Adventureland Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

Welcome fellow thrill-seekers, dreamers and adventurers! We gather once again to start something new and oh so exciting—the Adventureland quilt sew along! Are you new to SQ sew alongs or maybe sew alongs in general? If so, I encourage you to read this introduction post so you don't miss out on all the benefits of sewing along with us as well as the various ways to get involved.

For those who have sewn along with me and the SQ community before, welcome back friends! I MISSED YOU these past months. Doesn't it feel good to be back in action? Even though I know you know what to expect over the next four weeks, here's a teeny weeny recap for the newer folks.

And just to remind everyone, you do not sign up for SQ sew alongs. You simply sew along with us! These posts will remain free and public on the blog so you can revisit them any time.

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #jellyrollpattern

The Adventureland quilt above was made by Erin Jo using a jelly roll by Giucy Giuce.

The Adventureland Quilt Sew Along

  • The Mission: Make a throw (or larger) Adventureland quilt top in four weeks starting NOW, March 22 and wrapping up by April 19.
  • Tech Support: The Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group is the best place to ask your technical sewing questions. And just to note, stupid questions do not exist. I repeat NO QUESTION IS STUPID. So before you ask a question in the group forum there's no need to ever preface it with, "This may be a stupid question, but..." The main purpose of sew alongs is to answer questions that pop up during the quilt-making process.
  • Backup: Smart adventurers always have backup on important missions and Smart is our middle name. The SQ quilting community shows up in the most inspiring way through the sew along hashtag on Instagram, #AdventurelandQuiltSA. Use that hashtag in the comments of your post and you are automatically entered into a weekly giveaway! Follow that hashtag to connect with others in the sew along and get inspired by their quilt progress. Like, comment, even repost pictures from other Adventureland quilters to let them feel support. It's so easy and fast to do and it makes people feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Reward: Aside from having a beautiful finished quilt top, you also can win weekly prizes by using #AdventurelandQuiltSA in the comments of your posts on Instagram. More details on that are at the bottom of this post.
    Get 25% off longarm quilting on your Adventureland quilt from Jenn B Quilts now through August. Use coupon code ADVENTURELAND.
    Get 25% off longarm quilting on your Adventureland quilt from Trace Creek Quilting now through mid-May. You must mention this deal when filling out the info form.
The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #jellyrollpattern

Adventureland Sew Along Schedule

If You Are New to Quilting...

I'm so glad you're here! This is a fantastic pattern for you and a sew along is the perfect way to explore, learn and grow your quilting skills. I have more resources for you that are helpful and quick to read.

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

Picking Fabric for the Adventureland Quilt

I designed the schedule of this sew along so that you have time to comfortably make a throw Adventureland quilt, however you can make any size you want. To win the final Week 4 prize you need to show a finished throw or larger quilt top.

Adventureland is the best modern quilt pattern for a beginner quilter. You can use yardage, a jelly roll or scrap fabric!

As you can see in the above chart, you can use a jelly roll/scraps OR color yardage to make a throw quilt. You do not need BOTH a jelly roll AND color yardage.

Once you figure out what to use for your 40 - 2.5" WOF strips, then pick up a yard of fabric for the Background.

Fabric Picking Tips

  • Read the blog post 6 Ways to Tackle Your Fear of Wasting Fabric. This post has some great practical tips for taking the fear out of choosing fabric.
  • Look at the pattern mock-ups. Check out the last pages of the Adventureland pattern for added color ideas. 
  • Get inspired by surfing Pinterest. It sounds too simple, but I do it all the time! Wanna know my secret weapon for picking fabric? Find color combinations from sources outside of quilting! Interior design, fashion, nature, art—anything!
  • Let your fabric be your guide. Match coordinating solids or prints to a favorite fabric. You can also look at the selvage of a print to see all of the colors used in the fabric.
The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

My Adventureland Fabric

Friends, picking fabric for my sew along quilt was a bit of a rollercoaster. I wanted to use a jelly roll because I figured a lot of you would also be using jelly rolls so it would be nice if my tips were relatable. I found an adorable one from Ruby Star Society, however the main problem was that about a fourth of it was pink.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE pink. I love it so much almost every quilt I make ends up with a little bit of pink in it. Because of that I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. But that left me with another problem, if I nixed a quarter of the strips in my jelly roll, I wouldn't have enough to make a quilt. Hmmm...

Enter the Jr. jelly roll! That's right folks. If you thought jelly rolls couldn't get any cuter, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that they can. A Jr. jelly roll is a pint-sized bundle containing approximately half the amount of strips in a regular jelly roll. 

