Blog, Exploring Quilting Basics

Exploring the Basics Blog Series – Choosing a Project

Welcome to our series exploring the basics of quilting! Last time, we discussed what you can expect from this series. Next time, we’ll be looking at picking a pattern. To see all the posts in this series, click here.


Hi Friends!

This week, in our Adventures in Quilting with Kate and Tammy Exploring the Basics post, Tammy and I are chatting about Choosing a Project.


This is where each quilt adventure starts. Choosing a project. Sometimes getting started is the hardest step!

No Ideas – I just want to make a Quilt!

Maybe you just want to make a quilt. 

How do you decide on what to make? Before you even begin the pattern search, you need to know why you are making this quilt. Is it to use up some of your stash? Is it to try a new technique? 

Maybe you just need to create something.

Or maybe you have been inspired by a quilt you saw at your local quilt guild’s Show and Tell. Or maybe you have been inspired by the colors of a quilt you saw on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook.


Fat quarter bundle of Cherrywood fabrics.


That happens to me; I see a quilt and while I know I don’t want to make that quilt, the colors call out to me!

Specific Project in Mind

Maybe you have a specific project in mind.

Maybe you need to make a baby quilt. Or a quilt for a new graduate (or soon to be graduate!). 

Maybe there is a family wedding coming up and you want to surprise the happy couple with a quilt. 

Maybe the specific project is more about a pattern that you have been meaning to try and have not gotten to yet. Or a fabric bundle that you have had in your stash that is calling your name… I have a few of those. They keep saying, “Kate, come play with me!”


Fat quarter bundle of blue fabrics.


Regardless of the reason to make a quilt, there are a few things we need to consider when picking the project – time frame, level of difficulty and budget. 

Three things to think about

1. Time Frame– when do you need this quilt done? This can impact the level of difficulty of the pattern you pick. 

2. Level of Difficulty– what is the skill level you can do in the time frame you have for this project? There is nothing worse than choosing a difficult project when you have a tight deadline and then getting frustrated. 

But, if you have time, maybe it might be fun to learn a new technique or try something new and do a quilt you thought was beyond your skill level.

Charm Quilt, Picturesque
Picturesque from the book Smash Your Precut Stash


3. Budget– always a consideration and if the budget is tight, be sure to shop your stash! And remember, you probably have a good pattern or 2 in your stash you haven’t used yet, some fabric that you can start with and then go shopping to add some new fabrics! Don’t be afraid to mix the old and the new.

Tell me, what are the questions you ponder when starting a new project?

Or do you just wander into a shop, see something you like and bam! New project.

Or do you usually start at the next step- picking a pattern and let the project get decided by the pattern?

Leave me a comment letting me know what process you go thru. Or if you have a process or …. 

… maybe different project, different process?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Want to check out Tammy’s thoughts on Choosing a Project? Click here to go to her post.

Next Step

Now that you have a project in mind- the basic size, basic budget considerations and the overall reason for the quilt, now it is time to pick a pattern! Next time we will chat about picking a pattern, and then we will move onto the hard part (or the fun part depending on your level of color confidence!)- picking a color scheme and fabrics! 

Happy Quilting,


1 thought on “Exploring the Basics Blog Series – Choosing a Project”

  1. Hi Kate, I’m not sure I knew you had an Aussie, those blue eyes are dreamy. My empty nest child was a red melee Border Collie. He went to dog school with Aussies. They are the best dogs. You know what they say about dogs with blue eyes right? I also have 2 tuxedo cats. Poor Frank the dog is gone now. About the market tote. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to download that pattern without success. I tried several times on the 14th, thanks for the reminder, finally left a note for the moderator. I hope she can send me somewhere to get the free pattern. It looks very comfy. Not too big or too small. Thanks for the reminder though.

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