I was lucky enough to be given a part layer cake, asked to make use of it and tell you what I think.

But I had never used a layer cake before – so what to do?

The fabric was Tranquility by Makower UK. The part layer cake I received – 18 10 inch squares – consisted of 1 each of 18 different fabrics.

That sounds like a lot, but the fabrics are broken down into 3 colour groups of 6 different fabrics in a blue grey, a peach pink and a proper blue. The fabrics in each colour range from a very light ditsy print, through 2 cherry blossom prints on a light background, one flower and one geometric print on the darker background colour, and finally a cherry blossom on a black / navy blue background, which looks almost Chinese inspired. Overall a pretty range, with the option of sticking to one colour range or mixing the coordinating ranges.

The information sheet also shows a quilt pattern (featured in British Patchwork & Quilting Summer ’21), 3 free download tote / messenger bags, and an idea for a little girl’s dress, showing how versatile the fabrics are.

But what was I going to make? There wasn’t enough dark fabric (the one I particularly loved) to provide the type of contrast that I felt I needed. Stop looking a gift horse in the mouth and get to work!

I took each 10” block and starched it first because, although the fabric quality is good, I have developed the habit of starching before I cut to give the fabric a bit more stability.

To make the best use of the darkest fabric, I decided to cut those blocks into 1” strips, then cut each of the lighter 10” blocks into two. That allowed me to insert the 1” strips into the lighter blocks, recreating a square block. I then trimmed the blocks to ensure they were still square and sashed the blocks on 2 sides with black 2.5 in strips from my stash. I was concerned when I first put the black on, because I thought it looked too heavy on an individual block.

Once all of the blocks were made and the placement was decided, it was just a case of sewing them together. When the blocks came together, I was actually pleased with them – even the black sashing!

I will be attending a charity quilt day shortly, so I thought that this would be appropriate to take and finish on that day. It can then be donated to someone who really needs it.

Ironically as I am donating this to charity, it is probably the most precise bit of patchwork I have ever done!

If I was buying this fabric range myself, I would buy much more of the darkest fabric, as this is my favourite but it also provides a strong contrast to all of the other fabrics in the range.

I ended up with a quilt top 55”x 33” – with a few small borders, this will make a nice centre for a quilt.

In conclusion, the fabric is quality, as you would expect from Makower, with some very attractive prints in multiple colourways. Very versatile.

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