WIP Week: a pair of Christmas quilts

The 5 projects I’ve shared this week all featured fabric choices and patterns I’ve been excited to show you. But I think it’s just as helpful to show and talk about projects that are less successful. The pictures aren’t as pretty, but the lessons are important.


The plan for these quilts is to continue the zig zags until there are 2 complete “zags” of the prints. The pattern of the red and white quilt will be exactly the same. They were inspired by this quilt on Pinterest (which I still like).


Now, there’s nothing really “wrong” with these quilts. When I purchased the fabrics a year and a half ago I had only completed 2 quilts. My exposure to the online quilting community was limited to Pinterest. This was actually my first time buying fabric at a quilt shop (boy did I notice the difference right away: softer, thicker, better!). At the time I had no idea I was buying 30’s fabrics and I had no idea the worlds of opportunity I would discover when I started shopping for fabric online.

I have since learned a lot about my style as a quilter. I’ve learned that even though it’s oh so hip to use solids and I genuinely admire the art some quilters can create out of the nothingness of solids… I do not like working with them. I get bored looking at them for the many hours it takes to make a quilt. For me, life is too short to work with solids.

I have come to believe that fabric choice is the absolute most important aspect of quilting. You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, obviously” but it wasn’t obvious to me at first. I would look at a quilt and say, “Oh, I like that but I would pick better fabrics.” Then when I started finishing my first several quilts I realized that it’s much harder than it looks to pick just the right ones (or to afford to buy them all).

So the question we sometimes come to is this: when we’re disappointed in a project do we press on or move on? In this case, I have chosen to press on (though somewhat slowly). I’m too far along to stop now, and I can’t bare to waste $80 of fabric I’m unlikely to reuse. I still believe these will be charming Christmas quilts to put on the boys’ beds each holiday season. Maybe they won’t win any awards or get repinned on Pinterest but they will bring holiday cheer to my home.

I am planning to hand quilt them with pearl cotton 8 a quarter inch in on top and bottom of each white stripe. I am hoping that will make them a little more charming. I’m even toying with the idea of using an unexpected color (blue?) to funkify them a bit. Is that crazy?

Tomorrow I will redeem myself by sharing a simple square patchwork quilt containing many, lovely modern prints! I hope you’ll come back and check it out.

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