What Shade are You with Saija Kiiskinen

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!

Happy quilting!


What Shade are You with flaurie & finch

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!

What Shade are You with Kairle Oaks

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
Bandana 367
Tangerine Dream 276
Carrot 131
Sunny Delight 326
Aloe Verde 349
Kelly Green 127
Schooner 392
Denim 106
Feeling Blue 335
Jacaranda 317
Raging Ruby 28
Celeste 102

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?

What Shade are You with Kristina Brinkerhoff

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
Schooner 392
Julep 403
Toyboat 366
Spearmint 389
Neon 348
Sprout 249
Aloe Verde 349
Lemon Chiffon 182
Sunny Delight 326
Carrot 131
Paris 235
Flamingo 338
Beach Coral 355
Orchid 216
Hot Pink 217
Sunset Ruby 357
Swan 370

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!

What Shade are You with Laura

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.

Happy quilting. Laura x

What Shade are You with Erika Bea

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

What Shade Are You with Carissa Englert Malone

Hello, everybody! I can hardly believe it’s my turn to post for the RJR What Shade are You? Blog Hop 2017! My name is Carissa Englert and you can find me and all my quilty escapades over on Instagram @treadletothemetal. You could say I’m a bit of a craft addict because I love knitting, spinning, quilting, dyeing, weaving, hand-sewing, and the list of new hobbies I’d like to learn just keeps on growing. I live in Arlington, Virginia with my two energetic little boys and my very craft-tolerant husband. On any given day, you can find me trying to squeeze as much quilting and creative time into whatever minutes or hours I manage to eke out of my schedule.

I first learned to sew when was younger but never considered sewing a passion until much more recently. After my mother-in-law taught me how to knit over 12 years ago, I immediately became obsessed with learning one hobby after another and haven’t stopped since. I joke that knitting was my gateway drug! But, in truth, it felt so right to nurture the creative part of my brain again after spending many years of college, grad school, and work barely utilizing my creativity. After having my first baby in 2010, when I was too tired to knit or spin (or do anything really), I would surf Flickr late at night (back in the pre-Instagram days) after my son was finally asleep, and it was there that I first glimpsed a world of quilting that I had never known existed–modern quilts! I was hooked, watching endless online quilting tutorials and re-learning how to thread my sewing machine. Once I did, I was ready to try my hand at making quilts. Fast forward seven years and, while my boys keep me on my toes in my Mom-role for most of each day, I yearn to be quilting all.the.time. Funnily enough, in my daydreams, I’ve planned, designed, or made hundreds of quilts but, in reality, I have only finished a dozen or so quilts over the years. Anyone else have that problem?

Color has always been an important part of my life, well before I realized it. I’ve been a color collector, or shall we say “enthusiast,” ever since elementary school when I would stuff little scraps of brightly colored tissue paper from art class into my pockets to bring home with me! Nowadays, with every new fiber- or textile-art I learn, I am still collecting and manipulating colors, both in my hands and in my head, whether it’s pulling fabrics, designing a quilt, spinning fiber into yarn, or threading a needle. The tactile nature of working with fabrics is unlike anything else; quilting marries a love of color with a love of texture, not to mention a love of practical, warm-and-comfy end products. So when Rachael at RJR contacted me about designing a quilt with their Cotton Supreme Solids, I absolutely jumped at the chance! Knowing I would have a blog date during my favorite season (Fall, duh!), I wanted to put together a unique Autumn-inspired palette since rich, vibrant colors are my jam.

After mulling over the amazing color cards for awhile, I narrowed it down to a set of 19 colors: a large dose from the red/pink/purple color families (dark burgundy, magentas, and lilac), a very beautiful, saturated Bronze (which just screams “Fall leaves”), some blues to accent, and a handful of neutrals to round it all out. In fact, I thought long and hard about just using ALL of the neutral shades in the CSS collection for a quilt because they are that good but ultimately decided that I love colors too much to pass on the chance to work with them in this quilt.

