285 Golden Topaz
The colours have altered a smidgen but apart from that, I did not stray far from the original design (thank you Michelle for your input). This is the norm for me at the moment but maybe the future will give me more time to experiment, go crazy, step on the orange (the latter is a blogpost in itself). I now particularly like the kick of that light blue newspaper on the top of the pile:
I did find it a bit jarring at first and I nearly unpicked/and remade that part. Now I’m very happy I kept it. My Swedish ‘matchy, matchy” aesthetic needs an ice cube down it’s neck sometimes or it will all get too safe and cozy. The top went together beautifully thanks to these lush solids. These fabrics are easy to cut, sew and press. They really live up to the Supreme part of the name.
When it comes to quilting I’ve got lots of ideas but my tiny domestic machine is not ideal for what I had in mind. Instead I went looking for a longarmer. I love the graphic quilting designs of Cristine Perrigo
and Jodi Robinson
but the cost of shipping and customs and the wish to use a more local quilter made me ask around on my home turf. Joë Bennison’s
name popped up more than once and I’m very happy she could take this on. These are my initial drawings for Joë:
The photos of the finished quilt are taken in the Antiques Quarter in Sheffield by Lee Thompson
. I love working with Lee as he always surprises me and finds an angle I would never have thought of.
There are lots of exciting things happening involving this quilt that I can not yet mention but I can tell you this:
Making this quilt and working with RJR Fabrics has been big for me as it led to a collaboration with artist Cecilia Björk, one half of Artyfact Gallery
in Sweden, and to our exhibition ‘Art Quilt’ at that Gallery at the end of March.
Sign up to my mailing list
for news on the pattern release (yes, it will happen this year!) and any other curvy news.
Thank you and keep making,
Hi! I’m Joanna Marsh from Kustom Kwilts. I live in the Texas Hill Country with my husband and baby girl. I have been so captivated by all of the #whatshadeareyou projects and the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids and I’m so excited to share mine with you on the RJR blog today–The Dreamer’s Star Quilt.
You can check out my blog www.kustomkwilter.com or Instagram @kustomkwilts to see what I’m up to.
A little background on my quilting journey: In my previous career, I was a high school agriculture science teacher. My principal’s secretary was a quilter, and I mentioned to her that I was interested in starting to sew. I remember her telling me the secret to quilting was a consistent quarter inch seam allowance–and that as long as I remembered that, I’d be okay! I found a beginner’s quilting book in my teacher mailbox one morning with a sweet note of encouragement from Donna Jo (principal’s secretary), and that was how my sewing journey began. Both of my grandmothers were amazing seamstresses, but I had never learned to sew from them. One thing I’ve learned about the sewing community is that it’s full of people who want to share their love of the craft with others, and I love being part of such a giving community!
In 2016, I left my teaching job and committed to sewing and quilting full time. At my 9-5 job (really more like 5-9), I would find myself thinking about sewing in spare moments. The Dreamer’s Star Quilt is a quilt I drew while dreaming of doing the thing I love as a career, and I knew I wanted to use my favorite pattern for the What shade are you project. The design reminds me of the toy kaleidoscopes that produce different images just by turning the end, and how the images can be so bold and impactful. I love quilts that have a large central design and aren’t necessarily block based. I also remembered that when I started quilting, I struggled with selecting lots of fabrics to coordinate within a quilt, and I wanted a design that would look great with a two-color scheme, but could also make a big impact with lots of colors. This is the original quilt that I used Michael Miller’s painter’s canvas with.
I knew that the Dreamer’s Star Quilt would just glow with RJR Cotton Supreme Solids, and wanted to use colors that would reflect the gorgeous sunsets that we sometimes see out in the Texas Hill Country.
There are so many amazing colors to choose from and I went with 11 of my absolute favorites: 292-Turks and Caicos, 279-Purple Haze, 274-Riviera, 317-Jacaranda, 391-Robin’s Egg, 328-Bora Bora, 422-Plum, 371-Melody, 333-Bougainvillea, 287-Raging Ruby, and 378-Lilac Festival.
