A Patriotic Re-Vamp: The importance of auditioning fabric

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One of my favorite designers is Verna Mosquera of Vintage Spool.  She is amazing, and I love every one of her appliqué designs.  In fact, I have several of them, and am in various stages of completing them all.  (I have a chronic problem with starting a project, and then starting something else, and then something else… you get the picture.)

Of all of those patterns, however, my favorite is her Faded Glory.  I began it with the intent of learning a new turned-appliqué technique on my sewing machine. I love hand work, but I also am always looking for a faster way to get the same results, and Verna uses some teeny-tiny pieces!!

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Each block took quite a lot of time… not as much as it would have by hand, but still!  I was so excited, it looked beautiful.  And then I started my favorite block… the little red wagon.  I had saved a favorite piece of fabric to use as a background especially for this block, and thought it would be perfect.

Now, I am pretty much a self-taught quilter, and so I learn bit by bit any good habits that happen to stick in my poor brain.  One thing I had heard of, but didn’t really think was important, was to Audition Your Fabric.  Oh, how I wish I’d taken the time!  I sewed my beautiful little wagon onto the beautiful fabric I had saved,

and instantly HATED it.

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Why didn’t I really notice before I’d sewn it?  Well, I sort of had, but in my hurry to finish the block, I pushed that little dissenting voice to the back of my head, and plowed on anyway.

oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

This was a project that ended up thrown in the corner for a long time.  Because I just couldn’t get past that block, and what I’d done to it.

In preparation for this blog post, and having used that piece before in quilt talks to highlight the “what NOT to do” of choosing fabric, the rest of the StashLadies gang suggested that I finally fix it.

So I did.

Sometime after this disaster, I had heard Verna give a tip she uses:

Sometimes, if the pattern of the fabric is too bold or vibrant, it works well to simply flip it over and use the back of the fabric.

So I did.  And I have in many instances since then.  And it WORKS!!

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I haven’t yet sewed the block back to the other pieces, but my little red wagon can finally be seen, and I have fallen back in love!

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