Ventana Quilt Along - Week 1: Fabric Selection

Hello, friends! Welcome to Pink Castle's Ventana Quilt Along!

We're so excited to start stitching together the Ventana quilt. This quilt is a brand new pattern designed by the lovely Nydia Kehnle and Alison Glass as part of the Skill Builder Series from Alison Glass Designs. The patterns in this series are designed to help quilters expand their repertoire of skills and even help first timers with their very first quilt.

The Ventana quilt is foundation paper pieced with a top press technique. Included in the pattern are block templates and a block map to help you plan your layout. This pattern has the opportunity to look gorgeous in many different color palettes and that's what we'll focus on first: selecting your fabrics.

Fabric choices can make huge differences in quilts. That's part of why I'm so excited to host this quilt along-- so I can see what you all choose! If choosing prints is the most stressful part of a project for you, I can relate. I constantly agonize over what prints to include in my quilts, whether this shade or that shade is a better fit, or if my prints offer enough/too much texture. When I'm sewing with my mom in her studio, she always jokes that I "make a career out of pulling fabric" because it feels a HUGE decision! If you find yourself laboring too intensely over these choices, step away, and address it with fresh eyes.

I can imagine the Ventana quilt with so many possibilities: solid blocks with a print background, mixed low volume, prints with solid background, colored prints with neutral (or TEXT!) background, I'm starting to overwhelm myself just thinking about the choices. Whatever scheme you go with, you will need 30 fat eighths (or roughly 9"x22" pieces of fabric) for the blocks and 3 yards of background fabric. I personally love the sort of gradient of color with a clean background in the pattern cover quilt and have taken that as my inspiration.

These are the colors I've chosen for my Ventana quilt. I pulled ALL of these from my stash (something I almost never do anymore!) and yes, it is mostly Cotton+Steel plus some Carolyn Friedlander, some Pinhead Dots from Michael Miller, and a tiny coral gingham that ancient/unidentifiable/adorable. These colors, particularly the bright coral orange, mustard/chartreuse, and aqua, have been in almost everything I make anymore. Sorry/not sorry. They're gorgeous. The pink is an unusual touch for me but keeps things light and a little feminine and the navy just makes everything pop! I haven't decided on my background color just yet. I'm thinking a light grey but I'm not sure what. If you have suggestions, leave a comment!! I love a little bit of extra input!

I apologize for the low-quality phone photo. I promise more flattering photos next week!
If the options are just too endless for you, we've got great news: Alison and Nydia have both hand selected bundles with exactly the amount of prints you need PLUS they've chosen suggested background solids (though you could choose your own if you'd like). The guess work has all been taken out with these personally curated bundles. I think these ladies have pretty good taste.


I'm really looking forward to what you all pull together! PLEASE share your fabric pulls with us on Facebook and Instagram: tag us @pinkcastlefabrics and use the hashtag #VentanaQAL and we'll include a few in our next post!


We'll walk you through the process of foundation paper piecing using the templates in the Ventana pattern. As this is a skill builder series, we're approaching this as though you've never paper pieced before in your life. Fear not, first timers!

July 30 - Week 1: Fabric Selection (That's here, today!)
August 6 - Week 2: Foundation Paper Piecing
August 13 - Week 3: Color Mapping & Block Assembly
August 20 - Week 4: Wrap Up