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Picking Out Fabric – Terracotta Fiori QAL

The Terracotta Fiori Quilt Along Starts Now!! This quilt along starts today and will be going on until Nov 26th. If you missed the beginning of the quilt along, don’t worry — you can join in at any time. Get your copy of the pattern in my Etsy shop by clicking here. Today we are Picking out fabric.

Are you ready for the quilt along?? Are you new to paper piecing?? Tell me in the comments below if you have ever paper pieced… and how you feel about it! 

Quilt Along Supply Recommendations

First thing first, in case you want to get ahead, I thought I would share my supply recommendations: 

  • Newsprint paper from Blicks. I use it in the copy machine. (You can also make your copies at a store like Office Depot.) 
  • Best Press is a great starch. I didn’t use it until I pulled the paper out. It helped it keep its shape.
  • I like using a stronger pin for a stiletto. I have a small stockpile of them so if you email me your mailing address ( I will send you one.
  • A quarter ruler makes trimming your seams a cinch. 
  • Rotating mat makes cutting easy peasy. 

Day 1: Picking out fabric 

Thank you so much for joining the Terracotta Fiori Quilt Along! Today we are talking about fabric. Your assignment this week, should you decide to accept it, is to choose the layout you will make and then pick out the fabrics for your quilt. Think about whether you want solid or prints, and if you prefer cotton or something else… 

Terracotta Fiori Quilt Layouts

The Terracotta Fiori Quilt pattern comes with two patterns because there are two different layouts. Here are the two layouts side by side. The fabric requirements are slightly different so I thought it would be easier to give you two different patterns.

Most of us quilters use quilting cotton for our quilts — but there are so many other fabrics on the market. I’ve been thinking a lot about linen. 

Actually, the first test hexagon I made with templates from the pattern was with a linen fabric. It went together surprisingly well. I do still recommend cotton, but linen is possible because of the stability and precision of paper piecing. However, I always recommend pre-starching your fabrics when using linen, shot cotton, or Chambery fabrics. 

One of my pattern testers, Cassie, is the maker of the baby sided random quilt featured in this blog post. She did a wonderful job creating it. She also makes incredible memory quilts using t-shirts. I love the idea of giving a second life to used fabrics by turning them into quilts. When using knit fabrics — or any fabric that is super stretchy like a t-shirt — stabilize them with a lightweight iron-on interfacing. It might take a little longer, but it will stop the fabric from getting all stretched and wonky. 

These are the yardage requirements for the two patterns. 

Picking out fabric for the Terracotta Fiori Quilt Along - Here are the fabric requirements for the gradient quilt

Feeling frisky and ready to go off pattern? 

If you feel like going off pattern — which I encourage because let’s face it, I can’t follow a pattern to save my life. I am always thinking, “If I do it this way… it will be faster!” Sometimes I’m right and sometimes… I am not. LOL — Here are a few suggestions.

Make all of your flowers different colors.  

  • I did the math and figured out that ½ yard can be used to make one hexi flower. However, it is really tight so I recommend ⅝ yard.
  • For one hexie background, 12 inches will be enough and leave a little extra.
  • Make it scrappy. If you want to use fat quarters, you can. If you are really exact, you can get 4 triangles in one fat quarter. When making a baby quilt you will need 22 fat quarters, for the Twin XL you will need 51 fat quarters and for the queen, you will need 69 fat quarters. 

If you want me to send you the cutting breakdown so you can visualize the cuts, tell me in the comments below.) Sidenote: I will be comparing the mail address to the one from my etsy shop to make sure you already have a copy of the pattern.  

Invert it. 

The whole time I was designing and making the quilts I have been dreaming of what the quilt would look like if only the flying geese were in color. This is a quilt layout I am dying to make. I should be getting my fabric today. EEKKK. I’m going to see what happens with a half yard of four different fabrics and 6 yards of a background fabric. 

Picking Out Fabric – Choose Your Fabric Colors

Solid fabrics tend to look more modern than printed fabrics. 

Printed fabrics require some planning, as well. You should double-check your printed fabrics to make sure they don’t have large spaces that are the same colors as your background fabric. If that happens, the flying geese and flower edges will bleed into one another without a crisp line of contrast. 

Personally, I love using prints because I can find a main print to use as the color pallet guide. To do this, I look at the main print and figure out a few things. 

  • What colors are in it? 
  • Which of those colors do I like? 
  • Which of those colors do I want to see more of?

If you use the main print colors to pick out your supporting fabrics, it almost always matches and blends well together. Usually supporting colors will clash if they aren’t already found in the main print. If you decide not to use the main print (color guide) in the top of your quilt you can use it as the backing.