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

So after throwing out all of the pink strips and adding in some solids strips from my Jr. jelly roll, here's where I was.

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

Ya'll, I was not loving it. I think the Food Groups collection really needed the pink to look complete. Hmmm...what now?

Eureka! A thought occurred to me. What if I threw out the entire jelly roll and just rolled with the Jr. jelly roll! I could then supplement the needed strips with more color yardage and background fabric to create a minimal stripe.

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #quiltpattern

Eh? Are we digging this? I liked the minimal stripe, but it felt a bit...adrift. It needed a little more structure. To achieve that, I added one color yardage to the central part of the pinwheel. Like this...

The Adventureland quilt along includes extra tips and inspiration to make this beginner and jelly roll friendly quilt pattern. #jellyrollpattern

If you are digging this and want to do something similar, you need:

  • One Jr. Jelly Roll (also called a Half Roll) OR 20 - 2.5" x WOF strips
  • 12" minimum (3/8 yd. is what the pattern lists so you have enough wiggle room to cut your strips on grain) of one color for the central part of the pinwheel
  • 2.25 yd. Background (How I figured this out: I needed 16 - 2.5" x WOF strips = 40" total. 40 divided by 36 (one yd) is a little less than 1.25 yd. Add that to the fabric you need already for the Background and voilà!)

To keep things simple, I found a solid from my stash, AGF PURE Gentle Feather. It was the only fabric I had enough of so it's what I'll use. Throughout this process of going back and forth and changing my mind, I started to get a little insecure. I even wondered, "If I struggle to choose fabrics, does that mean I'm bad at it?" Here's what I came up with...

1. It's OK to change your mind.

Sometimes it feels like once you purchase fabric for a project you're locked in, even if you don't really like what's happening, but that's just not the case. You can use that fabric in a future project or if you are really not loving it, swap it with a sewing friend for something else. 

Start off your quilt with excitement and use fabric that brings you joy! I plan on using this Food Groups jelly roll as binding on this quilts and probably a future baby Adventureland quilt too.

2. It's OK to like what you like.

I remind myself of this All. The. Time. It's OK for you to fall back into using the same color schemes and fabrics. It's OK for you to hate solid and love prints. It's OK for you to make quilts that look different than mine. In fact, it's more than OK, it's how it should be! That's what keeps our quilting community beautiful.

3. It's OK not to feel 100% sure about your decisions.

This is true for most life decisions, but definitely true when picking fabric for a quilt. You just can't know exactly how this fabric is going to look as a quilt until it becomes a quilt. Yes, you can make a detailed mock-up, but there's also a lot of joy to be had in the surprise of seeing a quilt come together!

4. It's OK to struggle. That doesn't mean you're bad at it.

I have been quilting for over 20 years and as you just witnessed, I struggled to pick fabric for this quilt. I'm still not 100% sure this will look good. Does that mean I'm bad at color? Does that mean I should approach future quilts with the worry that I'm going to botch it up cause I struggled so much with this quilt? HECK NO! Maybe I was having an off day or maybe, just maybe when I push myself out of my comfort zone it will be uncomfortable. Who could have guessed?

Some days you nail it on the first try. Some days you have to struggle. C'est la friggin' vie. haha!

5. It's OK to move on.

I'm going to follow that up with, it's also OK not to love every quilt you make. That just means you should keep making more quilts. Every time you take time to sew, you are learning and growing. You can apply that acquired knowledge and confidence to changing how you make the same pattern, or you can simply move on to the next pattern!

Week 1 Sponsors & Prizes

One of our favorite sewing shops is the sponsor for this week's prize—Sewing Arts Center! By posting a pic to IG and using #AdventurelandQuiltSA you are entered to win a $100 gift certificate to anything on their website, and people, they have everything.

The folks at SAC are so much fun and always cooking up new kits and discounts, so make sure to follow along with them on social media and through their newsletter!

Our second sponsor is Emily Van Hoff who is giving away an earring kit. If you are unfamiliar with Emily's wall hangings and accessories, ooooh am I excited for YOU! They are a stunning mix of graphic and textile design.

How to Win

  • Post a pic to Instagram. The photo prompt for Instagram this week is to post a picture of your sew along progress. Use #AdventurelandQuiltSA in the caption.
  • You must have a public Instagram profile to participate.
  • Each photo posted is an entry and you can enter as many times as you want in a single week. Once the week is over, those posts do not count in the next week's giveaway. Every week we start fresh.
  • Your photo must be posted between Tuesday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 29. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on the 29th. Good luck!

