My Quilt Style: Learning to Adapt Quilt Patterns

In a recent survey, we asked quilters what kind of quilting techniques they wanted to hear about.

They wanted to hear about re-sizing blocks, changing fabrics, alternate layouts… In short, customizing a quilt pattern to make it YOUR OWN.

That’s an interesting topic—adapting patterns. There’s no single answer. Or even a polarizing double answer—there are plenty of techniques and approaches that divide quilters into fiercely defended camps. Do you press seams open or to the dark side? Do you pre-wash fabric or not? You can really get some heated opinions amongst quilters.

No, with adapting patterns, so much depends on you, and who you are. What is your style? Do you like fast, easy quilts with a modern vibe? Are you a traditional gal who likes to hand-piece a reproduction quilt block? Do you like explosions of bright color, or the drama of clean contrast?

Two of our most experienced teachers picked patterns to adapt for My Quilt Style.

What makes a pattern adaptable? There are certain quilt blocks and layouts that lend themselves to what we call “easy math.”

As contrary as it sounds, the best way to learn how to make something unique is to watch how another quilter does it. Thinking through color, value, scale, placement, borders, and rows—all of those things help you on your journey to developing your toolbox.

How does value work in a quilt, and which value combinations appeal to you?

In the episode 2 of My Quilt Style, Jenny Kae Parks customizes Liz porter’s quilt. She knew where she was going with the blocks (they had “easy math”: for re-sizing!), but what about color? She talks through these options.

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