Sunday Stash: Heather Bailey and Hawthorne Hues Edition

So I was not a winner this past Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew or not a winner of stuff, anyway. Per usual, I found a bunch of new blogs to add to the rotation, even though some weeks I don’t have enough time to read all the blogs I already follow. (Fair question: how much more sewing would I get done if I spent less time reading about sewing?) Point being, that’s winning of a different kind, right? I like finding new blogs and new Canadian blogs (or just new to me ones). And also, I kind of won by finding this gorgeous pattern for the Infatuation quilt, which I bought right away (forget waiting to see if I’d win it or not… let’s face it, with 500+ entrants, I probably wasn’t going to!). I thought it would be perfect for using this bundle of Heather Bailey’s True Colors line that had stumbled into a Mad About Patchwork order some time ago.


The bundle wasn’t quite big enough for the size quilt I want to make, so I started picking up some bits and pieces of Lottie Da, another line by Bailey, to add in with it. Here are a million and one (3) photos of the original line, plus the assorted Lottie Da prints I picked up:


I didn’t plan it out very well because I got enough prints, but I didn’t get enough of the right sort of prints – I’ve got a spare one that doesn’t fit in, plus I need one busier print to go along with two of the blender prints. Each set of nine fabrics will make up three blocks – except the particularly leafy green one (in the bottom photo) won’t be in the quilt and… something else will be. It’ll probably be another butterfly print from Lottie Da, but I’ve ordered two choices so we’ll see what happens.

I was really undecided about what sort of background to use – I don’t want to pull in pure white (since the fabrics have an off-white background) and so I’d checked Hawthorne Threads to see what solids they recommended and they’d suggested a Michael Miller Cotton Couture grey as well as a few of their own Hawthorne Hues fabrics. I happen to know someone with a nice big stack of Hawthorne Hues in her possession – Michelle at Factotum of Arts – so I fired off an email to see what she thought of the fabric itself. You never quite know with solids – Cotton Couture and the Art Gallery Solids are probably the best feeling solids out there, Kona Cotton is nice to work with but less luxurious to touch, Moda Bella and I have had some tiffs in the past (omg the ripples in the fabric, even when I’ve neither pressed nor ironed), I’ve used solids from a local fabric chain store that was much thicker than quilt shop quality solids, but much more shred-happy… anyway, the point being, without actually seeing and touching the Hawthorne Hues, I was a bit nervous to buy 6 yards for a quilt backing.

Michelle was absolutely magnificent and didn’t just tell me what the fabric was like – somewhere between a Kona and a Cotton Couture in terms of feel – but also got out her own bundle of Heather Bailey’s True Colors line and photographed it up against a dozen or so different colours from the HH line and posted it for me on Instagram! She’s the awesomest! I can’t access IG right now (the last couple updates have made it so the app doesn’t function on my phone any longer), so I can’t show you all the photos she took for me, but from her selections I picked out three different Hawthorne Hues fabrics, plus a light grey Cotton Couture to audition for background fabrics.


This orange solid from Hawthorne Hues, Pumpkin, was my total wild-card pick. I think it’s interesting and it lifts up everything and makes it all seem even brighter and happier than it already is… but oh my god does it scare me to think of 5 yards of quilt background done up in pumpkin orange. I don’t actually think I can do it!


Jade, another Hawthorne Hues fabric, is probably my favourite choice. It’s lovely and not so overwhelming as I think orange would be… but I’ve got a finished quilt top that is almost this exact same colour (it’s done in cross-weaves, but it’s a very similar jade). It feels like I should do something different, just because I’ve done that colour before. (I should really get that quilt top basted and start quilting it…)


Plum Azalea (I think? I’m questioning everything right now!) from Hawthorne Hues is my other favourite. It’s very, very similar to one of the colours from the True Colors line, which is a little scary, because I’d hate to piece it and have those purpley-pink prints kind of disappear against it, but look how the oranges and greens pop up off of it? Lovely.


I keep calling this grey, but Michael Miller calls it Khaki. I picked this one up because I thought I’d be too scared by the bold colours and need something lighter to fall back on for the background… but it’s awfully dreary, isn’t it? Or maybe I should say that the only reason it doesn’t wind up dreary is that I cropped enough of the grey background out that you get drawn into the bright Lottie Da and True Color prints and sort of forget that background behind it.

But here’s the real issue with this colour:


What’s that? You can’t tell what you’re looking at because it’s just a big sea of grey? Yeah. Kinda samey, isn’t it? Super duper samey.