While I was browsing through the color card, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself about the clever names of the colors. Some of my color selections might tell you that I’m ready to take a vacation 😉
Piecing the quilt together was a breeze with lots of simple half-square triangles and chain piecing.
I love to use several shades of similar colors to create a little depth and dimensions to a quilt. For the backing I used Bougainvillea with a strip of Bora Bora down the middle, and Turks and Caicos for the binding.
I loved seeing all the colors melt together, but still be distinctly different, just as in a sunset.
Once the top was completed, I loaded it on my longarm and quilted some simple straight lines with rulers and added some free motion accents in coordinating Glide threads.
I love using Quilter’s Dream Wool to keep the quilt lightweight–remember, I live in Texas–but still let the quilting pop. I had a lot of fun getting some pictures at the Cibolo Wilderness Trail in Boerne, Texas. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and my husband and mom were my professional quilt holders.
Check out other versions of the Dreamer’s Star on Instagram with #dreamersstarquilt and you can pick up your copy of the pattern here. The pattern comes with three different size options, and the color combinations you could choose are limitless!
I had so much fun making this quilt and drooling over the Cotton Supreme Solids. Thanks for joining me in this quilting adventure, and a huge thank you to RJR for allowing me to participate and for the inspiration they bring with the #whatshadeareyou blog hop!
Fabrics: RJR Cotton Supreme Solids (full list above)
Backing: Bougainvillea and Bora Bora RJR Cotton Supreme Solids
Binding: Turks and Caicos RJR Cotton Supreme Solids
Quilting: Long arm quilted by Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
Finished Size: Approx. 80″ x 80″
Hey Guys! I am so honoured to be taking part in the What Shade are You Blog Hop, and sharing my Secret Heart quilt with you. My name is Jo, you can find me on instagram @unicornharts where I design Foundation Paper Pieced patterns and share all my makes.
A little bit about me…… I am 35, I live in Birmingham UK with my husband, son and pet Chihuahua. I have been sewing for around 5 years and originally started with the intention to learn dress making but soon got into quilting and have never looked back although this year I do plan to pursue that original goal too.
I had no idea what I wanted my quilt to look like other than it be bright and colourful, I also love the look of modern simple quilts and of course all things girly, so I got straight to my computer and got designing. I finally came up with a pattern similar to this one, and thought it would look cool to create an image within the quilt, not a bold image but a subtle one so it would also blend in… So I moved some of the lines around and then came the heart.
Once I had decided on the pattern I had to figure out how I was going to piece it together, as an avid foundation paper piecer, I went down that route. The NOT so fun part was glue-ing 144 pages of templates together as each block was 12.5” square, but once that was done it was all plain sailing.
There were so many amazing colours to choose from (Apricot Ice is my absolute favourite) here is a list of all 24 colours I used:
Just Peachy – 278
Harlequin – 358
Cantaloupe – 209
Optical White – 33
Beach Coral – 355
Ochre – 140
Flamingo – 338
Charlotte – 226
Elephant Pink – 277
Sweet Pea – 420
Carrot – 131
Apricot Ice – 387
Mustard – 410
Sunny side of the street – 379
Silver Screen – 380
Hot Pink – 217
Lipgloss – 419
Julep – 403
Banana Cream Pie – 336
Pistachio – 404
Antique Rose – 418
Verbena – 254
Pink Sapphire – 218
Poolside – 327
For the backing fabric I chose the yellow unicorns from the magic forest collection by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel (Wow! That was a mouthful!) (It’s so beautiful!) I went for straight line quilting, in my head it was going to be so different but once I got it under my machine, my mind changed rapidly! Me and free motion quilting are not great friends at the moment but I’m sure that will change one day, and I think it works with the geometric feel of the quilt anyway.
For the binding fabric I chose a mix of jelly bracelet neon and peaches from the sprinkle basics collection again by Sarah Watts for Cotton and Steel
My quilt finished at 72” x 72”
I had quite a few scraps left over so I made 2 matching cushions.
Thankyou so much RJR. I had so much fun! I love my new quilt! Your fabrics are wonderful and a dream to work with!
