Hey, Suzy Quilts fans, Laura here! You may remember me as the guest host of the Voyage Quilt Sew Along or from my other blog posts on the Suzy Quilts website. I'm the Managing Editor and Communications Director here at SQ, and I'm excited to be back to share our best tips and tricks for making the revamped and renamed Summer Haze quilt pattern!
As summer winds down and turns to fall, it's the perfect time to make this lovely quilt that is fast, fun, and beginner-friendly. We've received many requests for this popular pattern to be available in more sizes, and we answered your call with a revamped Summer Haze pattern that now includes a Baby, larger Throw, Twin, and Queen/Full size. All you need to make the Throw is seven fat quarters and some background fabric!
Our Summer Haze Tips & Tricks blog series will be three parts long, and today we are focusing on how to choose and cut your fabrics. While this blog series is not a full sew along, I will still be answering any of your questions in the blog comments and doing weekly Summer Haze check-ins in the Suzy Quilts Patterns Facebook Group, so make sure to join.
Keep reading for tips on choosing your fabrics (including six examples of different fabric pulls!), information about brand new Suzy Quilts Summer Haze kits that are available now, and a guide for cutting your fabric. After reading this post, you'll be ready to make your own Summer Haze quilt!
Summer Haze Tips & Tricks Blog Series Schedule
- Week 1, August 26: Choosing fabric and cutting
- Week 2, September 2: Piecing and layout
- Week 3, September 9: Assembly and finishing
Check Out These Other Fat Quarter Friendly Suzy Quilts Patterns!
Choosing Summer Haze Fabrics
Picking fabrics can be stressful. Just looking at a pile of fabric and trying to envision it as a finished quilt can be a challenge! But for Summer Haze, all you need is seven fat quarters and background fabrics. And I have some tips for choosing colors and textures that will make your quilt pop!
Here's how I chose the fabrics for my Summer Haze quilt. There's nothing my one-year-old daughter loves more than reading books, so I decided to make her a special story time quilt.
Looking for inspiration from one of my favorite childhood books, Anne of Green Gables, I found the perfect background fabric that reminded me of a modern-day Anne with an E, red hair and all, having adventures in the fields of Prince Edward Island with her friends.
I paired the background print with three other prints from the same collection. The prints in my quilt are from the line Bloom Together by Meenal Patel for Cloud 9.
I then chose colors from the prints that I wanted to emphasize more—periwinkle, shell, and dark green—and found some textured solids so the quilt would have fun textures for my baby's little hands to feel.
Here is a list of the fabrics I used in my Summer Haze story time quilt, in the order they appear above:
- Sun Stretch, from Bloom Together by Meenal Patel for Cloud 9
- Morning Glory 28, Peppered Cottons by Pepper Cory
- Seed Scatter, from Bloom Together by Meenal Patel for Cloud 9 (also used as the binding)
- Pink Ginger, Dobby Stitch Woven
- Rise Up, from Bloom Together by Meenal Patel for Cloud 9
- Kent Cotton Chambray in Algae
- Garden Gather, from Bloom Together by Meenal Patel for Cloud 9 (also used as the backing)
- Shell, Beady Wovens
Longarm quilting was done by Winberie Quilting.
Get a Kit Inspired by My Summer Haze Story Time Quilt!
If you like my quilt, I have great news for you! Two brand new Summer Haze quilt kits inspired by this quilt are available now in the Suzy Quilts shop.
You can choose a cream background kit or a light gray background kit. And you can even order the same beautiful backing and binding fabric as an add-on. Of course, don't forget to order your Summer Haze quilt pattern too!
My book-loving baby is already having a blast reading her favorite books on her special Summer Haze quilt!
How to Make Your Own Summer Haze Fabric Pull
Because Summer Haze only requires seven fat quarters, it's a great opportunity to practice your fabric pull skills! Here are some examples of ways you can build your own bundle.
