How a Design Mistake Became an Opportunity

I’m in no way a perfectionist when it comes to quilting. The advice I always follow (and share with other quilters) is that finished is better than perfect. It seems like quilters can become so concerned with getting everything right that they become paralyzed in the creative process.

I agree that some quilts deserve the time and attention put into them to make them as close to perfect as possible — especially those meant as gifts or those that are bound to be heirloom. But sometimes a mistake can turn into a fun design opportunity.

I wanted to share one of my design mistakes which ended up yielding the two quilts above! Two month ago I decided to participate in’s Summer Block Party quiltalong. The quilt, made of nine blocks from different designers, looked like a fun and easy project for summer.

Although I love sampler quilts, I’ve been doing a lot of them lately and wanted something a little more planned. So instead of making all nine blocks I decided to use three different blocks to make a wall hanging (see pic above). I wanted the pineapple in the center, arrows pointing toward the pineapple, and gingham blocks in the four corners. The problem was my color choices.

I started making blocks with white backgrounds. But as I got to the gingham blocks, I lost sight of my color palette and was so drawn to my collection of teals. What I ended up with was a set of blocks that didn’t meld together. I spent a long night with the help of my cat (always sleeping in the job) trying to figure out how to fix it. Should I redo the blocks? Should I add more blocks?

What I decided to do was let the blocks be what they wanted to be. I obviously had two very different quilts among these blocks and instead of forcing them to work together in a quilt, I decided to move forward with two mini quilts that both make me happy!

The pineapple block was a design by Eye Candy Quilts. I love the idea of a pineapple being a symbol of welcome, so a mini pineapple quilt is a perfect addition to any home!

I also found the perfect backing fabric — a Kate Spain fat quarter from my stash that has yellow and green flowers and reminds me of a pineapple shape!

After trying several layouts, I decided on this one for the gingham blocks by Sariella Studios. I love the fabrics together and think this makes a summery table topper!

I chose a pink for the backing and binding. I love the combination of teal and pink! Using a stripe for the binding is one of my fave things to do.

I did straight line quilting (again, not worrying about my lines being perfect — especially because I was watching Netflix while sewing and didn’t always have my eyes on the quilting!) And I’ve been keeping up with adding labels to all my larger quilts this year!

I got a new office at work and am using the chance to redecorate. I’m choosing a teal, pink, and gold color palette using this quilt as inspiration, so this quilt is headed to work with me!

I hope these quilts serve as a reminder to me that some mistakes are actually opportunities — both in quilting and life!

Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”

I’d love to connect more on Instagram @lindsmayland!

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