Hi everyone! I’m Kari Anderson and today I get to share my quilt for RJR Fabrics’s “What Shade Are You?” Blog Hop. Glad you are here!
A little about me: I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband and daughter. I’m on instagram and online at @andersondesignworks and andersondesignworks.com. I’ve been making quilts for about five years, however my background is in architecture. My career path has been non-traditional: I worked for others for a short time doing mostly experimental design and furniture scale projects. I then taught architectural design studios for many years, mostly in the first undergrad year. While designing and making quilts has taken over as my creative outlet, my process and interests in design derive from my experiences in architecture. My “go to” design strategy is “repetition and variation.” The repetition always helps me organize the design, the variation brings interest and can provide movement or shifting focus.
I was really excited to be asked to participate in the What Shade Are You Blog. I like to see every new quilt project as an opportunity and a challenge. I always like to explore new things while working within the framework of my ongoing interests. In this case, the opportunity to choose from such a wide range of colors pushed me to work with more colors than I am used to – I usually develop the pattern first and second figure out the color. (Or I just go for black and white!) Since I was given this chance, I decided that color need to be the beginning idea of the design, not an afterthought.
My projects sometimes start as sketches, but they always go into the computer before I start the cutting and sewing. (Ok, not always. I did make one improv quilt!) This quilt started with a sketch – unusually for me, with colored pencils! It was fun and freeing because I was exploring colors first rather than creating a repeating pattern. I debated whether or not to show the original sketch here, but decided that even though the finished quilt doesn’t look like the sketch, it’s good to share the process. My sketches began with a simple idea of shifting colors from one to another. I love love love bright lemon-lime yellow and my daughter happened to have a perfect colored pencil, so I began there, playing with moving it into green and blue.
The sketch helped me choose the colors from the RJR Cotton Supreme color card. (Citron 337, Tourmaline 103, Harlequin 358, Peridot 342, Neon 348, Pistachio 404, Spring 405, Lucky Green 406, Grove 407, Toy Boat 366, Spearmint 389, Emerald City 329, Teal 401, Robin’s Egg 391, Riviera 274, Turks & Caicos 292, Atlantica 374, Lake 427, Royal Blue 126, Electric Blue 296, Denim 106, Navy 30, Medianoche 430)
At the same time I was curious about making big moves with the design. I had the thought of playing with a large and mirrored negative space and infilling it with a repeated unit. My idea was to create the color shift by randomly varying the colors from lightish to darkish. I drew up a pattern in the computer and made simple chipboard templates, as I tend to do.
As always happens in the design process, things didn’t go as planned. The “here-and-there” placement of the colors wasn’t working for me. But the fun part was that through playing around with the fabric pieces, I was noticing exciting interactions of color. This led me to establish repeating rows of paired colors and then I played with the overall order. It no longer transitioned simply from yellow to blue.
And since I can’t leave a repetitive pattern completely alone, I swapped in a few subtle color variations in some of the rows. This may not be immediately obvious but necessitates a closer look – and I hope it adds some depth and intrigue to the overall design.
The last big move that happened somewhere in the process…I turned the whole design upside down. It just works better. It now feels like something bursting up and out. It has movement that it just didn’t have the other way. Sometimes big changes need to happen!
In the end, designs don’t always need an explanation of their development -with all the things-that-didn’t-work and the changes-of-mind that got to the final product, but I think sometimes it is good to share that stuff. As a design teacher, something I tried to communicate to my students was that design takes work, it develops over time, it goes through options and changes, and it most definitely doesn’t spring, perfectly formed, from the heads of a lucky few. Also, everything you make adds to your experience.
Making this quilt and working with color in a deeper way than I have previously has been a fun experience for me. Thanks RJR Fabrics! And now I need to come up with a title.
Hello everybody! My name is Saija and it’s my turn to post for the RJR What Shade are you? I live in Helsinki, Finland. On the Instagram you can find me at @saija_elina.
My family belongs a husband and three children. Children have lived on their own for a while now so I have time for my sewing hobby. When I’m not working or quilting, I’m jogging with my friends.
