Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Graph Paper QAL: Fabric & Themes

It’s been wonderful to hear how many of you are going to be sewing along with us for the Graph Paper Quilt Along! There's a lot of freedom built into this event on purpose. I want it to be a fun, relaxing experience for all of you.  Remember that the only requirement is that you use patchwork squares – any size, any fabric, any pattern. Just to get you started, I’ve pulled together some ideas that will work for either your quilt or your small projects. Take a look and see what you like!

Fabric Auditions
Unless you have a stack of prints that you’re dying to use in your next project, you may be looking for some inspiration. Here are a few auditions from my own stash: 

I love these colors together. They remind me of summer sunsets.

1. Go Solid: a project made with only solids is so clean and modern. Limit your color palette for special effect.

I used the print on the left from the Grey Abbey collection to guide the rest of my choices.

2. Go Low Volume: Use prints with a predominantly white or cream background for a look that’s quiet but still full of personality.

I love mixing up a rainbow of colors with kid friendly prints.

3. Go Juvenile: Kid friendly novelty prints make wonderful “I-Spy” projects, perfect for games and storytelling activities with the little ones in your life.

A portion of my embarrassingly large Denyse Schmidt stash

4. Go Designer: We all have our own private hoards of fabric by our favorite designers. Instead of letting those prints languish on the shelf, this is your chance to showcase them in a practically foolproof project.

Of course, there are plenty of other themes to choose from. Pick a design element like dots, flowers, or geometric prints. Take the color palette from one favorite print and pull other fabrics to match. Use two complementary fabric collections from different designers and mix them up for a totally new look. The possibilities are endless!

Close up from my first Mosaic Bag - a loose variation on a plus pattern

Pattern Ideas
There’s nothing wrong with just spreading your squares out randomly and sewing them together, but some of you may be looking for something a little more unique or would just rather work off an established pattern. Here are some links that might interest you. 

Remember that this quilt along is all about fun and creativity. If you decide to add some borders or a rogue half square triangle to your pattern, I'm not going to kick you out on a technicality. Try to stick to the square pattern as much as you can, but if something amazing is calling your name, then answer the call! Now is the time to start choosing fabric and a pattern, and then you'll want to get to work on cutting out all those beautiful squares. I'll have a few cutting tips for you on Monday along with our first small project tutorial link. Is it a good pattern? Let's just say that I want to make a million of these...


  1. A million? Wow - I'm looking forward to seeing what it is! I'm going with the simple approach - lots of random squares sewn together...with a little bit of planning thrown in for good measure!

  2. Can't wait to see what you're cooking up for Monday! I'm going to use solids leftover from the quilt I just made for my daughter... I'm thinking a pixelated heart pillow would be fun.

  3. This quilt along sounds very interesting to me BUT I have never done such a kind of sewing with graph paper. Please could you explain to me how that sewing work? Sorry for the stupid question.

  4. I have a stack of charm squares all cut out...a huge stack....solids and prints just waiting for a project...I think this might be it! Makes me feel a little ahead of the game!;)

  5. I've got a St. Louis 16 patch in mind, I think it would also be a great leader and ender project.

  6. I am definitely in. I'm going to do a plus block with 5" charm packs, with a bit of a twist maybe. I have to graph it out yet. This should be fun. Hoping to do some small projects too.

  7. I'm going to be lurking. Seems like every time I say I'm in, I can't deliver, so I figure if I pretend I'm not in, I can take some of the pressure off. Love your ideas so far!

  8. I'm wondering if I should go scrappy and happy (I have soooo many scraps!) or if I should use this as a valid reason to hit up some online fabric shops :D


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