This post is part of the Tula Pink Sew Along!
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Hello there! I'm Elizabeth and I blog at Don't Call Me Betsy. I was so excited when Sara started putting together the Tula Pink Sew Along - I had seen Tula's amazing Space Dust quilt at Spring Market, and fell head over heels for it. I'm a big fan of Tula's fabrics, but I was a little bit baffled as to how to take this quilt on without using the same exact fabrics that Tula used.
Before I got the pattern in hand, I pulled some fabrics together, attempting to find a color scheme that I thought would work well with the pattern. It was hard! I really wanted to try a different kind of color palette than I normally like to work with. Once I got the pattern and got a better understanding of how much fabric I would need, I pulled together this stack below to start with, using shades of orange, yellow, aqua, and brown.
Each block of this quilt is pieced differently, using a unique paper piecing pattern provided in the pattern. I worked from the PDF pattern, which was 53 pages long! Each pattern shows your stitching lines, but isn't terribly descriptive when it comes to what colored fabrics go where, so I spent some time with the Fabric Placement guide on page 8 of the pattern, trying to figure out how to place my fabrics for maximum pop. I would write down the color I wanted represented on each piece, much like I do with any other paper piecing project I tackle.
As I read through the pattern and got ready to create, I realized that I literally had my work cut out for me. Unlike most online tutorials and patterns for paper pieced projects that list cutting instructions for the block, because Space Dust is made up of 48 unique paper pieced blocks, there are no cutting instructions provided. After measuring quite a few of the pieces, trying to get an idea of how I could cut my fabrics, I ultimately decided the best way to cut and piece this quilt was to work one row at a time. Measure and cut the fabrics for one row of blocks, stack each pattern and pile of fabrics on top of one another, then piece the blocks. This method worked fairly well for me, and towards the last row or two, I was able to work from scraps rather than cutting for each individual block.
Seeing the rows come together on my design wall was a great feeling. It helped me make changes to some of my color and fabric placement plans on the fly and also gave me a good sense of completion as I finished my blocks. Though the blocks themselves don't look terribly impressive on their own, once you put them in with the other blocks, they truly look stunning.
I did not add the borders specified in the quilt pattern; rather I added 4" wide borders all the way around the quilt top. I may trim them down slightly after quilting, to give more of a rectangular shape to the quilt, but right now, I really like the squareness of the top.
All in all, this quilt top took a lot of time and effort, but I'm really happy with the way it came together, and I'm looking forward to deciding how to finish it off. I think it's going to be a big hit with the person I intend to give it to over the holidays!