I have been sewing since I was a child. When my children were young I made almost all of their clothes. Now days they don’t want to use clothes that mom has made so I only sew clothes every once in a while. I got familiar with quilting a little bit over 20 years ago after taking a beginners class. Right away I got very excited and it seems like my enthusiasm only keeps growing year by year. My other quilts you can find in my blog saijaelina.blogspot.fi
When I was asked to take part in the #whatshadeareyou challenge it was very exciting! At first I wasn’t sure would I make my own pattern or someone else’s. For a long time I have wanted to make this pattern from a book called Quilt with Tula and Angela.
Now I had an opportunity to choose fabrics from a wide color range so I decided to make it. This quilt is called The Tumbler. I did few small changes to the pattern. I was a little nervous if I was able to pick out the right colors in order to get enough contrast to the cubes. I feel like I did okay.
This is really nice and fresh color combination. It reminds me of spring which I’m looking forward to more than anything. The colors that I used are:
Havilland blue 169, Luau 376, Seaside 426, Julep 403, Pistachio 404, Tourmaline 103, Neon 348, Canvas 150,
Slate 298, Denim 106, Turks&Caicos 292, Bora Bora 328, Spearmint 389, Spring 405, Harlequin 358, Sprout 249,
Think green 375, lemon chiffon 182, Medianoche 430, Proud as a peacock 289, Pacific 428, Teal 401, Scamrock 109,
Citrus 384, Martini Olive 343, Golden rod 92, Silver screen 380 and for backing Sewing history-black on white 3228-00.
For the backing I wanted something light.
I picked this fun black and white print because fabrics with text are my favorites. The quilting emphases the three dimensional effect. Because I’m not a master in free motion quilting I decided to do something somewhat simple.
Here in Helsinki the weather has been gray and rainy week after week. It has been really challenging to take good pictures of my projects. Luckily during the weekend there was one bright day and even some sun.
Thank you RJR fabrics for this opportunity, it was really fun to sew with your solids. I love this quilt so much!
Hi there! Vanessa and Linda here from flaurie & finch. We’re fabric and pattern designers for RJR Fabrics and we’re super excited to share our #whatshadeareyou Quilt today. Presenting Daisy Daydream – Rainbow Edition.
When we were asked to participate in the What Shade are You blog hop, we knew right away that we wanted to revisit one of our favorite patterns, Daisy Daydream, which we designed with our first line of Blossom Batiks. This quilt is the epitome of our favorite technique in designing patterns– that is to have organic shapes appliquéd onto a structured pieced ground. The contrast of the geometric and natural, free flowing shapes makes for an interesting and unexpected composition. This is the original quilt:
Making a quilt entirely from solids is a bit of a departure for us; we typically work with batiks, screen prints and digital prints with the occasional solid as a background or accent color. I have to say, the Cotton Supreme Solids were a delight to work with and there are so many colors to choose from, which is awesome because we were able to capture the multi colored rainbow-ness of the original quilt.
The colors we selected are: 274-Riviera, 292-Turks and Caicos, 354-Horizon, 374-Atlantica, 426-Seaside, 030-Navy, 392-Schooner, 407-Grove, 329-Emerald City, 402-Spruce, 408-Leaf, 249-Sprout, 375-Think Green, 349-Aloe Verde, 127-Kelly Green, 103-Tourmaline, 384-Citrus, 326-Sunny Delight, 131-Carrot, 276-Tangerine Dream, 150-Canvas, 338-Flamingo, 414-Gelato, 367-Bandana, 049-Chili Pepper, 356-Moulin Rouge, 217-Hot Pink, 311-Rio, 218-Pink Sapphire, 357-Sunset Ruby, 287-Raging Ruby, 371-Melody, 279-Purple Haze, 333-Bouganvilla, 121-Grape, 280-Night, 370-Swan, 032-Linen White, 283-On the Rocks, and last but not least, 319-Overcast
The background is designed to feel like a random, scrappy collage, so the pieces are all different sizes and fit together like a puzzle. Before we started sewing anything, we laid out all of the pieces to double check our cuts and to make sure we liked the color placement.
