When you get a new pattern, do you just want to dive in and start cutting? (Unless it is a super beautiful fabric that you are just not sure you ever want to cut…)

You are not alone. We can’t wait to get started. The excitement is building. And we want quick results.

And then, we stumble… a block doesn’t go together quite right. We don’t understand the instructions. We are missing or short a fabric. There may be a typo.

We are frustrated. We want to scream. To yell at the shop. To curse out the designer. To put the project away and try again another day.

Let’s face it. We have all been there.

What can you do to make you experience a little more enjoyable and successful?

  1. Check for corrections to the pattern. Designers, editors and testers do their best, but they make occasional mistakes.
  2. Read the pattern from cover to cover. Ask question if you don’t understand steps. Many designers have YouTube videos. Some will even answer questions via phone, email or Zoom.
  3. Make sure you have enough fabric and notions! If a fabric is short, try to find it. Or a substitute. If you substitute, it is recommended to substitute the entire quantity for consistency.
  4. Verify sizes of template/foundations. Don’t assume they are correct. The 1-inch registration mark may not be enough. Measure the pieces!
  5. Make a test block with scrap fabric.

Making a test block is so IMPORTANT! It ensures you don’t waste your beautiful fabric as you learn how to make the block. It gives you time to perfect your own technique. Make minor adjustments for success.

You can use those lovely test blocks for a pillow. Or a charity quilt. Or use them to test other techniques. Even better, try your hand at quilting motifs. What a great way to choose your quilting before you finish the quilt!

The picture above was my test block for Hearts of a Glacier!

Happy Quilting!