For this first example below, I made a seven FQ pull using one fabric as my inspiration. I made this pull the same way as the pull for my story time quilt, but you can see that using a different inspiration fabric leads to a very different look and feel. I've even given the pulls names, and you can do that with your fabric pulls too!
For my Green Gardens pull below, I used the fifth print from the top (Tuesday in Lawn by Alison Glass) as my starting point. I pulled a mix of solids and other prints from my stash that had coordinating colors and made sure I had a couple of bright pops of color that would really stand out in the Summer Haze design.
For a more subdued and calm look, choose fabrics that are close in value, like the Stormy Sea pull below.
If you want to try making a low volume quilt, meaning a quilt that uses mostly light neutral colors, try focusing on creams, tans, and whites with some added subtle prints for visual interest, like this Crème de la Crème pull.
Experiment with the color wheel by choosing warm colors, like these reds, oranges, and yellows. Adding texture to a solids bundle gives it even more interest! This Blazing Sun pull includes organic cotton poplin, linen, and 4-layer gauze and is part of this fabric bundle from Global Fiber Textiles & Notions.
Or use all cool colors, like dark greens, blues, and purples. This Winter Castle pull is also from this Global Fiber quilt kit. You could also choose colors from the entire rainbow for this quilt!
Making a fabric bundle can be intimidating. But starting with only seven colors helps beginners and quilters who want to work on color and print combinations to feel more confident!
Choosing Your Background Fabric
You have your fat quarters selected, so now how do you choose a background color? You can audition different background fabrics by placing them underneath your fabric pull and making sure there is enough contrast for your fat quarters to shine!
For Summer Haze, it's best to stick with a neutral background. The design has a lot of negative space (space with only background fabric), and the diamond designs pop if you find a background that has enough contrast. Using a print for the background might make it challenging to see the diamond designs in the pattern, so for these examples, we are using solid neutral fabrics.
To start, here's my Winter Castle pull with a light cream background. You can see that the second fabric from the top won't have a good amount of contrast with the background, so this might not be the best option for this quilt.
Next, I've paired Winter Castle with a tan linen. The contrast looks great with each color! We might have a winner here, but let's try one more time.
Last, I paired Winter Castle with one of my go-to fabrics, Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in black. As much as I love using this as a background fabric because I think it helps colors pop, the bottom fabric does not have a lot of contrast and might get lost in the quilt.
I would use the tan linen background with Winter Castle!
Cutting Your Fabric
When it comes to cutting your fat quarters, use the FQ Cutting Diagram on page three of the Summer Haze pattern. Easy breezy! But we often get questions from beginner quilters about how to cut background fabric. Here are some tips.
Under the Summer Haze Cutting Instructions on page two, you'll see that you are cutting multiples of four different sized squares and rectangles for the background. For these tips, we're going to focus on cutting the 48 - 4 1/2" squares.
Starting with your fabric folded selvage to selvage (as it is sold in stores), you'll start by figuring out how many WOF (width of fabric) strips to cut.
Most fabric is 42" wide. So, dividing 42 by 4 1/2 shows you that you can cut 9 squares per WOF strip.
48 (the number of squares you need) divided by 9 (the number of squares per strip) equals 5.3. Rounding up, that means you'll need to cut 6 - 4 1/2" WOF strips to get your 48 squares!
For cutting WOF strips, I like to use my 6" x 24" quilting ruler because it stretches across the entire width of fabric.
Once you've cut your WOF strips, it's time to subcut your 4 1/2" squares. Subcutting is making a second cut on fabric. Your first cut was to make your WOF strips, and your subcut is to make your squares.
I like to switch to using a smaller ruler for subcutting. Cut off the selvage on your strip (the finished edge that often has information about the fabric line).
Line the 4 1/2" mark of your ruler up with one short edge of your WOF strip, and cut off a 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" square. Keep doing this until you get to the end of your strip, and repeat with the rest of your strips until you have 48 squares!