My first lesson was how difficult it was to choose fabrics for the entire quilt at the beginning. I learned through this process that I am more like a design-as-I-go type of piecer. I had trouble visualizing all the different blocks and how they would look together. I do like the final result, but I was uncertain until I saw it all together. I'm not always going to be required to choose everything before starting, but it was a good learning opportunity for me. Actually, today I chose fabric for a new BOM we'll be offering - again, having to pick everything at the beginning. It's still a challenge, but getting easier.
In month One I experienced prequilting an applique background for the first time. I started out somewhat conservative and used black thread to match the solid black background fabric. if I were to do it over, I would use variegated thread or a bright color to prequilt the background. I'm going to try to remember pre-quilting as a possible technique for future quilts.
Since this is a mostly applique quilt, I had the opportunity to experiment with different paper backed fusible products. I tried Light Steam-A-Seam 2, Pellon's WonderUnder. and OESD's Fuse & Fix. My favorite appears to be Light Steam-A-Seam 2. I like that it is on 9 x 11 sheets (more manageable) and in a sealed envelope (stays fresher). However, occasionally I got a "bad batch" where the paper released before I was ready or the fusible didn't stick well. Since Light Steam-a-Seam 2 has been out of production (see an update here) I've been using WonderUnder on the roll. It's OK but I tend to stuff it into my work storage tub and it gets all wrinkled. As soon as Steam-A-Seam comes in I'll switch back.
More about what I learned in a later post.