31 thoughts on “Adventureland Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

  1. Suzanne says:

    Suzy! What a great post – so filled with positivity, creative encouragement and just plain sound advice. Love, love, love!

  2. Leanne S says:

    You always make me smile 🙂
    Lol I’m up to 4 Adventureland quilts in the works. One is going to be a scrappy Ukrainian colored one.
    PS the food groups would have been super cute, but I completely understand!

  3. Ruma Costello says:

    I love your Food Groups fabric, maybe with red, orange, yellow solids?
    I bought a jelly roll for Adventureland that I’ve been in love with for months… I think it’s harder to use because the number of strips is unpredictable. I spent quite awhile moving strips around and I hope I love the outcome. But this is a great pattern!

  4. Jathryn says:

    Cute!! I have my fabric picked. 🙂 I don’t keep my insta public, but I will be sewing along with you all! Love scrolling through all the posts.

  5. dianne says:

    you ALWAYS make me feel good…..what a great, positive post. I’m so looking forward to making this quilt – (like I needed another project!!!???)NO!

  6. MommaT says:

    I am so excited to join the fun for my first guilt-along, this is a fun pattern. It has been so fun to see so many versions of Adventureland on insta. Thank you for sharing so much great information in this post, you are a delight to follow. I’m new to quilting and excited to get Adventurous!😉

  7. Kathy says:

    Great blog post! I needed this! I wish jelly rolls would be more predictable, I mean, why do they only have 40-42 strips, why can’t they make them with a guaranteed 2 strips of each fabric? LOL!

  8. mts says:

    Having that white floor is a very helpful for placement planning! I have used a white sheet over my carpeted floor for that purpose.

  9. Tori says:

    uh oh, I think I have a jr jelly roll. Thanks for alerting me that that was a possibility before I started cutting….yup, just checked. Only 24. Now I’m really glad you changed your mind so instead of panicking, I now know I just need to find a nice neutral to intersperse with. Sigh.

  10. Georgie says:

    Hi. I bought the pattern and thought I downloaded it. (I am not very good at using computers and doing new things)
    Now I cannot find it nor the email saying my order was complete

  11. Piper says:

    Do you ever do comprehensive patterns/quilt alongsides/tutorials exclusively in video form? I’m dyslexic and it’s extremely difficult to get through written patterns (the mix of letters and numbers is most dyslexics nightmare and/or biggest fear), so its hard for me to ever make the new quilts I see and love. Your patterns are all so beautiful and I can sometimes figure them out-ish by just studying them, but they never come out exact because I don’t have measurements. I was hoping you might have an accommodation for your disability adventurers and I was just missing it. Either way, it’s a beautiful quilt and I hope to make it one day!

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Hi Piper! Thank you very much for your comment and for bringing this to our attention. We are invested in making sure our patterns and tutorials are broadly accessible, so we’re very interested in talking with you more about accommodations for quilters with dyslexia. Could you contact us at [email protected]? One of the things we are wondering about is if an online reader could help in the interim while we learn more. On an iPhone for example, the voiceover accessibility function can read anything aloud, including a PDF like our patterns. But we’d love to learn and chat more about that or other ways we can provide accommodations! Looking forward to hearing from you via email! 🙂

  12. Ginger Crawford says:

    Hi Suzy,
    For the bright quilt on the cover – I found the jelly roll you used and the backing. Yay!! For the triangles and lightest strips – were those white or gray? Do you happen to know what the color name? I do love it just the way it is. Thanks!! Best, Ginger

  13. Ginger says:

    Hi Suzy,
    I did find out that the grey in the Elizabeth Hartman Jelly Roll is Kona “Shadow”. Now – just asking if you used that or some sort of white for the lightest color and the triangles? Thank you.


  14. Kristy says:

    Just starting my first Quilt with this one! Just got my Jelly Roll, but do I want to pre-wash it before I sew with it? Also, peeped a bit at the Double gauze, would it make sense to use double gauze as the background and backing or would that be a nightmare? It’s a baby blanket so I do want it to be soft for the wee one.

    • Laura Hopper says:

      Wow, Kristy, congratulations! We’re so happy you chose a Suzy Quilts pattern for your first ever quilt! To answer your first question, we do not recommend pre-washing pre-cuts. The shrinkage may cause too much loss for small cuts. If you’d like to learn more about double gauze, this blog post should really help! It’s packed full of information:

      Welcome to quilting!! 🙂

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