Variation on a theme is delicious! Remember the Strips and Selvages quilt from my blog post Aug 21 as the cover of American Quilt Retailer? Well above pic shows the sister version in Shimmer II fabric using my same pattern. Totally different! I get jazzed about making color ways of quilt designs. I do it everyday with my fabric designs: Create a new print design, color it, then color into three more stories.
To really understand a quilt pattern you need to do it again and again. And do so only if you desire. Nothing is more irritating than the guilty feelings of "I SHOULD" when it comes to how you like to spend your free sewing time. My love for making keeps expanding as I delve farther into the study of color, balance and scale in this quilt medium. The great thing about experience is that it never goes out of fashion or to waste. After 25 years in this industry, I am still learning.
Choosing a light vs dark border is an impactful design decision. The light pepper yarn dye is a color enhancer while still giving lots of interest. This quilt begins with WOF piecing of narrow 1 7/8" strips. The pattern is good for giving you perfect proportions in the most pleasing layout. This is where I fuss and study a variety of design options to give you the best results. It can be precut friendly for Rollups only. Standard size are 2 1/2" width strips which creates a different proportion. Honestly, even though it's faster/easier to create, I find the look is a bit clunky and not my first choice. More images in the SHIMMER II look book.
By mixing the entire Shimmer group with some strong coordinates of Kona cotton, it gives a modern asian influence not evident in the original line. The variety of Kona is so important to me. Robert Kaufman understands our needs :)
The leftovers are my next topic. Every quilt has leftovers and they are usable even if we shove them in a bag and push under the table. I had narrow trimmed strips of the WOF fabrics strips that hung over the lamp in my studio for weeks. One eve after I had burnt my hand for the umpteenth time, using dishtowels as hot pads, I marched into the studio and made these in 90 minutes: It was a very enjoyable process even with a bandaid hindrance.
2 Bricklayer Hot Pads 7"x 9".
•1 FQ of 15346-2 Navy Coin print, 14773 pepper yarn dye (back side)
•20 various 5” charm squares of Shimmer 2 , kona pickle, azure, lime or your own scraps which you have lots!
•2 yards of 3/4" bias tape- I use this cotton japanese brand (sorry can't read it) from Stone Mountain Daughter in Berkeley
•5 layers of heavy cotton batt for heat resistance. ( you can add heat resistant batt too)
Refer to chart below.
•Cut two of each rectangles out of Navy Coin.
•Cut strips from 20 charms 2" wide.
• Cut two 7x9 of pepper yarn dye and 5 layers of batt.
Make all seam allowances are 1/4"
Sew 2"x5" colorful Shimmer pieces side by side until all 20 pieces are used (5" x 40") Then cut these crosswise to make 1" strips that will be used as your "bricks". Stagger alternate areas to give interest and piece together two sets of three to be used in the detail seen below. Finish adding on top and bottom navy coin rectangles. Layer top, batt and bottom. I used walking foot to do the quilting and then trimmed edges to clean up to 7 x 9. Last step was to add pre made japanese bias tape and leave an extra tail at the end to tie off with a knot. Ready to use!
Making hot pads had never been on my radar- but if you saw the ones I have been using you would have been grossed out by these tufts of matted, stained cotton. Back to why I was using dishtowels for hot pads? One day, I tossed those old ones in the laundry and they finally surrendered by blowing up cotton bits all over our clean clothes. Our days of mutual shame and embarrassment were over. I had mountains of fabric scraps in the next room and enough batting to choke a horse.
Stories from the Studio
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