In the past, quilting patterns were handed down from generation to generation. You could get new patterns that weren't in your family's collection by asking for them from close friends. Today, with the advent of computers and the Internet, there are literally thousands of quilting patterns available at your fingertips. How do you select which quilting pattern to use?
Before you begin browsing quilting patterns, determine the purpose of your upcoming quilt. Will it be a gift for a specific occasion? Will it be a wall hanging, piece of clothing, bed cover, furniture cover or even a pillow?
Knowing what you are going to use the quilt for when it is done is the first step in selecting a quilting pattern. Some patterns look better on smaller projects and vice versa. Depending on your quilting skill, you might need several patterns for different sections of your quilt.
The next step in selecting a quilting pattern is to determine approximately what colors you will be using, or choosing a color palette. A wedding quilt might be in light colors for a spring wedding, or fall colors for autumn nuptials. Perhaps your quilt will be a wall hanging and you'll want to select colors to compliment your interior decor. Knowing what the quilt will be used for will help you determine roughly what types of colors and fabrics to choose for your quilt. Or, you can just create a fun piece for no specific purpose other than to hone your skills and express your creativity!
Decide what types of materials you want to use for the quilt. Some quilting patterns do better with cotton fabrics, while others need different materials to do well. Will you be using high-loft or low-loft batting for the quilt piece? Will it be a batik piece? Knowing the types of materials you like to work with will help you select the most appropriate quilting pattern for your project.
Write down your plans for the quilt...jot down some spontaneous notes! . As you browse through the patterns available, disregard the ones that don't fit the theme, colors or material that you will be using for your project. Select a design that catches your eye and you will find inspiring and enjoyable to work with. You can look at the colors on the quilting pattern picture to get an idea of what color schemes work best with that particular pattern and modify them to specifically meet your needs.
Work with patterns and fabrics that "move" you, and you will be more inclined to finish your project!
Many quilters purchase quilting patterns. Some purchase quilting software to generate patterns. Many choose to become members of the QuiltingResourceCenter.com and have access to a large number of quilting patterns that are easy to download and print. The advantage of doing this is that you can modify your design and colors easily since you can preview the dimensions of the quilting pattern design and see how it will fit together. Theme quilt designs are also readily available.
One fun use of quilting patterns is to learn new quilting techniques. Members at the QuiltingResourceCenter.com have access to a comprehensive library of quilting video tutorials, eBooks, audios and more. You can select a quilting pattern to try out a new quilting technique to add uniqueness to your future quilt projects.
Choosing the right pattern to personalize to match a quilt's theme is essential to the success of every quilting project.