We assembled the quilt, piece-by-piece, then section-by-section. It came together very quickly and without difficulty – the seam ripper made only one appearance!
We debated whether or not to add a border and in the end we decided to go with a 3-inch border like the original quilt. We chose teal because we just love teal.
Once the ground was done, we moved onto the appliqué. A few years ago, our friend Jamie Fingal (also a designer for RJR) taught us how to do raw edge appliqué and we’ve been hooked ever since. She also turned us on to Mistyfuse, a lightweight fusible adhesive webbing. It doesn’t have a paper backing, so there is no extra adhesive to add bulk or gum up your scissors or sewing machine.
We started by cutting out the paper templates and sorting them by color. As you can see there were A LOT of pieces – over 150!
Next, we applied the Mistyfuse to the fabric. One handy thing about solids is that there is no wrong side of the fabric, so the fusible webbing can be applied to either side. We used a Goddess sheet between the Mistyfuse and the iron to avoid sticking but you can also use wax paper. After it cooled, we peeled the Goddess sheet off and the fabric was ready to be cut up. We attached the paper templates to the non-adhesive side of the fabric using an adhesive roller (but you could also just pin them on). Cutting out the appliqué pieces was definitely the most time consuming part of the project, but we knew it would pay off in the end.
Then the fun part – We assembled the flowers according to the pattern. Having the paper templates still attached to the pieces was essential because each piece is numbered so it can easily be found in the appliqué placement diagram. Once the pieces were laid out, we pressed them into place with the iron.
Next we laid the leaves, stems, and whole flowers on top of the background and pressed them into place.
In keeping with the rainbow theme, we chose a multi colored digital print called Confetti Punch from The Paper Garden, our first digitally printed fabric collection. Fun fact – we created this print by hole punching LOTS of tissue paper and then throwing it all over the place!
We decided to do the quilting ourselves – we’re super lucky to have a Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen long arm in our studio at the RJR Fabrics headquarters. We haven’t quite mastered the machine yet, but we are learning and improving with each quilt. We started by stitching around the edges of the appliqué and adding some detail within the leaves and the flower centers. For the background, we went with alternating horizontal and vertical lines, following the geometric layout.
The Cotton Supreme Solids definitely did justice to the pattern. We’re thrilled with how the quilt turned out – it’s already getting some use on this rainy January day. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @flaurieandfinch to see more of our quilt and fabric designs. Hope to see you there!
Hello there! I’m Kairle Oaks, and I’m so happy to share my “What Shade Are You?” quilt today. I’ve been so inspired by those who have gone before me, and I’m eager to see the posts that follow. The quilting community is full of talented women and men who deepen my affection for the craft.
My fascination with sewing began when I was very young. I would watch my mother as she turned out beautiful clothing from her sewing machine. My grandmother was an incredible seamstress, as well.
I made my first quilt when I was 14. It was a cheerful calico patchwork and was tied with yellow yarn at the corner of each square. About that same time I took a sewing class in school, and under the excellent tutelage of Mrs. Frost, my passion for sewing began.
For many years I made clothing for myself and my family, but it wasn’t until 2005 that my love for quilting truly began. You can see my completed quilts and tutorials on my blog (KairleOaks.com), but my day to day quilting adventures are documented on Instagram @kairleoaks. I hope you’ll follow along.
I have always had a fondness for quilts made with house blocks. To me, they symbolize comfort and security—a refuge from the storms of life. This is the inspiration for my Dacha quilt. The house blocks are simple representations of country homes found in Russia.
One of my daughters lived in Russia for a year and a half, and she would often tell me of her friends who would go to their summer homes, or dachas, for the weekend. They would bring back to her fruits and vegetables that they had grown in their gardens there.
I was intrigued by this, so I did a little research and learned that many dachas were painted bright, happy colors. I sometimes wonder what goes into choosing a particular color for a dacha, and which color I would choose for myself. Most likely red.
With so many amazing shades and hues to choose from on the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids color cards, narrowing down the right fabrics for this quilt was somewhat of a challenge.
