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    How do you evaluate a pattern?

    I think I may just label myself as TSTL. In the spring I decided to take on Fancy Forest and reached out on this forum about if 17 yards of fabric made sense. Many of you responded " yes for the variety" and my quilt was a success for me.

    Now, I bought what was needed for the "Blue Barn" pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts. Now the maybe TSTL part. The back of the pattern recommended the print fat qtr bundle and the batik fat qtr bundle. Got them. Going thru it today, I bought the 45 FQs of which only 14 are needed. I feel like a dim light bulb.

    Plus, the pattern itself is so disappointing to me. The paper templates photocopied front and back, and some you have to tape the pieces together to get the full template. First you need to go the Staples to copy it before you even start. Is this typical? I've only bought the patterns for Fancy Forest (excellent) and from Missouri Star.

    So, what do you look at in considering a new project. I really need to get better fast in this area.

    Thanks for letting me rant abit, too.

    Diana
    Diana Grey

    #2
    Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

    First let me say, I had to look up TSTL, haha, and no you're not! There is always a learning curve and as long as your learning, you're growing!

    What do I consider in a new project? Well the list is probably long, but here's a few things:

    When I look at the picture of the quilt, I have to see if it makes sense to me without a pattern. Can I "see" the individual blocks within the quilt, and figure out how they would go together? I only want the pattern for measurements, fabric quantity, and if necessary the template.

    Printing templates isn't an issue for me, as I have at my disposal a very good printer and copier at work that I can convert a double sided printing (as you mentioned) easily to single sided, and can also enlarge up to ledger size paper (11x17). Anything bigger than that (and there has only been two) I can take to my local print shop, less than a mile from work and get it enlarged for a very small fee.

    I love patterns that make use of FQs. For me it gives me the variety that I like in quilts without having to fret over picking out individual fabrics (I'm color/texture challenged). And I actually prefer extra big bundles, again like you ended up buying, so I can pick and choose which fabrics I want for that particular quilt, and still have left overs for a few more quilts (or for replacing a fabric that I screw up my cutting - been there done that more times than I can say).

    Buying too much fabric isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's better to have a little too much, than a little too little.

    Finally, a quilt pattern has to really speak to me. If it's something that I would really want on my bed, then it's one I will consider making for someone else. If I wouldn't want it for myself, then sorry, no way, no how am I going to suffer thru creating something I can't stand doing and not be proud of in the end.

    Yes some of my quilt tops have turned out to be, well let's just say UGH! But even then they were learning opportunities, and even though those quilts will never grace my bed, I still ended up finishing them, one I used to learn how to long arm quilt, and a few others for learning/practicing FMQ (my dog loves them btw).

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      #3
      Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

      Ha Ha - I had to look up TSTL too. No, you are not! I think you excel at picking out challenging patterns! And, I so admire you for taking on those challenges without even thinking twice!
      I agree with all Caroline said. Consider it all a learning experience! You're cranking out some beautiful challenging quilts that many of us just drool over, wishing we had even 1/2 your tenacity!
      I too, will take on challenging quilts in some cases. If I really like a pattern, I will finally tackle it. I might make many mistakes along the way, but will be learning from all those mistakes.
      I am Sew Blessed!
      Alina

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        #4
        Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

        Same here had to look up TSTL. I have a few neighbors that fall into that category! No you are not. Each pattern has its own uniqueness and learning curves. Some are easier then others. I have done things then left then sit for a few years coming back they were not so difficult.
        sigpic:icon_hug: Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
        Time spent with cats is never wasted.
        Sigmund Freud

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          #5
          Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

          A few years ago my sister was a very novice quilter and fell in love with the Mexican Stars quilt. Bought the pattern, fabrics and then asked me to help her. I took one look at it and knew it was way beyond what I thought she could do. Well, it was one she wanted to make and I helped her understand the directions and she did the work. It turned out beautiful and she was so proud of it. So sometimes it just takes the desire to make a quilt and it will turn out. Just in case you are wondering, I never told her that I thought she couldn't make it, she has been determined all her life.

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            #6
            Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

            Just so you know, I don't know where to look up Tstl so I take the word of my quilting friends that you must not be.
            Now, I'm sorry you bought fabric you didn't need if you didn't really want it but I usually find a use for fabric and fat quarters are so versatile. You are a great quilter and that Forest Friends quilt is a wonder ful quilt, just too much for me to even consider.. I'm sort of into mindless sewing.
            Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
            Terry

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              #7
              Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

              Just think--now you are ready for anything!

              It may be discouraging to have spent $$ on more fabric than necessary at this time for this particular quilt. But now you have lovely coordinating fabric you can use in subsequent quilts.
              The trail is the thing----Louis L'Amour

              Comment


                #8
                Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

                (TSTL too stupid to live. No you aren't!)! I am probably the only one on the Forum who seeks out simplicity in a pattern. I like knowing ahead of time I won't be making something way too complicated that won't get finished. If I see that a pattern has paper templates I run fast the other way. That is too much fiddling for me. And enlarging or reducing it on a copier, well just forget that. (And I have a copy machine at my house)--but that is just way too much prep for me. I have limited time to sew so I only like to make things that are doable and fun.

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                  #9
                  Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

                  Thanks for getting my mind heading in the right direction.

                  One of my goals was to break away from only working with layer cakes. I then buy two beautiful FQ bundles and panic because I will only use 14 in this quilt. I don't think I'd have been as happy with my choices without have the entire collection at my fingertips. Gorgeous fabric will now be waiting for me.

                  Your encouragement had me learning about paper templates. I spent some time on YouTube and realize this is not a problem. I made two blocks and I'm very happy with them. My husband even offered to cut the shapes out of plexiglass if I wanted long lasting ones.

                  Lastly, this is my first attempt using triangles. That's going to be the real challenge. I'm making the batik blocks first before going on to the regular quilting cotton. Not as much bias stretch, which is another lesson learned.

                  Thanks again, forum members are pretty wonderful.

                  Diana
                  Diana Grey

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: How do you evaluate a pattern?

                    Glad to hear you are going to be making your quilt. One day you will go to your stash and see all the fq that already own for a lovely quilt and then you will say something like...."look at how much money I saved by having this in my stash!!!"

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