Thursday, July 19, 2012

So you want to make a what?

You're, it would be really neat to actually make a quilt.  But...then the thought ends there, getting squished by insecurity and a lack of knowledge...and the fact that you can head on over to whatever big box discount store is in your area and buy a fairly beautiful blanket or comforter for...half...of what it's going to cost to make it.

Don't let that deter you.  Make a quilt.  The level of satisfaction you get from choosing your own fabric and pattern and arranging it just how you like...and the fun of putting it together, is so much more than browsing the bedding aisle of Macy's (don't get me wrong, that's still fun).   And, if you ask me, nothing beats the homy yet stylish look of a handmade quilt.  Made by moi.

But, where do you start?

For me, it starts one of two places.

1.  I find an amazing pattern, and am desperate to try it.
2.  I find an amazing fabric, and am desperate to try it.

Luckily for The Mister's quilt, I found the pattern first, which for me is always the better way.  I'm just going to say that I have bought fabric before, thinking how much I loved it...and it is still sitting in my fabric pile waiting for the perfect opportunity to be used.

If you do find a fabric that you love and want to base a quilt around it, I was told by a reliable source (some lady who works at a quilt shop), that you should buy 3 yards of it.  She claims that you can work almost any quilt around 3 yards of fabric.

Okay, so you've find the perfect pattern.  I have been holding onto this pattern, Urban Lattice for over a year I'd say.  I just haven't had the opportunity to make it until now. 

Okay.  Got pattern.  Need fabric.

You need a master fabric, one that all the other fabrics tie into or contrast nicely with.  For me, it was Michael Miller's French Journal Collection, Anjou Papillon (that's the butterfly from Anjou...if my French is accurate...which it's not). 

The other fabric that inspired me was Blooming Tulips from the Magnolia Lane Collection, which is also Michael Miller.

Okay!  So I have a pattern and the starting of a fabric pallet...keep going...we need more!!

Yellow-greens, Yellows and blues, OH MY!  These are some that you buy.  Their colors fit in so nicely with your main fabric.

Then you start raiding your stash to fill in the gaps.  Some tans and black and white and others you think will look nice.

Some you have to reject because, even though you think it's will blend in with the black lattice and ruin the lattice effect.  Including the black Anjou Paillon, shown above.  It will go on the back though, so have no fear.  So will this polka dot, probably.

Then you buy, like, 5 yards of this Alexander Henry Linen-looking cotton because you think, at first, that you are actually going to showcase the neutrals...HA!  Then you remember that isn't how you roll.

Okay, now, during this whole process, you need to be thinking Scale.  You need some fabric that has...

Small scale pattern.  Very, very tiny.

You need some that is...

Medium scale.

And you need some that is...

Large scale.

That's not all!!!!  It's not?  NO!

You need solids!

Your eyes like to follow a path.  They just do.  So, solids will give your eyes a resting spot.  Then after they've regrouped from the awesomeness they've just seen, they can move on to the next bunch and rest on some solids there and recover. 


The quilt pattern that I'm using has a natural path with the black lattice, which allows the eyes to relax a bit, but it's still nice to have the cluster of solids in the middle of each block so as to not fatigue the eyes.

You've got to think about eye fatigue when making a quilt!  I will admit that eye fatigue is not usually my primary concern when making a quilt, but it's nice to consider it.

There you have it.  The beginnings of what is going to be a great experience for you.  Making a quilt.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Heather your man's quilt is starting to look more manly with those thick black lines!!! Still not friendly enough with my sewing machine to start!!

    1. Thanks Danni. Don't worry, I'm gonna convince you one of these days.

  2. Wow, I know you LOVE your fabric. I advise first timers to pick one fabric they love (as you suggested) then 3-4 additional that complement it. You can just use solids or mostly solids (just don't tell Heather). One thing I have learned is that once you choose the fabrics you like and they go together, no matter how you lay it out, it will look great! (as long as you don't put two of the same right next to each other). Go with what you love... Heather loves patterns....

  3. Its looking great Heather - you are very talented xx

    1. Thanks Nat. I'm really liking it so far.


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