Introduction to BeColourful
Welcome! Is it your first BeColourful pattern, and you feel a little lost? Or were you just browsing our website?
Whether this is your first time ever sewing a BeColourful design, or you’re more experienced, I hope we can excite you with our colorful designs and beautiful patterns.
I am excited that you are interested on one of the BeColourful Designs. I can
imagine it is difficult to choose a design that suits you from the wide range of designs on
In the beginning, I only wanted to create designs for the advanced quilter, because there are
already so many designs on the market for beginners. But in the last couple of years, I have
noticed a growing demand for easier, more accessible designs. Also, I have noticed a lot of
interest in somewhat smaller designs.
It is good to know that I make sure my collection is as versatile as possible. There are bigger
and smaller designs for the beginner quilter as well as advanced quilters.
You may have already looked around my website, just for inspiration. If you haven’t done it yet, feel free to do so. You may have noticed a line above each picture of a quilt, that says ‘level of difficulty’, ‘finished size’, etcetera.
My patterns have a difficulty rating of 2 stars to 6 stars, of which 2 is easy and 6 is difficult. It is important that you choose a pattern that suits your level of difficulty. There is no point in challenging yourself all the way with a 6-star design if you are just a beginner. That is discouraging, I just want you to like my designs and enjoy sewing.
I have sewed on a regular sewing machine for many years. There really is no need for a fancy machine. Quilting is all about being creative. Just pick a sewing machine that fits your budget.
This also goes for the rest of your materials. I recommend you going to your local quilt store for good advice. Besides a ¼”sewing foot, extra filled bobbins and white thread, these are my basic materials.
I love working with batiks. Batiks are handmade in Indonesia and the makers of batiks are true artists with their beautiful patterns and truly fabulous sense of color. I love the color usage and versatility of batiks. And that crispy feel of new batik is just wonderful.
I am blessed to design batik fabrics for Anthology Fabrics. I have been to Bali and saw with my own eyes how much work it is to create the amazing collections I use in my quilt designs. Once you have seen this process up close, you’ll truly understand what art is and that it is worth every penny.
When shopping for fabrics, I would advise you to purchase 1/3 to ½ yard more of each than a specific pattern calls for. That may seem strange, but if you make a cutting mistake or you have to redo a section, it is very nice to have a little extra fabric. You don’t want to experience that sinking feeling when you realize you didn’t purchase enough fabrics for a project and can’t find the same fabric for the rest of your piece.
Whatever you choose, buy the fabrics/batiks you really like. This is important. Nothing is more annoying than to work with colors that you don’t like and that don’t make you happy.
Pre-wash or not
Let me begin by saying: there is no wrong way. It depends on your preference and the usage of your quilt. Personally, I always love making something with crisp and new fabrics.
If you are making a wall hanging, I recommend not washing the fabrics before sewing. A wall hanging doesn’t get dirty much, so I don’t really see the need for it.
If you are planning to make a lap quilt, I do advise you to pre-wash the batiks/fabrics. After all, you don’t want the fabrics to bleed or shrink when you put your beautiful quilt in the wash because it got dirty.
Paper Piecing is sewing fabrics to a paper foundation to stabilize the quilt block. BeColourful patterns have the pattern parts printed on the papers, that’s why it is referred to as Foundation Paper Piecing.
When using a printed paper foundation for a block, complex designs can be easily sewn. The paper foundation stabilizes the fabrics, which is important when the fabric is not cut on the straight of the grain. Patterns with a star, sharp spikes or flying gees are much easier to sew using a Paper Piecing technique than with regular piecing using templates. You put the fabrics under the paper and sew directly on the stitching line as shown on the paper.
And once you're ready, you remove the foundation papers.
Where to start
When you are first starting, don’t choose a large wall hanging that you plan to be an heirloom piece for generations to come. That kind of project puts way too much pressure on you, and quilting should be fun, not stressful!
If it is your very first BeColourful project, start with a small design that doesn’t require too many fabrics and techniques. I recommend “Picnic/Lemonade”. This is a small project of a table runner and four placemats. I made them in two designs: one in rainbow colors and one in a summer color palette.
This design of table runner and placemats has only one row of spikes, the sharp pointed parts in the pattern. Making this design, you will learn the importance of technique and sewing on paper.
For the more experienced beginner
If you are already familiar and experienced with paper piecing, it might be a good idea to start with “Happiness 2.0”.
