Fancy Forest Quilt with me? I’m so excited to share my journey with you as I work on this quilt. We’ve been waiting (not so) patiently for the patterns to come back in so that you can quilt along with me! Stop in the shop or click here to grab our Fancy Forest Color Palette Kit and the background fabrics to make your own right along with me! I think I had the normal immediate reaction when I first saw this pattern - oh my word, that is so cute! Am I right? My second thought was – I wonder if I can make that? This project has truly stemmed from a place of challenge for me. I’ve always loved to make quilts, but I’ve found I get the most enjoyment from the finished project rather than the process. I feel like I’m always in a rush to get through my sewing as fast as I can so I can move on to the next big thing. I knew this quilt was NOT something I could rush through. I was curious if I could actually do it and if I was capable of enjoying the process at the same time. So I volunteered to make the store sample and I thought it would be fun to document the journey. I hope you enjoy it! I first started working on the Fancy Forest Quilt about a month ago when we first got the patterns in. I thought I would just give one block a try and see if I even had the skills to pull this thing off before I told all of you I was working on it! I started with Hazel the Hedgehog. If we were ranging the blocks on a scale of difficulty I figured she was in the middle. Just enough to challenge me but not so complicated to scare me off. (I hear the Owl can do that. We won’t talk about that just yet.) I picked part of a color palette, but really it was just enough to get through the block. And while it is absolutely possible to just make one block with the instructions in the pattern, it is written to help you organize your fabrics to make the whole quilt. I struggled through my first Hedgehog because my fabrics were unorganized and I ended up having to recut a few pieces. It wasn’t a huge deal, but when I decided to really jump in on this quilt I knew my organization methods would have to change! Here’s the deal – the pattern has you choose a range of five values within a color family. For the large quilt you need to have eight color families, for the small quilt you only need two. Elizabeth Hartman has done a wonderful job of laying out her pattern in a way that should help you keep all of this organized. I would definitely recommend sticking fabric scraps to the fabric layout page on the inside cover of the pattern to keep you on track. (I typically photocopy the first couple pages of a pattern so I can keep the original nice and clean, but still mark off the cutting steps as I go on the photocopied version.) On my second go with Hazel I decided Hartman probably knew more about this process than I did and I should follow her instructions. Turns out I was right! Her step by step cutting guide works well. Here’s how I kept myself organized as I went. Lots of labels and piles and Ziploc bags! The pattern has you cut strips for each block right away, then you sub cut the strips when you are ready to make the actual block. The nice thing about this is that you know how much excess fabric you have from each color, so on the off chance you make a mistake and need to recut you can be confident you aren’t messing up the whole plan and cutting into fabric you will need later. And here are my Hazels! I am so excited about them and can’t wait to start working on the next block. Are you like me and you adore the pattern but aren’t sure if you’re ready for this kind of challenge? I have to tell you that the pattern is written extremely well. I read a lot of quilt patterns (in an attempt to only stock the good ones!) and this is absolutely one of the good ones. Hartman has a clear and concise way of describing steps with both words and color coordinated illustrations to help you along the way. And while there is a lot of steps to each block, so far none of them have been that hard. Our Fancy Forest Starter Kit has 40 fat quarters all color coordinated and picked for you to help simplify the process and get you right to sewing in no time. The pattern listing also has a handy checklist of all the additional supplies you'll need.