Because I wanted this quilt to be bold, I went with the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors of the color wheel, in deep, saturated shades. A pale periwinkle background sets each house apart.
The colors that I selected are:
Moulin Rouge 356
Tangerine Dream 276
Sunny Delight 326
Aloe Verde 349
Kelly Green 127
Feeling Blue 335
Raging Ruby 28
For the quilt backing and binding, I went with Cotton + Steel Happy Garden (Steel Blue 0037-02) and Dottie (Bandana 5002-07) fabrics.
I wanted the quilting to be something understated, like the dachas of the quilt. The slight wavy lines of monofilament thread ended up being perfect, and was done by Kerrie at Utah Valley Quilting.
Making my Dacha quilt was the easy part. Waiting for a big Utah snowstorm for a photoshoot was a different story. But Mother Nature pulled through and sent in some beautiful mountain snow just two days before my deadline. I love the bright colors of the quilt against the freshly fallen snow.
I’ll be posting a tutorial on my blog for the Dacha quilt. If you are interested in making something similar, come check it out. I’m curious…what shade are you?
Hi! This is Kristina Brinkerhoff from Center Street Quilts and I’m so excited and honored to be sharing my What Shade Are You quilt on the RJR blog today! I live in rural Utah with my husband and four kids and when I’m not quilting, I love to travel, go on family hikes, and nap. I pieced my first quilt when I was a teenager and immediately fell in love with all things quilting! Over the years, I’ve found that I especially love to design new patterns and do free motion quilting. You can check out my blog, Center Street Quilts or Instagram @centerstreetquilts to see what I’m up to on a regular basis.
Now, on to the quilt! It was such a unique and delightful experience to be given the full RJR Cotton Supreme Solids color card to choose a color scheme for a quilt. Did you know there are over 200 Cotton Supreme Solids colors?!? That’s a lot of options for an indecisive person! 😉 There were a few different color options running through my head, but I ended up choosing what I love the most: bright, happy colors.
I chose six different colorways (blue, aqua, green, orange/yellow, coral, and pink), each with three shades, for a total of 18 different colors. The exact Cotton Supreme Colors I chose are:
Jam Jar 400
Robin’s Egg 391
Aloe Verde 349
Lemon Chiffon 182
Sunny Delight 326
Beach Coral 355
Hot Pink 217
Sunset Ruby 357
My quilting style is generally a mix between traditional and modern, so I decided to design my quilt around a traditional star block, but vary the sizes of the stars and use different shades of each colorway to give the quilt a more modern feel. Within the quilt, there are a total of 45 different blocks ranging from 6” x 6” all the way up to 24” x 24”.
For the quilting, I went with a modern style of graffiti quilting, but added in traditional elements like feathers and clamshells.
When it comes to binding, I am pretty straight-laced and usually stick to simple stripes or dots. I chose a fun Add It Up aqua and navy print from Cotton and Steel for the binding, but at the last minute decided to add in a small strip of the same print in a bright pink color along one corner. I love the little pop of color it gives the quilt and am glad that I strayed from my usual binding tendencies!
Being able to create my own What Share Are You quilt was such an enjoyable and creative process! Using only solids really helped me focus on the design and color elements of the quilt.
Thanks for following along with my quilt journey and a big Thank You to RJR Fabrics for including me in the What Shade Are You blog hop! If you want to follow along with more of my daily quilting adventures, you can find me on instagram @centerstreetquilts. Happy Sewing!
Hello everyone! Today it’s my turn to show you my #whatshadeareyou quilt using Cotton Supreme Solids by RJR. Ohhh, and I am so excited…
Just a quick introduction. My name is Laura Cunningham, I am an indie sewing pattern designer and you can find me on Instagram over at Laura_Zuckerkuss. Originally from Berlin, Germany I am now living in Stonehaven, Scotland together with my Scottish husband and two kids. We just moved to this beautiful wee town in the North East of Scotland and love the area and its people so much.
When I was asked if I liked to take part in the #whatshadeareyou challenge, I didn’t think twice. I’ve always wanted to make a quilt solely of solids, so now I had no more excuses.
