In the past, quilting patterns were handed down generation to generation. You could get new patterns that weren't in your family from close friends. Today, with computers and the Internet there are literally thousands of quilting patterns 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. For example, you would not want to use bright pink if it's going to be a baby quilt for a newborn boy. A wedding quilt would be in light colors. Perhaps the quilt is a wall hanging and needs certain colors to compliment the room's décor? Knowing what the quilt will be used for will help you determine roughly what types of colors that you want for the quilt.
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 type of material will help you select the best quilting pattern. Write down your plans for the quilt. 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 will be 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. Many quilters purchase quilting patterns. Some purchase expensive software like EQ6 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 see the dimensions of the quilting pattern design and how it will fit together. There is a large selection of themes for the quilting patterns as well. 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.
Jan Myers is the author of numerous articles and books on topics from organizational development and leadership to quilting. It was her avocation, the love of quilting, that inspired the popular online membership site for quilters known as the "world's largest quilting bee" at http://www.QuiltingResourceCenter.com .