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This post is part of a series {Colorbrick} a Beginner’s Quilt-Along.  You can join in anytime, even if you’re not a beginner!  Please see this page for links to all posts, and join us on Flickr to share your questions and work-in-progress!

gutermann thread.

photo courtesy of Brooke/Glory of the 80's

Your finished Colorbrick quilt will measure 52.5″ x 67″.

Materials List

Materials you’ll want right away:

-10 fat quarters for printed “bricks”

-Neutral solid for sashing & binding.  Choose

  • 1 ¾ yard of 59” wide linen (available here) OR
  • 2 yards of 43/44/45” fabric (such as Kona Cotton or Essex Linen/Cotton)

-Neutral solid for backing.  Choose

  • 2 yards of 59” wide linen (available here) OR
  • 3 yards of 43/44/55” fabric (such as Kona Cotton or Essex Linen/Cotton)

Rotary Cutter Setup (cutting mat, rotary cuter and quilter’s ruler)

-High quality machine-stitching thread, such at Gutermann, Sulky or Metler.  Cotton suggested.  I used a solid neutral Gutermann thread for the piecing and this golden/yellow variegated Gutermann thread for the quilting.

gutermann thread.

photo courtesy of Brooke/Glory of the 80's

Materials you’ll need by Oct 26th:

-55 x 69” wool or cotton blanket for batting or twin sized purchased batting that allows for quilting up to 10 inches apart.

-Basting pins or Spray Adhesive

-Walking Foot attachment highly recommended.  My machine doesn’t have a built-in walking foot, so I purchased an attachment that does the job.  Without a walking foot, your sewing machine pulls fabric from the bottom only.  When you’re sewing a thick quilt, this uneven feeding will easily cause puckers and bunching.  A walking foot pulls the fabric from the top as well.  I promise it will come in handy on countless projects!

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This post is part of a series {Colorbrick} a Beginner’s Quilt-Along.  You can join in anytime, even if you’re not a beginner!  Please see this page for links to all posts, and join us on Flickr to share your questions and work-in-progress!

I cannot tell you how excited I am that so many of you want to participate!  I am completely honored.  Well, I can tell you’re ready to get started!  Let’s talk about the part that makes us all giddy…

Choosing Your Prints

You’ll need at least 10 fat quarters to complete the Colorbrick Quilt.  But, guess what, you can use more if you like!  I’m using these 13 fat quarters from the Modern Meadow collection by Joel Dewberry (found here and here).

for {Colorbrick} Quilt-Along

So, how did I choose?  I am making this quilt for my sister, who wants a quilt with navy, wine and burnt orange.  At first I tried to piece these colors together from different lines.  But, since I shop on the internet for fabric, that is pretty darn hard.  Modern Meadow had some great prints in my sister’s preferred colors.  And, the beauty of using a designer’s collection is that you can trust it to match (one wine and another, for example) and to coordinate (this navy harmonizes well with the orange).  Off to a good start!  Next, I added in some brown prints for a neutral.  So far this quilt was looking pretty dark (navy, wine, burnt orange, bark brown).  To give it more variety in value I added the lightest brown herringbone and some aqua blue prints (a color favored by her husband).

At this point, I was pretty happy with my selections.  I had 11 fat quarters.  After settling on making the Colorbrick style, I tried to pinpoint what makes me love this quilt so much.

At home

And I decided, that what I love most is the way the colors dance as the eye is drawn from brick to brick.  How does that happen?  It’s because of the wide variety of colors and value in the quilt (all thanks to Anna Maria Horner, of course!).  So… I opted to add 2 Modern Meadow yellow prints to keep the navy, wine, orange, aqua and brown company.  A fuller spectrum of the rainbow = happy color dance!  Done.

So, as you go about choosing your fabrics, here are my main thoughts:

Using a Designer’s Collection is a smart and convenient choice, especially if you’re shopping online.  The designer has done most of the work for you!

If Piecing Together from Different Collections shop in person or search Flickr for more pictures of the fabrics you are considering for more accurate coordinating.  Some ideas for color inspiration – a favorite color in all it’s many hues, a pair of colors (blue/green, pink/orange, etc.)  or gray with any color (especially with mustard, purple or berry).

For a Color Dance look to represent all but 1-2 main colors (my Modern Meadow selections lack green and purple) or the complete rainbow.  Go light on neutral prints in grays or browns.

Consider Scale.  Each printed rectangle will finish at 5.25 x 9.5″.  This is fairly large block, and serves large prints like the Modern Meadow tree well.  Medium scale prints are very effective.  Small prints like a small dot, tiny floral or thin stripe will give the quilt a more “simple” look.  I prefer a mix of large and medium scale prints.

Consider Variety.  Quilting fabric collections usually include a variation of dot, stripe and floral.  That’s because a variety of print types adds to the fun.  If you’re a classic type of gal, you may like an interpretation like Nicey JaneMeadowsweet is more vintage.  Good Folks (which I used on the original Colorbrick quilt) has a folksy flair and Urban Circus is completely playful.  But, if you look closely, they generally include a version of dot, stripe and floral.

