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The Quilt that taught me a lesson (or two)

By July 3, 2016July 8th, 2016blog

It’s funny that the quilt that has taught me the most isn’t one that required me to learn new skills or undertake difficult piecing…. it is the simplest of quilts (literally each block takes about 10 mins to make) but boy does it pack a punch in other ways.

First Lesson

So I bought this beautiful French General ‘Bouquet Francais’ fabric ages ago. I loved it. It has some really pretty pieces in it. I bought a FQ bundle and a layer cake and a charm pack and a few bits and bobs of yardage. And a kit to make a little storage box. You get the picture. I went a bit crazy!



I didn’t have a project in mind when I bought it all but thought there would be something worthy come along one day.

Queue forward a couple of years to me ‘refinding’ it down the back of my fabric cupboard and going ‘hmmmmm’.

Lesson One is a hard one for me: Don’t hoard fabric.

Don’t keep it for so long sitting in the cupboard that your tastes change COMPLETELY and you no longer really like it.

So I have been trying to use my fabric more recently…. I have cut into my Vintage Picnic (and love it so much I keep on cutting and making from it). Little Ruby has also been cut into a bit (and will do more soon once my current VP obsession finishes!), my Paperie has been started to be used and I have plans for Pixie Noel as well.

As I had so much of my French General fabric and I still did sort of like it (well, someone in my family/friends will think its ok, right?), I cut up the layer cake using this quick 10 min block pattern I got from Craft Alive last year.

I didn’t like that I had so much of this fabric, it felt bad not to use it but I soon realised that making something out of fabric you have fallen out of love with is really hard…. like trudging through mud for hours.

And this is where the second lesson comes in

Second Lesson

Not all fabrics work with all patterns.

For some reason I didn’t stop and think about the actual pattern (and I even did a test block!) and the fabric I was using.

This fabric is B.U.S.Y. there is a lot going on in each piece and the pattern mixes up those fabrics a lot which makes it even busier!

bouquetfrancaisblock   bouquetfrancaisyellowblock

In hindsight (and this was of course AFTER I had finished cutting out and sewing up the blocks!) I should have used a solid as one of the fabrics in each block… that way the patterned piece would have really shined.

So I am trying to really stop and think about the fabrics and the particular pattern before I start cutting and sewing. I just have to balance this out with not getting frozen trying to figure out where every piece of fabric is going to go (I would never actually get any quilts started!)

Third Lesson

To be honest I have learnt this lesson from a few quilts, but as this was some of the first fabric I bought, I hadn’t learnt it back then.

Buy your binding and backing when the fabric line first comes out.

Even if you haven’t worked out which specific pattern(s) you are going to use the fabric for, get some of the fabric you best think will be a good binding / backing and make sure you have it sitting there for the day you DO start making something.

So here is the quilt top that I have made… I have tried to ‘calm’ the blocks down by sashing them with a very pale sashing. I’m still not sure I like it though.


P.S. I have now sold the FQ bundle and charm pack so that others can put it to some good use. So all is not lost… and I have some more $s to buy some more fabric! 🙂






  • I always maintain that even if I don’t love a quilt at the end of the project, I will have learned something. It sounds like this quilt has been one of those experiences for you. One thing I have found, though, is that at this stage of the project is usually the worst; hopefully once it is done you will be very happy with the end result.

    • SWL says:

      Thanks Yvonne – I am just hoping when I have it finished I will be able to find someone who will think its wonderful and love it 🙂

  • Tish says:

    All are very good lessons and I know I’m still guilty of forgetting one every now and then. I almost always try to pick up binding material when I pick out fabrics after a few close calls of not being able to find anything that looked close.

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