Making A Pattern Your Own


Have you purchased a pattern and realized that it is not quite what you need? Here are a few suggestions to make the pattern fit your needs.

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Making A Pattern Your Own

Have you purchased patterns in the past and then realized that they just don't fit the purpose you had intended them to? Perhaps the colors are "off", or the size is too small or large, or you really don't need another wall hanging - but you like the design. Here are a few suggestions on ways that you can make some changes to make the pattern fit your needs and make it your own.

Making A Pattern Your Own


Change Color

If the colors on the pattern don't work for your needs but you really like the design, make changes. Take the pattern layout diagram and make several copies of it in black and white. Then you can use some colored pencils to audition what colors will provide you with the look you desire for your project.

Sunset on the Sand


Here is the result.

Color Changed Sunset on the Sand


Change Size

If the size is wrong, that's an easy fix - take your pattern to your nearest copy machine and reduce or enlarge it to work with your project (just remember that these copies are for your use only to be fair to the designer). Also, don't forget that you can add borders to a design to make it larger. This works particularly well for panels, or wall hangings that you want to increase in size. If your pattern is just too large, think about whether you can just use certain elements of the pattern and leave others off - this is particularly easy to do with applique patterns, but with pieced patterns the solution may be as simple as leaving off a row or two of blocks or making smaller borders or fewer borders.



Here is the result.

Color Changed Wall Hanging


Change Design

Have you found a design you just love, but the project type is just not what you need? Consider other ways to use the design; perhaps it was intended as a small wall hanging, but the design may fit on a Christmas stocking. A pattern designed as a pillow may make a wonderful tote bag for yourself or a friend. A large wall hanging may be great to serve as a baby quilt with a border added, a lap quilt for someone who is wheelchair bound, or a soft headboard for a twin bed.

Small Wall Hanging


Here is the result.

Wall Hanging Into Pillow


Change Blocks Or Number Of Blocks

Have you found an applique pattern for a full-size bed and like the blocks but you don't need another large quilt? Try making just a few blocks and use them as a table runner, or just one block and make it into a pillow cover or tote bag. Is there an even smaller element of a quilt that you like? You may want to transform it into a pin to wear on your winter coat, or make it into a pincushion or bowl filler, or even a decorative potholder, mug rug, or towel. You may even find that it would be a great applique on a hoodie for yourself or a friend. Don't forget that some of those small appliques also make cute Christmas ornaments, basket tie-ons, or key chains.

Original Wall Hanging


Here is the result.

Elements from Wall Hanging into Mug Rug


If you truly like a pattern, don't hesitate to purchase it and "make it your own" by using these simple suggestions to transform them into the project that is just right for you or your loved ones.


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Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué

See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
A strip of fabric or pieced strip of fabric joined to the edges of the inner quilt and used to frame it.
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Batting, Filling, Wadding
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