An Amateur’s Guide to a Patchwork Quilt – Part 1

In recent years I have dabbled in quilting (I’ve made 5) and find the process to be very fun and relaxing. I am embarking on my next quilt and thought it would be fun to blog the process this time instead of just the end result!

A long time ago my mom was going through her linen closet and asked if I wanted my old Muppets bedsheets from when I was little. The answer was yes! I love the Muppets and loved my Kermit and Miss Piggy sheets. I knew immediately I wanted to use them as a quilt backing. That was about five years ago and they have been waiting in my fabric bin. But now their time has come!

I plan to make a square patchwork style quilt topper in pinks and greens and use the sheets as the backing. This quilt will prove more difficult than my others for two reasons:

1. This is the first time I have any sort of pattern I want to follow – granted it is simple one. But all my other projects were designed to easily hide my mistakes! This time my pieces actually need to line up in a specific way.

2. This is the first quilt where I have a specific end size in mind. My other quilts have all been oversized lap quilts and I just figured it out along the way. I want this one to fit a twin size bed.

While I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to quilts I’d love to try making, I am sticking to a basic square patchwork style for this one. I am still a beginner, so no tricky shapes yet for me! Plus I think they look classic, warm, and cozy.

Picking Fabrics

Choosing fabrics was the hardest part. I looked for almost a year but every time I went I wasn’t ready commit. Finally one day I decided to go to Joann’s and pull the trigger. A long time back I bought a gorgeous kermit green and pink batik polka dot fabric. I wanted to find 8 more fabrics to go with it. (9 fabrics so I could make 3×3 blocked squares.)

I came home with this assortment:

As for the color family I was aiming for springy greens that weren’t too yellow, and berry mid tone pinks (not pastel or hot pink). And the fabrics had to blend with the existing colors on the Muppets sheets. I aimed for a mix of background colors, styles, and color combos.

I needed to make sure there was a nice balance of green based,  pink based, and white based. By using an even balance of background colors the squares will pop more.

I also wanted to make sure things didn’t get too busy. I made sure I had a nice balance of green/white and pink/white fabrics versus multi-color.

To help with continuity I also made sure that some of the patterns were duplicated. I have 2 batik style polka dot fabrics, and 2 triangle fabrics. Notice how both are a soft stamp-style pattern? I thought that would blend better with the vintage looking sheets on the back than all sharp crisp patterns.

This may sound too overwhelming to you or maybe you prefer more of a matching look. If so there are MANY places you can purchase fabric sets that were designed and printed to go with each other. Although many of these are very cute, I prefer to match the fabrics myself and think it looks less manufactured. If I am going through the trouble of making a quilt I don’t want it to look like I could have bought it at the store.

Next up is washing, ironing and cutting my fabric!

Now for the real question? Who is your favorite Muppet? As a kid I loved Animal, but now I would say the Swedish Chef makes me laugh the most. 

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