Here is the final list of colors I selected:

Sweet Pea (420)
Fairy Princess (237)
Pinot Noir (219)
Bordeaux (82)
Rhododendron (181)
Guava (373)
Apricot Ice (387)
Atlantica (374)
Notting Hill (309)
Seafoam (301)
Bronze (195)
Driftwood (297)
Greyhound (321)
Meissen Blue (271)
Moonlight (365)
Concrete (432)
In the Buff (320)
Antique Rose (418)
Bougainvillea (333)

Once I had the drapey-soft, gorgeous colors in my hands, I had the panicked realization: “I have no real plan for making a quilt from this!” I normally enjoy the improvisation process and don’t usually pre-plan or draw out my quilts; however this wasn’t just any ol’ project, so I was a bit nervous! I had roughly decided on using a rectangular, drunkard’s-path-type, curvy block for which I had mocked up a template earlier this year. But that was the only seedling of an idea I had before I needed to start working.

Well, I figured, what better way than to set about designing a quilt backwards–just start sewing and figure the rest out later!?! I began cutting 5”x7” pieces of fabric, combined colors, two at a time, and made what seemed like an infinite number of blocks.

I used the convex cardboard template to gave me the curve but varied the positioning of the curve within the block, aiming for sort of modified-improv curves. I knew going in that the curves would be a little wonky and non-matching as each block varies slightly from the next.

I was about two-thirds of the way done making blocks and didn’t really like any of the layouts I had tested out when I had a eureka moment about how the final design might look. So I ended up making 288 blocks that were each 4”x6” finished. I assembled those blocks into 12 larger 24” squares that I could play around with. Each block primarily features either a dark-, medium-, or light-toned fabric and I love how the bright wavy lines swirl and colors intermingle haphazardly. The dominant shape in each block reminds me of cables and some of the fabrics stand out so wildly that I thought the name “Cable Crazy” seemed fitting. I originally assumed the quilt would turn out much more improvisational but, in the end, it turned out exactly how it wanted to be!

I wanted to do a pieced back for my quilt so I chose several different Cotton + Steel prints that I thought related nicely to some of my solid colors. I found some Pencil Stripes prints from the “Cozy” and “Fruit Dots” collections, as well as some bronze-y “Sprinkles,” an indigo “Add it Up”, and, finally, my favorite floral print from Rifle Paper Co.’s latest “Menagerie” collection. For the binding, I chose the Pencil Stripes in Grey Metallic from the “Cozy” collection and cut it on the bias. I randomly decided to scale up the curve shape featured on front of the quilt with the pink and aqua Pencil Stripes fabrics on the back.

The quilt finished at 72” x 96”, a hefty twin-size (which was a bit unwieldy when I went to photograph it… So a very special shout-out to all my quilt holders!), and I used Quilter’s Dream Wool batting. I quilted it on my home machine and ultimately chose a simple approach to balance out what ends up being a lot of crazy color and curvy piecing. I sewed single, straight lines through all the angled “rows” in each big block and let them be rather organic, not worrying about lines matching up to the adjacent blocks. Between the wool batting and the minimal quilting, it’s has sort of a lofty, snuggly comforter feel to it!

Alright, I hope you’ve enjoyed this write up of my project and process. Kudos to you if you’ve read along this far! Feel free to reach out on Instagram if you have any questions or want more info on how to create something similar. It was a total pleasure to work with Rachael and RJR Fabrics on this project, I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity! I would encourage anyone who loves color (so, all of you!) to incorporate some Cotton Supreme Solids into your stash and quilt projects. Also be sure to visit and follow our profiles over on Instagram, @treadletothemetal and @rjrfabrics , for an amazingly generous giveaway of the fabric bundle I used in “Cable Crazy!” And of course, in the meantime, Happy Sewing!


What Shade are You with @SkinnyMalinkyQuilts

Hi everyone! Its my turn to show my #whatshadeareyou quilt for RJRFabrics. Hurrah!

Quick introduction.. My name is Lucy and I am the one woman show behind SkinnyMalinkyQuilts.  Living in Edinburgh, Scotland, I have been quilting for almost five years. When I was asked if I wanted to take part in #whatshadeareyou, making any quilt I wanted, I didn’t need to be asked twice!

I had a nugget of an idea to develop one of my Quilt Prints that had been inspired by the old TV test cards. I love a good colour gradient and this was the perfect opportunity to test out my idea on a large scale.

I used 63 of the Cotton Supreme Solids in the Test Card Quilt because I love all the colours!

