Okay, admit it, you just said, “FINALLY!” It’s okay, so did I.
The sampler will finish at 70″ x 86″. Your fabric requirements are as follows:
Background: 5 1/2 yards minimum
I recommend 6 yards just to be safe. If your background is anything other than white, you may want to get an extra yard in case of emergency. You don’t want to find out you need more two months from now and end up with fabric from a different dye lot. Trust me, just because it’s the same name doesn’t mean the color will be identical.
Blocks: Total of 2 yards assorted fabric
If you want to match the layout of the illustration exactly, you need:
Aqua – 1/2 yard
Purple – 3/8 yard
Pink – 3/8 yard
Orange – 3/8 yard
Green – 3/8 yard
Yellow – 3/8 yard
If you’re comfortable being less organized with the fabrics, you can choose 10 – 12 fat quarters or a variety of scraps instead.
I do not recommend precuts (jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes, etc.) for this project. You might be able to do some of the blocks this way, but the overall quilt isn’t really precut friendly.
Binding: 3/4 yard
Backing: 6 yards
You can get away with 5 1/2 yards if you’re good at piecing backings, but 6 is easier. You may also choose to do a pieced back with extra fabrics, additional blocks, etc. I find that this sort of pieced back adds interest and saves fabric. I often create a pieced back with two main fabrics and a row of extra blocks set between the two.
As I said in an earlier post, I recommend you check out the fabric selection posts from the Skill Builder Series.
Skill Builder Series: Part 2A – Fabric (Sandi)
Skill Builder Series: Part 2A – Fabric (Jeanne)
Skill Builder Series: Part 2B – Fabric (Sandi)
Skill Builder Series: Part 2B – Fabric (Jeanne)
Skill Builder Series: Part 3C – The Use of Neutrals (Jeanne)
Skill Builders Series Part 5 – Fabric Fundamentals
Don’t forget to include your background fabric when you consider the value of your fabrics. A medium background can create a striking quilt, but you will need to select your block fabrics more carefully. Look for more darks and lights and fewer mediums.
Although the sample is shown in solids, most of the blocks are large enough to handle even a medium scale print, and all of them can handle a small scale print. Tone on tone fabrics (those that have prints in the same color as the background) will look fantastic. Be adventurous! This isn’t about making a perfect quilt, it’s about expanding your skills and having something to show for it later. Check out the Quilting Skill Builder Series group on Flickr and share your progress photos! I’ll also put a bunch of EQ mock ups out there for inspiration.
Here are some PDF coloring sheets for your use. I created a blank one, of course, but you may prefer one of the others if you’re using medium or dark background fabric. Click on the images to open the PDFs.
Finally, you have a pretty good sense of how much time and work Jeanne and I have put into this sampler and the Skill Builder Series, and we ask that you honor our respective copyrights. We’d love for you to tell people about it, but please direct them to our blogs rather than printing out information and sharing it. You’re welcome to use the instructions to create quilts for anything except commercial production.
If you have any questions about fabric or color choices, we’re here to help! Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to get back to you quickly. Remember, though, that this is about YOUR quilt, and your aesthetic. Value is important, but everything else is fairly subjective. Trust yourself!