When I was upstairs finishing all my pink pinwheel blocks this afternoon (yeah!) I got to thinking about my process. I tend to work in a particular way with my scrap quilts — it’s not necessarily the quickest way but it works for me and it goes something like this….
1. pull a lot of fabric in the colors I plan to use and then sort through and refine my selection. I tend to lay them on top of each other with about an inch or two of each fabric showing and remove any that I don’t think will work — with my scrap quilts — more fabrics are better.
2. start cutting enough of the different fabrics to begin to make several blocks.
3. piece a few blocks and put them on the design wall to evaluate how my fabrics are working.
4. make any necessary adjustments — sometimes this means removing or adding fabrics to my mix.
5. continue to cut a while then piece a while — I NEVER cut one of my own scrap quilts out all at once.
6. when I get down to the last *set* of blocks I make sure I’ve got a good mix of fabrics cut for them — I hate getting down to just one or two more blocks and having to cut more.
7. once the blocks are made and up on the design wall, I decide if I need any changes to my planned setting — this could be more blocks or occasionally sashing or a twisted setting or a change in borders.
8. once the blocks are pieced together I usually reassess the plan for borders again — does the quilt need them? is it the right size already? pieced or plain? I love quilts without borders so this always gets a lot of thought because I only add them if I feel the quilt needs them (or if I got tired of making blocks and it needs to be bigger).
On my current quilt I’m up to step #6 with just 5 more brown star blocks to piece — but first, I’ll have to cut and sew more half square triangles.
For me, my most successful quilts are those where I’m willing to be open to making changes as the quilt takes shape.
So, what’s your process? Cut all and THEN sew? Cut and sew together? Start with a plan and stick with it? Start with a plan and modify it as you go along?