Happiness 2.0 is a small wall hanging of 38” x 38” and features all of the BeColourful paper piecing techniques. We have combined 13 different techniques in this quilt: Paper piecing, the star, spikes, inset circles, freezer paper techniques, second seam allowance, how to get a perfect corner, sashing, flying geese, nesting seams, how to pin baste, how to ease fabrics and how to use fabrics sparingly. We have created a number of tutorials on the techniques Jacqueline uses. You can find them here. The Happiness quilt is a great project to try out all these techniques. When you've finished this beautiful small wall hanging you will be able to make any of Jacqueline's designs.
Before you begin
Before you start cutting the fabrics and start sewing, I have a tip for you. For me, it is the most simple but important tip I can give.
Let me explain to you why this is so important. All patterns are different. All designers work differently. All texts are different. It is tempting to think: ‘Oh, I know what is meant here…’, or ‘I have made so many patterns already…’. But you cannot assume that every pattern is the same. So that’s why: read.
Reading is the most important thing. That’s where you start. You open the pattern and start reading, two or three times. As you read through the text, look at the diagrams between text and blocks for cutting the fabric and the available tips. That way the text is in your head and you understand what the designer, me in this case, means.
Cutting your fabrics
Always double-check your measurements before you cut. It is especially important when you are just starting with your first BeColourful pattern. It may take a little longer to cut your pieces, but you will be pleased when you’ve cut everything at the right size the first time. Check and double check.
When you are using a rotary cutter, be sure to take it slow. Also, if you are using a ruler, keep your blade against the ruler’s edge and be sure not to stray. Going slow will help you keep your cuts straight and neat. Don’t forget to change blades regularly, it helps.
Under various buttons on our website you can find tutorials. The more general videos can be found under the 'Tutorial' button. There you will find some basic videos. If you are working on 'Happiness 2.0' you will also find some useful videos under that button. For 'Dream Flight' and 'Wish Upon a Star'/'Purple Sunrise' we made a whole series of videos.
These designs were our 'Block of the Month' designs several years ago, and since we thought it would be useful to show what we were doing, we made a whole series of videos where I take you step by step through the making of these beautiful designs.
However, the very best thing is to attend one of my classes if you want to learn all about my technique.
The very best way to experience making a BeColourful quilt, is to take a class from me personally, a so-called ‘MasterClass’. In a Masterclass, you get personal attention, help sewing and assembling your quilt and you will get all kinds of useful tips and tricks that will help you complete the sewing of a ‘Jacqueline’ pattern.
The atmosphere in my classes is always very sociable and approachable. You can always ask me anything and I will help you where needed. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced quilter, taking a class is definitely recommended. And who knows, you might make new friends!
You can find the classes schedule here at our website.
Online Craftsy Class
A couple of years ago, I was invited by Craftsy to do a pattern for their website. It was an irresistible offer that I grabbed with both hands.
I designed ‘Day Dream’ (“Perfect Points With Paper Piecing”), a 3” quilt. The great thing about this design is that you will also learn all the techniques I use in all my designs. In the videos, I take you step by step through the making of this beautiful quilt. This online class is perfect if you are visibly inclined. It is a downloadable pattern, so no matter where you are, you have access to the pattern pieces anytime, anywhere to get to work.
On my website, you will find a ‘Downloads’ button. And it is really great: you will find several downloadable sheets that you can use. For example, I created a very handy fabric color chart for notes and fabric choices. You can also use it for your ‘Quilt Administration’. Super handy and all the sheets are absolutely free to use and download over and over again.
I have an active Facebook page, with fun posts daily: https://facebook.com/Becolourfulquilts. There are three active Facebook groups:
One general group: BeColourful Meeting Place group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168837927101525;
A Facebook group for 'Dream Flight': https://www.facebook.com/groups/1919168468118370 ;
and a Facebook group for 'Wish Upon a Star'/'Purple Sunrise': https://www.facebook.com/groups/1095658850998538.
And in addition, BeColourful can be found on Instagram where I try to post fun posts daily: https://www.instagram.com/jacquelinedejonge_becolourful/
You are more than welcome to all of our social media and be a part of the BeColourful community!
All designs, patterns, images and text are © 2004-2024 copyright BeColourful; by Jacqueline de Jonge. Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without written consent.