30, 374, 191, 280, 296, 427, 126, 292, 274, 294, 362, 364, 254, 424, 214, 335, 409, 343, 359, 368, 358, 285, 379, 140, 182, 384, 337, 228, 103, 186, 67, 34, 201, 219, 383, 381, 297, 431, 351, 319, 155, 380, 433, 365, 283, 372, 33, 361, 394, 386, 367, 181, 417, 311, 339, 277, 226, 135, 237, 86, 235, 176, 430

The Test Card Quilt was planned using graph paper and the very technical approach of cutting off bits of my colour card and arranging them in the gradient I wanted. I know, super high tech! I like to use bold simple shapes in my quilts and let the colour do the talking.

Once the quilt top and back were done I had planned to quilt using the machine in a small grid design. However right at the last moment I decided hand quilting was most appropriate and I wanted to enhance the gradient using thread. Using dark tones against the dark coloured fabric stitching the lines close together moving up to the lighter end of the quilt with light neutral threads spacing the quilted lines out. It feels amazing!  So here she is!

The finished Test Card Quilt measure 60″ x 60″ 

Thank you so much RJR Fabrics and Rachael for allowing me to use your fabulously vibrant fabrics! If you want to see The Test Card Quilt in real life it will be on display at my studio exhibition at Out of The Blue Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh from December 4th – 8th.  And if you don’t already, you can follow along with my daily makings and general goings on over on Instagram.

Happy quilting!


What Shade are You with Andrea Tsang Jackson

Hello, I’m Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop and I’m delighted to share with you my RJR What Shade Are You quilt, “Royal Court”.

We often freeze in the face of limitless options – a new canvas, a blank page, a single vacation day, or a beautiful collection of Cotton Supreme colour swatches. What will be the absolute best thing I can do with this opportunity? One could ponder endlessly… and then completely miss the chance to accomplish anything. So how did I start?

For What Shade Are You, RJR invites designers to choose any quilt backing from an RJR or Cotton + Steel collection. I am not one to use many prints in my work, but Cotton + Steel’s Wonderland Collection were simply irresistible! The print I chose incorporates various characters and motifs from the story of Alice in Wonderland on a periwinkle background.

I wanted to depict the Queen of Hearts’ crown using one of my foundation-paper-pieced patterns — “Princess Cut” — scaled at different sizes. As I flipped through the Cotton Supreme solids swatch book, the rich reds really stole my attention and the saturated blues were a suitable companion, while a navy blue background was the perfect royal backdrop.

I wanted to juxtapose the paper pieced jewels with some traditional piecing set on point. These form smaller jewels in the crown. The top and bottom borders seems like an appropriate nod to tradition, as well as an opportunity to showcase the beautiful reds and blues together.

Background: Indigo #191

Greyscale, from lightest to darkest:
Swan #370
Argento #362
Silver Screen #380
Silver #125
Gale Force #282
Chalkboard #382

Blues, from lightest to darkest:
Carolina #313
Cornflower #94
Lancaster Sky #316
Electric Blue #296
Night #280

Reds, from lightest to darkest:
Beach Coral #355
Moulin Rouge #356
Scarlet Letter #325

From the outset, I had in mind that I would endeavour into free motion quilting for this project. I wanted the jewels to be “set” in intricate metalwork, formed by the swirls and leaves in the negative space around them. In contrast, I used dot-to-dot ruler work in the jewels themselves and switched to a walking foot for radiating lines that shone from the crown. Some wobbly bits and not-so-straight lines, but I was pleased with the overall end result.

As the quilt approached completion, I knew without a doubt where I wanted to have it photographed. Completed in 1912, Dingle Tower is designated as one of Canada’s Historic Places and is a prominent landmark in Halifax. The two large bronze lions at the base of the tower were donated by the Royal Colonial Institute of London in 1913 and their design was influenced by the monumental lions at Trafalgar Square in London.

One of my favourite things is coming up with parameters – constructing a design problem out of endless possibilities or nothing at all, so that I have something to work around and something to solve. I am so happy that the Wonderland gave me an inspiring starting point, and subsquently opportunities to explore designs and techniques that were new to me.

Do you feel paralyzed when faced with too many choices? Jump in. Start somewhere. At worst, you will accomplish something mediocre — and at best, something wonderful.

Photos: Shaeline Faith Photography

What Shade are You with Shannon Fraser Designs

Hello, my fellow fabric lovers!

I’m Shannon, the designer, quilter and all-around textile lover behind Shannon Fraser Designs.

