What Shade Are You with Erica Lynn Friend

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Hello from my lovely corner of the Midwest! My name is Erica and I am the “head stitcher” at ELF & Company! I specialize in quilts and pillows and offer custom sewing services.

A little background… I have always been interested in sewing, I was taught and encouraged at a young age by my mother who is a professional tailor. My first quilt, which I still have and needs some repair, is made from twelve fabulous fabrics – ROYGBV with the six tertiary colors in between. Each of the fabrics consists of seven chromatic stripes (6″ wide) from light to dark and we cut 6.5″ strips from each, then assembled into a beautiful rainbow of 6″ x 6″ square. Stitched in the ditch, backed with rainbow hearts, and zig zag bound in white bias tape, this blanket was, and still is, my pride and joy. After much Googling, I still have yet to find this same fabric!

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Contact Erica

Fast forward to present time and I’m still at it, and even started my own company about a year ago. I gave a “peace out” to the 8-5 world and I now fill my mornings, afternoons, nights, weekends, sleeptime with fabulous fabrics, graph paper, geometry, sketch books, quotes, online fabric/notion shopping, and most importantly my sewing machines!

I decided to take my color inspiration (with a few of my creative additions) from my favorite fashion designer (you can find her on my wrist, ears, phone case, etc etc) from her Fall 2015 High Point home accessory line. I had the wonderful opportunity to join my interior designer mother in law, closet designing step father in law, and logistical, heavy lifter, business runner husband at the International Furniture Market in North Carolina last October. Kid in a candy store does not start to explain my excitement! Snapping pictures on my iPhone as I walked miles upon miles through beautiful lighting, furniture, rug and accessory showrooms, I was inspired every step of the way. My pillows represent textures and patterns I found throughout the trip. The round pillow is designed after a wood topped side table, intricately pieced, much like a quilt. Hexagons were in no shortage, so the black, white and grey pillow was born! Chevrons, while some could say are on their way out, are reimagined in a vertical layout and inspired by nautical hues. Last but not least, the herringbone green pillow was a no brainier, this pattern is found from floor to ceiling from wood planks to decorative moldings!

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RJR Cotton Supreme Solids are a joy with which to work! Never have I had a solid cotton fabric come out of my dryer after pre-washing with such little pressing to be done. I am a pressaholic, pressing after every row or column, I love how beautiful each piece looked sewn together after this step. I look forward to adding more of the beautiful hues to my fabric collections!

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Thank you for reading, and follow my Instagram @Ericalynnfriend for more inspiration!

What Shade Are You Featuring Sarah Schraw

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

I’m SO excited to share this quilt with you today. It is my second attempt at this design and definitely my favorite. (You can see the first version here.)

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This time I teamed up with RJR fabrics as part of their “What Shade Are You?” blog hop. Did you know that RJR carries a line of Cotton + Steel coordinating solids? All of the colors I chose are from that collection. I find it difficult to look at hundreds of colors and pick just the right shades all on my own (especially online). It was much easier after narrowing it down to the colors already chosen by the Cotton + Steel designers.

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Yep, it was a lot of HSTs. I used the 8-at-a-time method (good tutorial here) and trimmed them 20 or so at a time over the course of a week. It really wasn’t that bad, I swear.

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I usually press my seams open but this time I wanted to see how accurate I could get with them pressed to the side and interlocking. It really turned out quite nice but it took a lot of time and attention to get it right.

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I’m working hard on a pattern for this design. Watch for that later this summer!

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The good news for you is that RJR is giving away this gorgeous bundle on my Instagram account (@sarahschrawdesigns)! Grab your phone and head over there right away – the giveaway closes at 9 pm EST on Sunday, May 8.

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I loved this bundle so much I’m already making another quilt with it!

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Being Cotton & Steel coordinates, they obviously go perfectly with Cotton & Steel’s prints. This is last year’s Christmas line, Tinsel. I’m most definitely going to be getting some of this year’s Christmas line (Garland) to add to this project.

Thank you so much for visiting me here today, and don’t forget to look me up on Instagram (@sarahschrawdesigns) and enter the giveaway! Thank you RJR!!

 Make sure to follow Sarah’s blog for more on this awesome quilt!

What Shade are You with Nicole Daksiewicz

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Solid fabrics are my go to choice and inspiration when working on a quilt or home decor project. When RJR Fabrics contacted me about joining the What Shade R U blog hop I knew exactly what I wanted to make.