I had bought these four colours so that I could do test blocks and see which I preferred, but then I got thinking about it and realized that if I do four test blocks, I’ll have sewn up a throw-sized test quilt! The blocks are 30″, it’ll be a 60″x60″ test! That’s an enormous test! (And yes, okay, I could do a maquette, quilt-style. But I’m not sure I could scale down the curved piece for a maquette.) So yeah, I haven’t quite decided what to do as far as that goes. I’ve got enough of the print and solid fabric to actually make 4 test blocks, so I technically speaking COULD do it… but if I put in that much effort just on the test, am I actually going to want to sew the quilt?

I do need to do at least one proper test block because there is curved piecing and that’s something I’ve never actually done before. Well, I say that. I’ve done it once before. I had gotten some swap blocks long, long ago and one of them was all curved piecing, but kind of badly done, so I pulled the block apart and sewed it together again, to fix the curves. But that was probably eight years ago and I was just fixing a block that had previously been sewn, it’s not like I was starting with crisp new fabric. And I think I did it by hand, which must also make a difference. Anyway, I do need to do at least one test, just to get a bit of curved piecing under my belt, maybe I’ll stop being so scared of it. But I’m not sure I want to do four test blocks. I dunno, I dunno.

Anyway, linking up with the always fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:

Molli Sparkles

25 thoughts on “Sunday Stash: Heather Bailey and Hawthorne Hues Edition”

  1. I got some very happy mail yesterday! This is the first giveaway that I have won & I was thrilled with the fabric that I received! Thank you so much, I’ll send pictures when I make something with the fabric. Thanks again, you are very generous! Dana

    1. I’m so glad it’s arrived! And that you’ve won! I’ve won once or twice and it’s always thrilling because it seems to happen so rarely 😀 I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  2. I was also tempted to not enter any SMS giveaways just because I figured I wouldn’t win any lol.

    Wowww that pattern. 30″ blocks?! I love the orange background, but for a whole quilt I think the aqua would be best. Unless you do something crazy and add one orange block just for fun.

    I’ve been getting really wary of Bella Solids 😦 I’m finding my ones are fraying so easily and they just seem so thin or something! When I need new solid colours I’m going to start collecting another range. Probably Kona since they seem the most common and have a lot of colours. I’ve not tried Art Gallery solids yet but I am expecting some to arrive this week to use with some Liberty fabric (I figured they would have a similar hand and work well together) so maybe I’ll start stocking up on Art Gallery. But they’re more expensive which is a bummer — I could have bought Kona solids from FQS this week for like $2 a half yard instead of $5 for the Art Gallery which was tempting, but I actually chose quality over quantity…

      1. I really like Kona a lot too… it’s not as luxurious feeling as Art Gallery, but it’s still very nice stuff. I use it probably 90% of the time that I use solids.

    1. Haha… well, I have won before, though I didn’t win this time! Last December I won a lavender scented heat bag and some time ago I won a pdf on photography (though I’m not sure I absorbed much from that… my photos aren’t probably noticeably better than they were before). And now, of course, I won that Aurifil, though that was from ALYoF, but that always has piles and piles of entrants. Anyway, point being: you never know!

      Thirty inch blocks… crazy big, eh? You could turn just one of those into a baby blanket, with a bit of border. I think the orange is fun, but yeah… it’d take over the whole thing without even trying.

      I don’t know… I’ve used Bella Solids a few times, but the last batch of it I had was pretty bad… thin as you said and there were terrible ripples in it, as if it had been ironed vigorously and stretched all out of whack. I couldn’t straighten it to save my life. I’ve been so unimpressed because I’ve never had issues like that with their print stuff… why cheap out on the solids?

      I really like Kona cotton a lot. The quality is great (even if it doesn’t feel quite so very lovely as Cotton Couture and AGF solids) and it’s really good to work with. I’ve used it A LOT and unless they start cheaping out on it, it’ll probably continue to be my go-to solid. Like you said, there’s tons of colours, it’s easy to find, and the price is pretty reasonable.

  3. I am definitely still with the pink and the jade colors. They look fantastic!! You know you could get one more bright color and make 4 blocks with each of the bright backgrounds. That might work?

    1. That was actually Azalea and not plum, wasn’t it? Now that I’m thinking about it, I think plum was the darker purple… anyway, I do really like it a lot… it’s such a lovely colour. That’s not a bad idea about getting a fourth bright, though I’m not sure what to choose! Maybe Carnation… that was a lighter pink that I liked, wasn’t it?

  4. Yummy colours in those HB prints, Kristel! Fun idea to make each block with a different background colour – that way you can pick and choose to best show off each block. However, will admit that I’m crushing on that plum colour for a background and definitely not liking Khaki as a choice.

    1. I really do like the plum… actually, I think it’s called Azalea, I think plum was a very dark purple. Hmm. Anyway, the khaki is just kind of dead looking, compared to those bright colours, isn’t it? I should maybe look in my stash and see if I’ve got enough of something (anything!) that would work. Who knows…

  5. Hmm, I really like the plum, but when I scrolled back up it was the darker grey that I liked- then I realised it was concrete! The prints are gorgeous.