As a designer, I am not only inspired by fellow quilters but also by the many other independent artists pushing contemporary designs and modern takes on traditional themes. One of my most favourite artists is Frea Buckler. Frea’s prints embrace bold colours and shapes, she plays with illusion and perception to produce work which captures your eye in the most mesmerising way. But it is when she started slicing up her screenprints into postcards that the inspiration for this quilt really took hold, I just kew I had to follow her lead and develop something based on such a striking theme.
Art on a postcard by Frea Buckler, 2017.
I decided to go with what seems to have become my signature colours: pink and peach. That was the obvious choice for me I guess. But I also wanted to embrace the bold colours Frea uses, so I added blue, a little yellow and orange into the mix. And these are the 26 Cotton Supreme Solids I used:
Candyland 86, Ballerina 176, Elephantastic Pink 277, Just Peachy 278, Flamingo 338, Muslin 241, Apricot Ice 387, Hot Pink 217, Lip Gloss 419, Fairy Princess 237, Carnation 135, Charlotte 226, Canvas 150, Saffron 221, Pumpkin 130, Cantaloupe 209, Guava 373, Tickled Pink 330, Jean Jacket 429, Slate 298, Swan 370, Orchid 216, Bubblegum 244, Paris 235, Canvas 150 and Haviland Blue 169
Using Frea’s postcards as a starting point, and applying the improv technique which has served me so well in the past, I set about improv piecing each block. I was keen to create individual blocks rich with interest and authenticity, rather than creating matching lines between the blocks. The result is that each block juxtaposes straight lines with unexpected shapes – presenting a unique and purposefully awkward visual encounter.
In total, I improv pieced 49 blocks, each measuring 8’’ by 10’’, with the final quilt measuring about 55’’ by 70’’.
After piecing the top, it was important for me to break the sharp angles I created within the postcards. I loved the crisp boldness of the shapes, but also needed to allow for organic imperfections, something I believe to be vitally important when making a quilt – I wanted the hand-crafted story to be evident. So I decided to go for hand quilting, which I had never done before… best time to give it a go, right?
And I didn’t regret my choice. It’s far from perfect but I love that I broke the boldness of the design a little. And the texture is just divine, even approved by my little helper…
Now, let me finally show you the completed quilt, ‘Postcards by Frea’. This is a quilt inspired by, built by, and made for… people. And people have informed every element of the quilt’s journey. Indeed, as I set out to show the final piece in all it’s glory, by planning photographs in suitably scenic locations, I realised that my surrounding environment had plans of it’s own. So, as my detailed schedule for posed and lighted pictures was laid to waste by the very best of North-East Scotland’s seaside weather, another twist to this quilt’s people-led story took place.
My husband (expert quilt holder) very nearly had the quilt torn from his hands by the ‘refreshing’ November wind – and rain. Just as disaster is about to strike, a local fisherman jumps to the rescue, runs from the harbour and saves the quilt. He proceeds to pose with the quilt (under the expert direction of my husband, of course) so that I can get the best pictures possible.
I love the final results of this quilt, and the pictures. But what I love even more is that people have been involved in every aspect of it, from inspiration through to the final photo shoot. It feels like the story of the quilt has written itself, and it is something that I’ll be reminded of every time I see it.
I hope you like it!
Finally, I would like to thank the lovely people at RJR Fabrics for trusting me with their luscious fabrics. It’s been a real pleasure working with you! If you fancy, then please do follow my creative journey on Instagram, where I share my makes. Hope to see you there.
My name is Erika Bea, but my friends call me Pink. You can find me @pinksuedeshoe on Instagram. I am addicted to things in every color. Except red, and then purple, they aren’t my favorites. They are a necessary part of every rainbow, but as far as I am concerned rainbows should all begin and end with pink! I grow a lot of dahlias, I bake a lot of pies, and I make a lot of quilts. I started sewing for real about 9 years ago. I have made everything from jeans to doll clothes, bags of every shape and size, stuffed animals and home décor projects. Last year alone I made about 17 button-up shirts or shirtdresses. I sew A LOT. I didn’t really get into quilting until 5 years ago when I started working in a local quilt shop one afternoon a week. I found so much satisfaction putting piles of fabric and colors together, and keeping those bolts organized in rainbow order on all the shelves! And quilting has just kind of stuck.