Here is a link to some more color theory from a past Quilt Along.

Color possibilities are endless!

In the patter quilt, I used multiple shades of the same color, orange. Orange is a secondary color made of two primary colors, red and yellow, as seen on the color wheel. When picking the oranges I used in the gradient quilt, I kept the oranges with more yellow together at the top of the quilt and the two oranges with more red together at the bottom — so when you squint at the quilt, they blend together. 

For the sea glass quilt I picked blue, a primary color, teal, a secondary color, and a pear green. These are all located on the same pie-shaped cutting of the color wheel. Which means they will work wonderfully together. 

This is how the quilt would look using a few different color pallets.

Get a Quilt Kit

There are no wrong answers! What feels right for you is right. If you want to get a quilt kit and remove the fuss of making a decision, head over to by and by. Bailey is selling quilt kits of the orange colorway. Thank you Bailey!! Or head over to MagnoliaCottonDesign, Katie is selling kits of the sea glass colorway

This Weeks Giveaway

What do you think?? What fabrics are you going to go with? Show me your fabrics on Instagram by sharing a photo of them on Instagram with the hashtag #TerracottaFioriQA. This week’s giveaway gift is a $75 gift card to Baileys shop by and by. I will announce the winner when we get to our next assignment. This week, I was able to visit her studio and see all her fabrics in person. I feel in love with her iced dyed green fabric and I got to dream about what it would look like if they were used in the Terracotta Fiori Quilt.

I want to know your Quilt Along fabric plans!

Do you have any questions?? If so, put them in the comments below. 

Instagram Post Ideas:

  • An “I joined the Quilt Along” image.
  • A photo of yourself (with an introduction) so we can get to know you.
  • The fabrics you decided on.
  • The fabrics you are torn between.
  • Pattern coloring sheet testing out colors.

For your convenience here is the timeline: 

  • Oct 8th – Picking out fabric
  • Oct 15th – Cutting Fabric
    (tentative coffee chat)
  • Oct 22nd – Paper Piecing tips and tricks
    (tentative sew day on Oct 23rd)
  • Oct 29th – catch up
  • Nov 5th – Sewing top together
    (tentative sew day on Nov 7th)
  • Nov 12th – Spray Basting and Quilting
  • Nov 19th – Binding
  • Nov 26th – Grand Prize

Remember, I won’t be able to see your photos if your account is private. If I can’t see your photos, I can’t choose you as a winner for one of the prizes. After the quilt along has ended, feel free to change your account back to private. If you have any trouble doing this please let me know — I would be happy to help. 

If you missed the beginning of the quilt along — don’t worry, you can join in at any time. Get your copy of the pattern in my Etsy shop by clicking here.

My Fabrics…

These are some of the fabrics I cut out of the quilt I made for the pattern. I was torn between a gradient and a colorful quilt. I have some triangles already started so this is what I will be working on for or Quilt Along. I can’t wait to see what your fabrics are!!

Have a wonderful week!!

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Diane Beavers
    October 8, 2021

    It’s been awhile since I’ve paper pieced and then it was small projects. Your fabric suggestions are ideal. You’ve really put so much effort into this pattern. It’s gotta be tough writing and testing a pattern.
    I love the mock ups of the prints. I’m leaning heavily towards reversing my fabrics to have the floral as the Hexie and a solid in the background. Still studying that idea tho 😂. I need to make a test block and see if It appeases me.
    Thank you Elisabeth..Your support ur endless and I appreciate you. Cannot wait to meet some more Quilters /sewists here !

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Diane Beavers
      October 10, 2021

      Yes!! It was in endeavor. I like to get it tech edited, tested and proofed but I still worry about errors. It is a labor of love! I am so excited to see what everyone make with the pattern. That make it all worth it. I think the reversed version will be beautiful. There are so many ways to make this pattern look different. Thank you so much for joining in another one of my projects. It means so much to me.

  • Kathy Wagner
    October 8, 2021

    Hi, my name is Kathy Wagner. Can’t wait to get started. I ordered a kit from Magnolia Cotton Design in Sea Foam and am going to do a baby quilt. Hopefully, it will arrive soon. I’ve done paper piecing before and love it. I have read through your suggested supplies and think I am good. I don’t do Instagram so I can’t post any pictures. Ready to have fun.

    • Elisabeth DeMoo
      > Kathy Wagner
      October 10, 2021

      So happy you are joining us. I will have to figure out a way that you can enter into a give away. Maybe on a sew day. Hummmm… I wonnder what would be a time you could join in with us on a Saturday or Sunday. Let me know what would work for you, if you are interested.