What Shade are You with Jennifer Letchet

Hello! I’m Jen and I’m relatively new to quilting, I got hooked in 2015 and I’ve been constantly sewing ever since. When RJR approached me last summer, after seeing my Festival of Quilts entry, to participate in their What Shade are You blog hop, I was very excited. I was already a follower of the blog via Instagram and every month I was impressed by the quality and calibre of the quilts.

For me, my favourite stage of the quilting process is the planning stage; working out my design [even the maths], and choosing my fabrics. It goes hand in hand with my other passion, Art. I love drawing and painting, colour and form, so I am constantly sketching down new quilt ideas in my sketchbook. As a result when RJR got in touch, I knew exactly what I wanted to make and what my shade was! Like most quilters, I keep a list of all of my ‘I want to make’ quilts [which should keep me busy until 2020!].

I’m a big fan of HSTs [Half Square Triangles], they are so versatile and can be used to create infinite patterns. In this sketch, I was inspired by a then recent trip to Scotland, of the mountainous landscapes and tree filled vistas. I wanted HSTs to create an abstract view of a forest; to convey depth, shadow and light. I had always wanted to use solids for this quilt, to focus on colour and geometry, without letting pattern or texture overpower the design. My colour choice was obvious: shades of green.

I loved perusing the colour card and there are so many options to choose from. Even though I already had green in mind, it was so hard not to be tempted by the other shades and try to convince myself lilac or pink belonged in my forest!
Ultimately, I resisted and chose the following shades:

Optical White 33T
Twilight 353
Shamrock 109
Emerald City 329
Kelly Green 127
Clover 128
Grass is Always Greener 347
Sour Apple 346
Aloe Verde 349
Neon 348
Glow in the Dark 204
Putting Green 290
Peridot 342
Citron 337

This was new territory for me, I normally choose fabrics based on their pattern or colour combination. But I really enjoyed the process, and loved the contrast you can achieve with solids. It enhances the geometry and creates a very modern and minimal look. Plus RJR’s Supreme solids are super soft.

I pieced the shades of green systematically from dark to light to create a subtle ombré, whilst retaining a contrast within each HST pairing. Once I had pieced my quilt top, it took me a while to decide on how to quilt it, and I resolved upon organic wavy lines. As the patchwork is very geometric, I wanted the quilting to soften it, add irregularity and reflect back to itself, to nature. I also used varying shades of green Gutermann thread to emphasise the ombré.

Using the scrap fabric, I created miles and miles of scrappy binding. As there is quite a lot of white in the background, I wanted the green binding to provide a frame and lead the eye back into the design. By using several hues, instead of one solid frame, it gives a softer and more natural edge.

I use Heirloom cotton batting as its incredibly soft, and I chose a solid lemon yellow backing fabric; something light and plain, so it wouldn’t show through the quilt.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this project and I am really pleased with my Forest Quilt. It has definitely been a learning curve, you certainly can’t hide your dodgy points behind a fussy print! I am very happy with it and love the final look. I will definitely be making more solid quilts, and revisiting Supreme Solids. Plus I’ve got enough scraps to make two matching throw cushions….lovely!

Photography by Martin Freeman

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    Quilting since 2015? Well, Jen, I’d have to say that you are a natural. I absolutely love your quilt!

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