog, and since I tend to be wordy, and since I am late reading her blog, I figured I would answer here.
The first question is . . what usually comes first . . the pattern or the fabric? Do you find a fabric that you love and let it speak to you about how to make it or do you come up with a pattern (purchased, self designed, modified purchased, whatever) and then choose the fabrics? There are times a particular fabric calls me and I have to find a pattern for it. Then there are other times, a pattern calls me and I have to find the fabrics to go with it. I can be flexible with scrappy quilts.
What is hard for me is to get a set of fabric and figure out what to do with the whole set. My mother bought a set of fabric for a particular quilt, and then decided to switch to another pattern. I don't know how to do that, unless the quilt is really scrappy, because that's too much calculation for me to decide if there is enough fabric of each type.
When you see a pattern you want to make, are you more likely to:
(1) Make the quilt in fabrics/colors as close as possible to the quilt shown on the pattern; I try not to get steered by the fabrics in the pattern, but I have to tell you it is very difficult. It is usually the color that makes me like a particular pattern. I know that I can choose the colors for a different pattern, and a different color for this pattern, but it is hard to steer too far away from the original layout. I will make minor adjustments due to fabric availability, preferences, etc. If it is a simple choice, such as predominantly green versus predominately red, that choice I can handle. There are quilts that have an odd fabric in the mix just so they can get the third color in it - green, purple, and orange with a few orange pieces in it. I would rather find a green or purple fabric with orange in it to get the orange in there instead of a stray weird block, so I'll make adjustments like that.
(2) Ask the quilt shop ladies to help you choose the fabrics and then buy whatever they suggest . without regard to whether you love it or not. I know you wouldn’t buy it if you hate it but if they suggest something you’re not head over heels in love with, would you still buy it and then use it in that quilt? I have learned not to be satisfied with fabric selection until I am thoroughly excited about the whole set of fabric. When I ask for help, from quilt shop or fabric shop clerks or from friends and family, I will generally ask them to continue to help me until the fabric sings to me. It helps that they give me fabric choices I wouldn't have considered, but generally I will let them know that I don't like this or that particular choice, and try to tell them why, so they can help me find the next fabric.
(3) Go home and “shop” your stash and see what you can come up with before buying fabric? If so, do you still try to duplicate the colors shown on the pattern?
When I decide to make a pattern, I do see first if I have fabric that will work on that quilt, then fill in with the rest from the shop if necessary. I generally have an idea in mind about what I want colorwise before looking for it.
(4) Totally go with fabrics you want without regard to anything shown on the pattern. This is my goal to someday be able to come up with my own color scheme in a pattern I admire. I think I can do this with traditional patterns that I have seen in many different colorways, and with quilts I make up on my own.
I don't think I do any one of these more than any of the other.
1. Are you more likely to buy a kit or fabric/pattern if you see a sample made and hanging in the shop? Yes. It just looks better in real life than it does on a pattern or in a book.
2. Have you ever bought a kit or fabric/pattern that you weren’t planning to buy and probably would not have bought except you saw the sample and couldn’t walk away? You know you wouldn’t have bought the kit or fabric/pattern had it not been for the sample. Yes, there was one quilt that I saw in a shop, and when I saw the pattern, I knew there was no way I would have bought that pattern without having seen the real quilt. Even though the color scheme was the same, the sample was just so much prettier.
3. Do you enjoy making quilts from kits or do you prefer to choose all your own fabrics? I like to choose my own fabrics. The only time I prefer the kit is if it is on clearance! And then, I will probably take it apart and mix and match so the end product won't look like everyone else's.
4. When making a quilt from a pattern, do you read through the entire pattern to be sure it all makes sense or do you start with Step 1 and work straight through it,. then on to Step 2, etc.? I start with the cutting directions, and then go to step 1. I've learned to read the directions on certain blocks, like hsts, flying geese, etc. before cutting, so that I can make them my way instead of having to make them a way that I don't prefer.
5. How often do you make the same pattern more than once? Not usually. There are a couple of patterns I have made more than once, but generally I get bored with the same old thing.
6. How often do you buy a pattern and then make changes to it before you ever start the quilt? I don't generally make big changes to a pattern, but my goal is to look at the picture / pattern more carefully and decide what I like and don't like about a particular pattern so that I can make changes before I start.
This question hasn't been asked (yet), but I generally find patterns on the internet, or buy books and magazines instead of single patterns. Single patterns are bought to make particular quilts, and I feel more guilty about not making quilts related to single patterns than I do with books or magazines which also have eye candy value.