Starting a new quilt


Do you need a challenge for your next quilt but don’t know how where to start?  Over the years I’ve discovered that writing a list of goals sets me up to tackle that new quilt.

I design my own quilts so there’s always a few butterflies in the stomach about how it’s going to turn out after I’ve invested so much time and fabric in it.  When I’m frustrated in every day life I usually write down a list of things that I’m worried about so I adapted that idea to quilting.  Although my lists are usually geared toward landscape quilts, you can alter the list to suit your quilts.  What kinds of things do I include?

  • What emotion is the quilt to evoke?  Is the landscape going to be a peaceful scene?
  • What time of day or year is the landscape to be set?
  • What colour scheme and fabric styles do I want to use?  Earth tones or polka dots maybe.
  • What new technique do I want to try?
  • What is going to be the hardest part about the quilt? Maybe it’s creating a realistic waterfall.
  • What style of quilting will the quilt need?
  • Is the quilting to be a big feature of the quilt or change the look of the whole quilt?
  • How is this quilt going to push me out of my comfort zone? It could be as simple as being more detailed than the previous quilt or to use smaller pieces of fabric.
  • What do I want to achieve with this quilt?  It could be just to have a go, make your own pattern using a technique from of a class you’ve taken, or just to have fun.

Don’t worry if you don’t answer all of the questions on the list.  It’s just a starting point to get you thinking about those ideas.  The next thing to do is to put the list aside and don’t look at it again until the quilt is finished (unless you want to). After getting all of your thoughts on paper, you now have a plan to work with that is open to change along the way.  It actually takes the pressure off and makes the process fun.  It makes me feel that it’s okay to try and learn something new—whatever the outcome.  Then it’s time to dive in and create.

I haven’t been into appliqué because in the beginning, I wasn’t happy with my results so I’ve mainly made pieced quilts.  After seeing an appliqué technique on-line that looked like it produced great results, I tried it again after creating one of these lists.  I wanted to achieve sharp points, smooth lines, do it on the machine and have fun with it.  It worked a treat and changed my mindset that I wasn’t good at it.  I’m going to try more appliqué quilts in the future.

When it comes to checking off the list at the end, I usually discover I’ve achieved what I wanted with the quilt, even if it’s not perfect.  I admit I can easily impress myself but pushing myself out of my comfort zone is definitely one of my goals each time!

What are your goals when it comes to starting a new quilt?

Happy quilting,


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