Use Value.  Aim for a mix of light, mid and dark value prints.  Don’t know about value?  See this post.  A quilt made up in one value can be a little flat and boring.  Don’t worry overmuch here, it’s not rocket science.  If you like it – great!

Choosing Your Solid

The Colobrick quilt is sashed and backed in a solid neutral.  Since the sashing is the grout, I suggest a neutral brown, white or pale gray.  The quilt has a solid backing in the same neutral as the sashing, which keeps things simple (beginner quilt, remember?) and showcases the stair-step quilting design.

Quilting

I ♥ Linen!  Natural linen is what I used on the original Colorbrick and it’s what I’ll be using this time too.  Fabric-Store.com is a great source for linen that’s nice and wide, so that you don’t have to piece the back at all.  I’ll be using the IL019 in Natural, which is just $5.97 a yard!  If you purchase your linen from Fabric-Store.com, choose from any of the colors in the IL019 line, since it’s a medium weight linen and all colors are 59″ wide.  You’ll need 3 3/4 yards of linen, but you’ll have to buy 4 yards, since they only cut full yards.

Most fabrics are not manufactured at 59″ wide.  The standard width is 44 or 45″ wide.  Kona Cotton is 44/45″ wide and Essex Linen/Cotton Blend is 43″ wide.  If you buy your neutral in any of these widths you’ll need to buy 5 yards total.  Sew Fresh Fabrics, who is a great source of both Kona and Essex, is offering my readers free shipping on an order of $30 or more.  Just note that you are participating in the Colorbrick Quilt-Along and they will refund your shipping fees within 48 hours! A nice white is Kona SnowKona Ash is a well-loved light gray.  And, at this listing you can compare Kona Stone and Natural.  Essex Cotton/Linen in Natural is lighter and grayer than most natural linen.  But, it is the neutral I used hereEssex Putty is a darker neutral shade.  And, Essex comes in white too.

Linen, Kona Cotton or Essex Linen/Cotton? I’ll be honest – linen is not as easy to work with as cotton.  It tends to be a little shifty when cutting and sewing.  For me, it’s worth it because I love the look and texture.  It’s so natural, so earthy.  Essex is a linen/cotton blend precisely designed to marry the beauty of linen with the ease of sewing on cotton.  It is as easy as Kona to work with, but not as pretty as linen in my opinion.  Honestly, not as pretty by far.  Some suggest using starch to prevent linen from shifting while cutting/sewing.

If You Buy Linen from Fabric-Store.com remember that you need only 4 yards.  Your fabric is so wide that you won’t have to stitch together a backing at all.  One large piece will do the trick!

If You Buy Essex Linen/Cotton or Kona remember that you need 5 yards of fabric.  Also, your quilt is wider than this fabric, so you will have the piece together a quilt backing that is big enough.  This doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is one more step.  To avoid a random-seam-line appearance, I’ll recommend that you piece together 1 row of 5 bricks to span the backing with solid on each side.

Phew!!!  A complete materials list will be posted tomorrow!

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Colorbrick Quilt-Along

Are you ready to make your first quilt?  Nervous?  Don’t know where to start?  Join me for a quilt-along perfect for beginner quilters.

I’ll be posting step-by-step directions for how to make my Colorbrick quilt.  It’s definitely my favorite quilt so far and so easy to make.  Large pieces come together quickly, but the effect is more interesting than a simple block quilt.

You CAN do this!  Come on – there’s no time like the present to get started!

Colorbrick Quilt
We’ll start cutting the first week of October.  So, that leaves you two weeks to get your fabric in hand.  Don’t dawdle now!  You’ll need:

  • 10 Fat Quarters (prints for the bricks)
  • a Solid Neutral for sashing and backing

So start dreaming about what you might use.  Here’s our Quilt-Along post line up with approximate dates:

  1. Choosing Fabrics & Materials List
  2. Prewash & Press Fabrics—————————-Sept 30th
  3. Rotary Cutting 101———————————–Oct 2nd
  4. Cutting:  10 Fat Quarters become 60 Bricks!—–Oct 5th
  5. Cutting:  the Long & Short of Sashing————–Oct 12th
  6. Chain Piecing: Bricks & Short Sashing————-Oct 15th
  7. Musical Bricks—————————————–Oct 19th
  8. Hello Quilt Top!—————————————Oct 22nd
  9. Basting {a Tale of Two Methods}——————-Oct 26th
  10. Quilting Along the Lines—————————–Nov 2nd
  11. Making Your Binding———————————Nov9th
  12. Easiest Machine Binding—————————–Nov12th

You can easily have your Colorbrick quilt done in time for Christmas, even if you hit a few bumps along the way!

Are you going to join us?  Yahoo!  Please consider joining our group on Flickr! It’s a fun way to stay connected, share what you’re making and discuss questions on an open forum.

P.S.  Are you wondering if you’re ready to quilt?  I’ll be assuming you know how to sew a straight line with your sewing machine.  That’s pretty much it.  So, minimal sewing experience is recommended.  We will be using a rotary cutter too.  If you don’t already own a set up, see my suggestions under “Rotary Cutter Extras” on the Get Started Supply List.

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