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Monthly Sparks… {and “How not to make a quilt!”}

2015 June 2

June is a good month! We are leaving to go on vacation tomorrow, school will be out at the end of the month – and it’s my month to pick the bundle for my sponsor Fabric Spark’s fabric subscription program!

This subscription features a bundle of 12 fat quarters from Maureen CracknellVery ShannonFresh LemonsBlue Elephant StitchesModern Sewciety + The Tattooed Quilter, and me! It was finally my month pick a bundle, and so mid-May I visited Daryl from Fabric Spark and spend a couple of hours choosing my bundle. Not an easy task with such an amazing collection! In the end this fun bundle (loaded with my favorites and lots of Cotton + Steel!) was born and I decided to make a quilt with the bundle she gave me.

If you follow the blog you know I’m not a quilter – but I was determined to make something with all of these fat quarters in it. Because I put them together, so they must remain together! I sorted them by colour (there are 3 of each) and started with a “Trip around the World” in mind. Here’s where I went wrong….

  1. The groups of colours were not all the same value – ie. 2 dark navy and 1 lighter – they didn’t produce the nice even diamond shape I was aiming for.
  2. The bicycle fabric ended up all on one side because I made another newbie mistake – I wanted all of the fabrics “right side up”. This meant I needed to make each block with the diagonal lines going in the correct direction, and I couldn’t change them later based on how everything looked.
  3. The backing is going to be a (most gorgeous ever) border print, but the quilt is a bit larger – so I need to add to it. And since the quilting was going to be in straight lines, I have no idea how to pull off making the quilt top and backing line up so the lines are not crooked on the back.
  4. I have a navy backing and multi colourful front fabrics – which colour do I quilt in without ruining one or the other by having the thread show up “too much”?
Thankfully my friend Lisa (from Lisa in Port Hope) was over for our Sewcial and gave me a few tips that I think will help.
  1. Unless a quilt is hanging for a show, you don’t have to have everything to be right side up. You can lie under it whichever way you’d like, so aim for the fabrics to be right-side-up from the centre out.
  2. If I had not made everything right-side-up I could have moved the blocks around so the fabrics were spread out more evenly.
  3. Quilt on the diagonal to avoid having straight lines that are not parallel to any lines on the back.
I am not certain that I have solved the quilting thread colour issue. It was suggested that I use gray, but I don’t know that I want it to show up that much?  Any suggestions?

Don’t get me wrong – I am not in any way sad or disillusioned about the quilt. I really LOVE the fabrics. It’s the picky details that are bugging me and I could have made it so much simpler by following the second list of “rules” above! (“Wasting” time gets on my nerves!)

I’m taking my machine and quilt(s) with me on vacation, hoping for a bit of down time during our 10 days off. If all goes well I’ll sort everything out and come back with a finished quilt! That would be fun!

Disclaimer: Fabric Spark is a sponsor of this blog. I was given this fat quarter bundle in return for this blog post. As always, my opinion is my own – thanks for reading!

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13 Responses leave one →
  1. Debbie Rogowski permalink
    June 2, 2015

    first there are no quilt police and we have all made these mistakes. The next one is one I’ve had problems with but realized it’s not a problem. The top quilting thread is like a design on it’s own. Even if it is in a complete contrast (which is a good thing too) it really doesn’t deter from the pattern.
    Backing… I use muslin so I can get the size to fit, but you can put a wide strip off center to aid in the size.

    • June 15, 2015

      Thanks so much Debbie. Good to know. I am so concerned about the quilting showing “too much”. Thanks for your encouragement, I will try not to worry so much!

  2. Janette permalink
    June 2, 2015

    I think it’s cute! The colours are really nice! :) The purse fabric is great!

    • June 15, 2015

      Thanks Janette :) I LOVE the purse fabric! It’s so cute – maybe my favorite – though the little pyramids with smiley faces are cute too…. argh!

  3. June 2, 2015

    You had fun playing with fabric, and you learned something in the process, so there was no waste. After quilting and a good crinkly wash the quilt will be ready to be loved!

    • June 15, 2015

      Thanks Lisa – it’s true. I tend to think too much! I should just go with it more often. I’ve got so much fabric stashed away to play with I should let go and play – not worry!

  4. Eileen permalink
    June 2, 2015

    You could use two different coloured threads. A dark in the bobbin and a light on top. Then your back quilting will he mostly dark (except for a little bit of the top showing) and your front can be whatever colour. Did it on one of my quilts and it turned out okay

  5. June 2, 2015

    I’d go mint or pink for thread- flaunt it!
    It looks awesome, no quilt police!!

  6. Ann ( no e ) permalink
    June 2, 2015

    Sherri, I agree with Lisa that fun plus learning equals a good day ;) I consider myself an advanced beginner quilter. I have found that I love symmetry, pastel colorways, bias bindings and mitered corners. The biggest *lightbulb over head* has been that I have to love the fabrics. Not a new insight by any means, just one that has made it to the front of my sewing brain. I am struggling to finish two ‘boy’ quilts with good quality fabric but uninspiring colors/patterns. I am making both in patchwork style, 10 1/2 inch blocks.
    Love your site, through it I have found my way to many, many sewing/quilting/craft/ knitting sites and blogs.
    Enjoy your Florida holiday.

  7. June 9, 2015

    Hi Sherri. I got my bundle in the mail today! I love it and the colours are awesome! :) In regards to your quilt I think it turned out fantastic! I did not notice all the bicycles being on one side to be an issue at all. It looks intentional. As far as the thread my first though was grey as well. A light to medium grey. I like Aurifil colour 2620. If not grey maybe you can find a variegated thread with some or all of these colours in it. Check Cindy’s Threadworks online in BC. She sells Superior Threads and they have many nice variegated threads in different colour options.

    • June 15, 2015

      Awww – thanks Anita! I will check out the Aurifil, do you know if anyone online sells that colour? Variegated sounds like a happy medium for me – great idea! I will check out your link.

      • July 5, 2015

        Hi! Sorry, just saw this! I don’t know for sure who sells that colour. I think I got it in a collection. Check Mad About Patchwork and Sew Sisters as I think they both sell Aurifil.

        • July 5, 2015

          No worries Anita! I think I owe you a post too… argh… summer vacation is going to be tricky! Thanks for the info. I’ll check it out.

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