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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Quilting

Oct 13, 2007
Originally developed to create clothing and blankets that offered warmth and protection, quilting has evolved over the generations as a much-respected art form with beautiful end results. Quilts often become family heirlooms, and those with a talent for quilting are typically heralded for their skill.

In fact, it is not unusual for quilts to be displayed and showcased on the walls of homes and businesses due to their remarkable colors and creative designs.

When you are just beginning to learn the art of quilting, it's best to first master small projects. These may include table placemats, pillows, and small wall art. Basic blocks are recommended until you have mastered the stitch patterns, and once you have learned and feel comfortable creating these small projects, it is advisable to move on to full-size quilts and other larger creations.

Quilting Patterns

There are a number of quilting patterns that create different results in the final product and offer quilting abilities for all skill levels. For instance, winged square blocks are basic quilting patterns that are sewn in tall columns with triangles. You may choose two basic designs and alternate them for a simple design, or add multiple fabrics for a colorful and creative quilt.

Another very basic technique is the block quilt pattern, which is essentially allows triangle-shaped fabric blocks to be pieced together quickly and easily This pattern centers on nine patches and focuses on the middle of the quilt.

Another nine-patch quilt block pattern for quilting is the Carolina byways pattern. Using this design and technique, the quilter uses strips of fabric. This pattern for quilting is quite basic and easy to use, and is ideal for smaller quilts that do not require extensive surface area.

Although it is somewhat more challenging, star quilt patterns are extremely popular, and represent a classic design in quilting patterns. The blocks in this pattern create various star shapes, and the points usually meet together or point away from the center in identical designs.

Knowing Which Quilting Pattern to Use

Before you begin working on a quilting project, take the time to assess your skill level and to determine exactly what kind of result you want to end up with. This will save a lot of heartache in the long run so that you are not left frustrated with a pattern that is too difficult or not challenging enough. And after putting in the amount of time you inevitably will to create the quilt, it would be a shame to be disappointed with the design or pattern you selected for your project.

Beginners should focus on patterns for quilting that include basic blocks and simple stitches. Smaller projects are also a good place to start, so that in the event a mistake is made, a larger project will not be ruined. Starting basic will allow you to master the stitches and other skills necessary to successfully master the quilting process.

Then again, if you are a more advanced quilter, it is recommended that you select quilting patterns that are more challenging. If a pattern seems too basic, you may find yourself becoming bored with the project and lose interest before it is completed. You will also want to try to find patterns that allow for significant creativity and customization. There are few things more rewarding than starting with a basic pattern, then customizing it to become something that is entirely original and unique.

Colors in Quilting Patterns

When you need some help determining the best colors to use in your pattern for quilting, a color wheel is a fantastic tool to reference for some guidance. Not all colors go well together, and the color wheel will help you select good complementary colors for your quilting pattern. You'll first want to consider what the quilt is being designed for.

Will it be used in a country-style bedroom as a bedspread, or will be carefully maintained as a family heirloom? Ask yourself these types of questions to get a better understanding of what colors and patterns for quilting you should utilize in your creation.

The color wheel is not designed to make creative decisions for you -- as an artist and a crafter, those decisions are still up to you and are an important aspect of quilting. However, if you are in doubt and want some assistance to ensure that your quilting pattern will be well designed and color coordinated, the color wheel can be useful and helpful. Happy quilting!
About the Author
Steve Dolan is an artist who loves arts and crafts and has been quilting for years. See his favorite quilt patterns at Quilts and Quilt Patterns, and be sure to visit Quilts and Quilting for more quilting fun!
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