    1. Haha! It’s funny that you say that because I very nearly put in a line asking if anyone had seen any concrete print fabric out there 😀 Of course, I think I probably wouldn’t actually like it if I found such a thing… I should try out some greys I’ve already got, maybe I’ll find something a bit darker than the khaki that I’ll like better.

      On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 2:25 PM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


  6. Instead of doing a whole block to test the curved piece, can’t you just do the part of one of the curved blocks? Do you need to sew up the whole block? Don’t know, as I’ve not seen the block pattern.

    1. Yeah, I really only need to practise the curved bit… I was thinking of test blocks more in terms of seeing what I think of the background colours when spread out over so much space! Like, I like the bright colours… but it’s possible I’d just like them better as accents, with a sea of white behind them. Does that make sense? Even as 12″ blocks I don’t think they’ll have the same impact as the 30″ blocks from the quilt. We’ll see what happens 😀

  7. Okay, that makes sense. Sorry I missed the mark. I’ve only dared to do backgrounds in white, off white and black, so I’m so not any help whatsoever. I need to break out of my bag. I was thinking maybe grey or navy blue, LOL. I really need to use a bright color! Inspire me please!!!!

    1. Not to worry… it’s a pretty reasonable question 😀 I’m thinking that probably I’ll just do one big test (maybe in the orange because I’m pretty certain I’m not going to use it, but it’d be fun to try it out at least once in that large size). I tend to default to white or cream backgrounds too, though I have one finished top with a kind of blue-green-jade colour. I thought I had pictures of it up here somewhere and I was going to link to it (because it’s fun to change it up so much!), but I can’t seem to find anything. I probably was all gung-ho to finish it and thought I’d wait to show it finished rather than in progress, but like always I let it go by the wayside while I’ve worked on a dozen other things…. Ohh! I think I’ve used grey backgrounds before, though usually very quiet sorts of grey. Hmm.. I’ll have to think about it, maybe I really haven’t used anything terribly bright for a background 😀

      On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 8:51 PM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


  8. lol, i could have written the beginning of the post, i didn’t win a thing either, lol but like you have a few more blogs to follow and i like finding new Canadian ones too. and the bit about less reading and more sewing, yep me again. its nice to know i’m not alone. lol tough choice on the colors, i love bold so the orange is great but so is the aqua. but if you don’t want the grey but still want a ‘color’ how about a pastel low volume of the color say a very soft almost not there aqua or peach but i do like grey best of all for lv. can’t wait to see what you choose.

    1. I do like the idea of a very soft peach or aqua or something similar… I think I’ve got some Swiss dots of in…. some colour or other and that could be an interesting background. Just enough colour to not be a solid white, you know? I’ll have to see what I’ve got (or maybe I should just use what I’ve got and make it all an actual low-volume mishmash of fabrics).

  9. I like the citrus vibe going with the orange background, but have you considered using a deep blue for a background? my personal favorite is Kona Nautical. I agree with another commenter that you need to go with a different value–either lighter or darker than the prints.

    1. I haven’t tried a blue, but it could be interesting! I did see it photographed up against some darker colours (a dark grey and a brown), but didn’t like it all that much, which had surprised me because I usually like really bright colours against deep dark ones. I probably have some nautical in my stash, though, so I’ll have to pull it out and see what I think. It could be interesting to add a completely different colour like that.

      One of the problems with the Hawthorne recommendations is that they seem to be choosing colours that blend in, rather than colours that contrast. I mean, it’s not a problem if you want to add a solid as another fabric choice in the same vein as the prints themselves, but just if you’re looking for something to put the fabrics against, then it’s a bit more of a problem. (They had recommended a brown, Stone from their own collection, that was very contrasting, but I just didn’t love it.)

  10. Great fabrics. I love the Jade and the Azalea. I’m a bold colors kinda girl. That said, looking at the quilt pattern, maybe something more neutral than bold would help the prints stand out. I like the idea of a charcoal grey. It will be beautiful. I look forward to seeing the finished quilt!

  11. Don’t do a test block do it all in the Azalea! LOVE THAT! your right about the khaki very samey samey. But the Azalea, looks amazing and it makes the other fabrics pop too, even the purple prints pop. DO IT!

    1. Haha.. definitely a fan of the purple/pink, eh? I didn’t take pictures of it, but there are a few prints which are extremely similar in colour to the azalea and I worry a little about them disappearing with it as a background. I’m thinking the off-white in the prints should off-set the samey-ness (where with the khaki, it’s khaki on off-white, so there isn’t a lot of contrast to begin with), but it definitely does worry me a little! We’ll see 😀

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