Perennial Quilt Sew Along Week 1: Pick Fabric

The Perennial quilt sew along will help you make this beautiful modern quilt through added instructions, pictures and tips! suzyquilts.com

Welcome, fellow quilters, to Week 1 of the Perennial quilt sew along! I know you're as excited as I am to make this much loved Suzy Quilts pattern. The Perennial quilt is perfect for spring, very scrap friendly, and is a great introduction to improv cutting.

If you're new here or new to sew alongs (or to me, Sarah), feel free to read this introductory post to get an overview of how the sew along works, as well as the fun perks that come with joining. There is no need to sign up to participate. Just sew along and have fun! These posts can always be found in the Sew Along tab so you can come back to them anytime.

The Perennial Quilt Sew Along

  • Overview: Make a throw (or larger) Perennial quilt top in five weeks starting May 13 and wrapping up by June 17.

  • Community: The Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook group is the quickest way to have your questions answered by seasoned and new quilters alike! You’ll find a supportive group of quilters who love to help and encourage each other.

  • Show and tell: Instagram is the place for showing your pics using the #PerennialQuiltSA. This step is twofold: by using the hashtag, you’ll get connected and inspired by other quilters, and you will be entered to win the weekly prize! Show your fellow quilters love by liking and commenting on their posts!

  • Prizes: As if the finished quilt top wasn’t enough, there are weekly prizes and a grand prize in the end!

Perennial Sew Along Schedule

The sew along is scheduled so that you have time to make a throw Perennial quilt. To participate, you can make any size you want, but to win the final Week 5 prize, you need to show a completed throw or larger quilt top.

When choosing your fabric, you might be wondering why the background fabric requirement is higher than what you're used to needing for other quilt patterns. This has to do with improv piecing, which requires more wiggle room and because of that, more fabric. While this does produce some fabric waste, we've got great tips for using up scraps in a sustainable way!

Week 1 Assignment: Pick Fabric and Gather Supplies

I love making quilts, but in addition to that love is a passion for mixing and matching fabric to sell in my fabric shop. As I set out to pick fabric for my Perennial quilt, I had the added goal of creating 4 different bundles for kits. I knew I would be making one of them, so I decided to challenge myself and choose the one that was slightly out of my wheelhouse. 

The Perennial quilt sew along will help you make this beautiful modern quilt through added instructions, pictures and tips! suzyquilts.com

Vibrant reds and pinks make my heart happy, and while I included 2 kits with those shades, I'm personally making the grey and yellow fabric kit. I don't know if picking colors outside of my normal range created an added challenge for me, but I went back and forth a bit in the selection process.

As you know, ordering fabric online comes with its challenges. You can't always tell the scale of the print or even the actual colors. So, when my fabric arrived, I realized I was at a crossroads.

My original mock-up included two floral prints, and I really loved both, but once I saw them something in my gut didn't feel right. They weren't a good fit (See below). It came down to scale. The two florals were too similar in color and scale—they felt like competitors rather than simpatico pieces of a puzzle.

So which to keep and which to cancel?

Either print worked with the other fabrics so this was tough. In moments like this, I step back and check in with my gut. Sometimes it's loud and clear and sometimes it demands a snack first. 😉 What I love about the fabric selection process is that the more I do it the louder and more confident my gut instinct becomes.

In the end, I went with the more rustic, earthy fabric. It complimented the overall feel I wanted for this Perennial wildflower quilt. And honestly, of the two, it is not the one I would normally choose, but I am so excited to challenge myself and make something outside of my comfort zone.

The Perennial quilt sew along will help you make this beautiful modern quilt through added instructions, pictures and tips! suzyquilts.com

If you ever find yourself overwhelmed or at a loss when choosing fabric, read on for some helpful tips!

Fabric Picking Tips

  1. Look at pattern mock-ups. The last pages of the Perennial pattern have added color ideas. 
  2. Surf both hashtags - #PerennialQuilt and #PerennialQuiltSA. This is a huge benefit to doing a sew along for an older quilt pattern—more people have made the quilt and posted their pics!
  3. Pinterest is a fantastic source for color inspiration. And the search isn’t limited to quilts. Search for color inspiration in interior design, nature, clothing - anything you want! The inspiration you find can translate to a fun color palette for your quilt.
  4. Start with a favorite fabric from your stash and add coordinating fabrics. This is one of my favorite ways to build a fabric stack. I grab a favorite print that has colors I can draw from and add other prints until I have a cohesive stack of fabric that makes me smile.
  5. Buy a kit or bundle! Seriously though, if you see a ready-made bundle of fabric that you love it can take the guesswork out of the fabric selection process, which gets you one step closer to the making!

Helpful Tips & Tools

  1. Because the triangle pieces have bias edges, it’s best to use quilting cottons, especially if you’re new to quilting. Linen and woven fabrics are more inclined to naturally stretch.
  2. Use starch when prepping fabric to minimize stretching. For more info on starch check out this post - Fabric Starch: Get It or Forget It?
  3. You can use the triangle template in the pattern for trimming your triangles, but a quilting template or triangle ruler can make trimming much easier. I’ll share tips for using all of the trimming options in the Week 2 & 3 blog post, but if you want to order ahead you can view the options below. 

Also pictured below is my favorite ​45mm Olfa rotary cutter and magnetic slap pin bracelet.

Week 1 Sponsor & Prize

We're kicking off this springy quilt pattern with the springiest of all the fabric—Liberty of London! DuckaDilly, our Week 1 sponsor, is an amazing resource for purchasing hundreds of Liberty of London prints. Not only do they stock hard-to-find prints, but they also have their own line of exclusive bespoke Liberty designs.

The Perennial pattern is perfect for adding tiny splashes of this lux fabric in the flowers or garden section of the quilt. And, lucky for one winner, DuckaDilly is giving away a $100 gift certificate! YAY!

Get 25% off longarm quilting on your Perennial quilt from now until August 1 at Trace Creek Quilting.

How to Win

  • Post progress pics to Instagram. For week 1, show us your fabric choices. Use #PerennialQuiltSA in the caption.
  • Your Instagram profile must be public to participate.
  • Each photo you post counts as an entry. You can enter as many times as you want! Each week starts fresh, so be sure to post every week for more chances to win.
  • Your photo must be posted between Friday, May 13, and Friday, May 20. The winner will be picked randomly from all qualifying posts and announced at approximately 4:00 p.m. on the 20th. Good luck!

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