Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The History of Planning a Quilt

Wow, talk about an article opening up a Pandora's Box! This stage of the quiltmaking process is extremely important both today and years gone by. Do it thoroughly and the rewards are so satisfying and unimaginable. Rush the planning and not thinking it through can prove utterly disastrous. And devastating. So great care should be given to the planning of a quilt. This was especially true in the past, which is the focus of this article. While there are many ideas that are still good, it is easy to see that some of the techniques and methods used are now outdated, tedious, and made much simpler via the utilization of modern technology.

Have you ever built a new house? Or remodeled? Or redecorated a room? Much thought is given to the end result. How everything is placed is vital to your plan and, hopefully, well thought out. Once the project is finished, you more than likely thought, "I wish I had put that there and this over here..." and on... and on... and on! It is inevitable: Experiencing the process makes one wiser! I have been blessed in that I have had the privilege of building four homes. I would like to say that it was perfect, but, alas, they were not. I designed each and every one of them and yet at the end, I discovered ways that I could have improved my design (my builders hated me, as I would change plans during construction). With each experience, however, I became wiser. Now I sit in my fourth home and see a couple of things I wish I had done differently, but overall, most of it was planned according to prior knowledge gained.

The same can be said of quilting, past and present. And a plan that works for one person may not necessarily work for another. It may look appealing when you decide to copy (legally, of course) a pattern, but once finished, you may realize that the colors just do not fit your style or purpose. So part of this learning process is in discovering your own personal tastes and being able to adapt your own style into your planning. Learning this valuable lesson can be a useful tool in preventing any disappointments in the finished product. It simply takes too long, too much energy, and too much expense to haphazardly complete a quilt.

Several considerations were given to the planning of a quilt long ago: Purpose, Size, Color(s), Layout, Borders, Technique(s), and the Quilting. To read more detail about each of these, please read this article in its entirety at Quilting Passion.

Comments, suggestions, ideas, and thoughts are greatly appreciated!


  1. Wow, Terry. Another great article. Very interesting and you are a great at writing.


  2. Great ponts, Terry. In the planning stages I think qiilts are harder to deal with than clothing construction. But then I've never designed and made patterns so what do I know? Thanks for the history lessons.

  3. Great advise .... however.... when I do any project the actual work does not begin until all of the materials (including accessories, etc.) are gathered. If its a room I'm redecorating then its paints, tools, fabrics, furniture, etc. are ready and waiting fo me to wave my magic wand. In quilting I work the same way...gathering all my fabrics, embelishmets, threads, tools, skeches, etc. together before starting. Nothing tics me off more than to be right in the middle of something and find that there is one component missing. However, I am female and frequently change my mind about someting before the project is done. This is most likely the reason my stash has grown to monumental proportions!!!!!!!

  4. Thank you! History was always one of my favorite subjects in school and when paired with quilting, it makes it a lot of fun!

    I appreciate all of you reading and commenting. I learn things from the comments, and if suggestions are made, I take them to heart.


Thank you so much for commenting!