In the 5 years I’ve been quilting I have probably made close to 200 quilts. Usually between 25 and 35 a year. I have made dozens of quilts that have hung up at Quilt Market, sold plenty, and gifted plenty. At last count there is over 50 quilts stacked in armoires and closets and couches and on the ends of the beds in my small house. And the rest are spread out across the country and around the world. Quilting makes me real happy.
When RJR reached out to me and asked me to be a part of the What Shade Are You project I was so excited, I knew exactly what I wanted to make, which was a quilt I’ve had in my head for more than a year. I carefully picked out my colors, and then choose white cotton lawn for the background and a cotton + steel cotton lawn for the back. I knew this was going to be the absolutely softest coziest quilt ever.
But, before I cut into my bundle I had a change of heart. I was going to start my dream quilt the beginning of October, bright and early Monday October 2. But plans changed. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, I decided that my dream quilt can wait. Because this beautiful rainbow bundle was going to turn into another project, a quilt for someone who needed a little piece of hope and love and kindness more than I do.
The Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild is collecting quilts to distribute to the families of the victims from the October shooting. And so this quilt is for them. They are collecting blocks, finished tops, and finished quilts. It is a massive undertaking, and full of all the love and kindness that this quilting community is so famous for. The LVMQG asked for quilts made using the grayscale block by Alison. She has a block A and B, I used 12 of Block A and 20 of Block B, and then I decided to set the blocks on point, because I love how they look that way.
These blocks come together SO quickly. It really was a quick project, even with a few hitches along the way. I made my first mistake in not planning out color placement very carefully. I originally decided to go with a random layout, but as soon as I took the picture of them laid out on the floor I knew that this quilt would be so much better in rainbow order. I did have to remake two blocks, but it was well worth the extra few minutes. A little rearranging to make the colors blend, and I knew I had something really really great.
I quilted this with simple straight lines, because I think they almost always look good. And I am not great at the actual quilting part. I can sew tiny 1” squares together all day, but I lose my patience and get bored with the actual quilting the layers together process. I decided to make a scrappy binding, and with just about as much dumb luck as can be wished for it worked out as a perfect rainbow all the way around the quilt. I love it when that happens.
I loved working on this project. I know sometimes it can feel overwhelming to try and do something good when there is just so much sadness in the world. One quilt is just a drop in the bucket, hardly a way to combat all the terrible things that happen. But to one person, I hope this quilt will make a really big difference. And I would encourage you, if you have a spare 10 minutes THIS WEEKEND, or a few hours, to make a couple of blocks, or a lot of blocks, or a roll of binding, or some big pieces for backings, and send it to the LVMQG.
As for me, I think I’ll try and get that dream quilt I was planning cut out and started. But I am so glad that I decided to make this one first. Thanks RJR for the beautiful fabric to help me help someone else. You can follow along with my rainbows, pies, dahlias and quilting adventures on Instagram @pinksuedeshoe.
Here is a list of the colors I used. The white background is cotton lawn in Kerchief 5089-21, and the rainbow is 49 Chili Pepper, 92 Golden Rod, 127 Kelly Green, 131 Carrot, 182 Lemon Chiffon, 217 Hot Pink, 218 Pink Sapphire, 244 BubbleGum, 249 Sprout, 276 Tangerine Dream, 287 Raging Ruby, 292 Turks & Caicos, 311 Rio, 316 Lancaster Sky, 317 Jacaranda, 330 Tickled Pink, 332 Mauvelous, 347 Grass is Always Greener, 348 Neon, 354 Horizon, 357 Sunset Ruby, 371 Melody, 372 Orange Crush, 373 Guava, 379 Sunnyside of the Street, 389 Spearmint, 391 Robins Egg, 414 Gelato, 423 Violet, 425 Harbor, 426 Seaside, 427 Lake