Flower Show: it’s big I’m telling you!

design, fabric, quilting

Our Flower Show quilt is on the cover of Quilts & More magazine. It features some of the same large-scale prints that quilters seem to love but find sometimes aggravating.

The trouble started about five or six years ago. Suddenly there were all of these large-scale prints in quilt shops that were luscious and inviting. Quilters scooped them up in droves and rushed home with their bundles only to find that they weren’t sure how to use them.

Although we loved these big, gregarious prints as well, we knew that you couldn’t make a New York Beauty or a log cabin out of them because the scale of the print is too big for the scale of the pieces. Students would show up at classes we taught with piles of these big prints saying, “I love them but I don’t know how to put them together with other fabrics.”

So we started designing patterns that would work with these larger prints. When we’re teaching we suggest that students keep this simple guideline in mind when looking for patterns for large-scale prints: simple patterns for complex prints AND complex patterns for simple prints.

The other thing to keep in mind is that these big prints are a totally pain to seam. Seaming them elegantly is impossible so we decided to use them as individual pieces amid other solids or tone-on-tones that seam more easily.

We did three different palettes for this uber-girly pattern, although only two appear in the magazine. The other thing I love about this quilt is its simplicity. Even someone who isn’t a quilter could whip this up in no time flat. I could even see it with novelty fabrics for a kid’s room. Sometimes it’s these simple patterns that prove flexible enough for any situation.

7 thoughts on “Flower Show: it’s big I’m telling you!

  1. I picked this magazine up at the bookstore the other day, because I loved the quilt on the cover! When I opened it up and saw your names, I said “no wonder I love it! It’s Craft Nectar!” :-)

  2. Hi, Weeks! I enjoyed the workshop you held in Downers Grove in Feb. on using large scale prints. I learned so much about the hows and whys of using them together. And, just as you predicted, now I can’t help but wince when I see the figure/ground principle being overlooked…it’s everywhere! Eek!

  3. I just picked up this magazine yesterday, glanced at your quilt and thought, awesome! It is just the thing for most of the fabric i’ve bought lately. :) Thank you! I appreciate all of your insight.

  4. I also picked this up recently for the cover and I was not at all disappointed…I made this very quilt and put it up for auction and it sold for over 4,000 dollars.
    So thank you, it went to a very good cause…
    gracias mumm g.

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