When I received the invitation from RJR Fabrics to participate in their What Shade Are You blog series, I was beyond excited. Excited is probably an understatement, as I literally broke out into a happy dance 😉

I was thrilled to get the chance to work with their Cotton Supreme Solids for the first time. And curious to see what colourway I would end up selecting. Before receiving the color cards, my immediate reaction was “I will get to play with tons of corals”!! Right? With my love of coral, how could I not?

But then the color cards showed up in the mail, and I was continuously drawn to these shades of greens and teal blues. I couldn’t resist how much they were calling to me. Having never made a green quilt, my creative side was intrigued and I wanted to explore. So, I went for it!

Just look at these blues and greens – could you resist them?!

I’m not normally a green girl. I like the colour. I just don’t love it. But that all changed with this project!

And, I didn’t stop at just the blues and greens. Oh no, I decided I wanted a subtle yellow to pull the color scheme together so it wasn’t too green and blue. I think the hit of yellow helps everything sing together. I just love these colors and feel they are perfect for the quilt pattern I designed for their use.

I had recently created a mini quilt based on a plus pattern I was mulling. Plus style quilts have been on my to-make list for quite awhile now and that little Rainbow Plus mini quilt had me wanting more. This was the perfect opportunity to expand on that concept by incorporating more depth to the design by expanding on that 3-dimensional effect.

I’ve called it Plus Infinity since the design looks like it goes on into infinity…at least I hope that’s how it looks to you 😉

The same quilt block is replicated in many different sizes and it felt like the perfect design to showcase the varying hues of blues and greens. From the bold Teal, Emerald City, and Schooner to the softness of Pistachio, Julep and Notting Hill they all play so well together. The Tourmaline does a great job of grounding the eye and harmonizing the design.

What’s great about this pattern is that, although it looks quite complex, the quilt comes together surprisingly quickly, thanks to all that chain piecing! If you love a good chain piecing session, then this pattern is for you!

I used no less than 21 different Cotton Supreme Solids in this quilt and it was a great lesson in how different color values can really add depth and character to a quilt design. Here are all the colors I used:
Julep #403
Toyboat #366
Spearmint #389
Emerald City #329
Jam Jar #400
Gift Box #291
Putting Green #290
Teal #401
Spruce #402
Notting Hill #309
Robin’s Egg #391
Schooner #392
Pistachio #404
Spring #405
Lucky Green #406
Grove #407
Sour Apple #346
Kelly Green #127
Neon #348
Sprout #249
Tourmaline #103

For the backing, I ended up opting for the Mochi Floral Purple print designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel. One, because it’s simply a gorgeous print! But, mainly because I loved the whimsical design paired with the geometric quilt pattern. I love balancing out my quilts with a mix of both hard lines and more fluid designs.

To compliment the quilt design, I opted for straight line quilting in the central Plus using Aurifil Cotton Mako Thread in 40wt. I then stitched in the ditch around all the medium and small pluses so they popped a little. For additional dimension, I then added some big stitch hand quilting using Pearl Cotton Thread in size 8 in various shades of blues and green. I adore the effect! And, it ended up pairing really well with the backing fabric too!

To frame everything, I opted for a darker binding in the shade Spruce.

I absolutely adore this quilt, but I wish you could FEEL her! The Cotton Supreme Solids feel amazing to the touch. I can’t stop petting her!

This project reinforced my realization that I’m an equal opportunity color enthusiast! Even if a shade is not your immediate go-to, don’t discount it from your creative repertoire. I think you’ll be amazed at what you end up creating when you step outside your comfort zone!

I hope you will give the Plus Infinity quilt pattern a try! The one pictured here is a generous lap size measuring about 70ʺ x 70”, but the pattern also includes measurements for a queen size that nets out at about 92” x 92”. If you give it a go, I would love to see what RJR Fabrics you end up selecting as your colourway. There are so many possibilities here and, with the vast selection of Cotton Supreme Solids to choose from, the creative options are endless!

To follow along on my creative journey, you can find me at www.shannonfraserdesigns.ca and on Instagram @shannonfraserdesigns where I share daily updates. I hope to see you there!

A special thank you to Rachael for inviting me to participate in the What Share Are You series and coordinating the delivery of ALL these gorgeous fabrics.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this project as much I enjoyed making it 😊

Happy quilting!

xo, Shannon