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I am currently designing a series of quilt patterns that focus on solids. The first quilt in the series is called Range. This pattern is inspired by a mountain range in the distance, it also focuses on using a range of colors that compliment each other.

For this particular quilt I chose colors that I saw one evening on my back patio, right at sunset… isn’t nature amazing?

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Cotton Supreme Solid colors used in order:

Cantaloupe

Tropicana

Rhododendron

Bougainvillea

Javaranda

Amethyst

Augergine

For the backing I chose a Cotton + Steel print – Fruit Gum in Pink Fruit Dots I just love how the print combines the orange, pink and purple colors so well.

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I don’t usually use a lot of purple in my sewing, but after using the Cotton Supreme solids in the colors available I was hooked. This was my first time using this brand of solid fabric and the quality, the feel and the weight of the fabric is amazing.

The pattern will be available at the end of May, close to the time Quilt Market is going on. I will have updates posted over on my blog and Instagram when it is available. The beautiful quilt work was done by Sarah Wilson of Crinkle love, the pattern really pops on the solid fabric!

Make sure to head on over to Nicole Daksiewicz and RJR Fabrics Instagrams for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle, featuring the fabrics that she chose to use in her project!

What Shade are You with Jill Fisher

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

I was honored to be asked to participate in a blog hop featuring Cotton Supreme Solids from RJR Fabrics.

I felt overwhelmed when I opened the envelope and looked at the color card I had been sent. There were so many beautiful colors that my brain seized up. I could pick any palette I wanted, but WHICH one? After I worried about it for a few minutes, I made a deal with myself that I would open up the color card again and instantly choose the one color that I liked the best for the beginning of the palette. So, I did.

(drumroll please….)

Syrah.

I was pondering what colors to add to Syrah when we visited the little town of West Liberty, Iowa one Saturday afternoon. We went to pick up items from some friends that were moving, then stopped at a fun panaderia for a treat. After picking out a variety of rolls, cookies and pastries (for $4.50!!!), we drove around looking for a place to eat. We found the beautifully restored Rock Island Depot and I started getting excited. Syrah was everywhere! The building was several tones of gold and was accented with a deep terracotta tiled roof and surrounded by burgundy paving bricks. There was a red caboose out front and an old green wagon parked near a door. While I looked around, my children eagerly tore into the rolls and were surprised to find one filled with a delicious orange sugar paste. They played on the playground and ran back between adventures to cram in another bite of something delicious. The sun was warm, the sky blue, and the day peaceful and pleasant.

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I decided to memorialize that wonderful day into a quilt. I ended up choosing 20 colors from the color card (one was even called croissant, how perfect is that?) and piecing in thin strips of several brown shades. I cut each strip at roughly 3/4,” so depending on my seam allowance each one of the lines is about 1/4.” I’m not sure if the idea for using the brown lines came from thinking about railroad tracks, but I do know that I was looking for a way to help unify all the colors. I had the thought that all of the different color voices were singing the same song, so I named the quilt “Harmony.”

Originally, I had all of the blocks cut at 4 1/2″ wide and set vertically. I liked it. I wondered if I could change it up a little bit and turn my like into love. I sliced into blocks I had already made and flipped them over to a horizontal set. That did the trick. I also tried graduating the width of the strips for a little more interest.

Slicing into the blocks wasn’t the only surgery I performed, either. I basted this quilt very early in the morning while it was still dark outside. In my defense, I am normally a very careful baster because I adore flat quilts and generally use solids in my backings (where every pucker is completely visible). When I laid the flimsy on top of the batting, I must have been lining it up with a shadow instead of my tape because the quilt went on completely skewed. Of course I didn’t notice this before I trimmed off some of the excess backing fabric. %$#@! At that point there was nothing I could do about it but start over, and that seemed pretty drastic. I started doing the straight line quilting and tried to hope for the best. I had quilted about half of the quilt and was growing more disappointed by the minute. Who wants to feel that way when you’ve spent so much time piecing the top? That’s when I embraced a new quilting maxim.

Once is a mistake. Twice is a design element.

I created another strip of striped fabric and cut away some of the backing fabric in a diagonal that went the opposite way. I carefully attached my new fabric panel and then pressed the unquilted portions obsessively to make sure I preserved my flat finish. Voila! If anyone asks, I totally meant to do it. Just consider my backing to be social commentary on how we are “greater than” our mistakes.

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“Harmony” finishes at 49″ x 70.” I used Quilter’s Dream Request batting and quilted it simply with Aurifil thread in Brass, Copper Brown and Medium Peony.

I knew there would be a giveaway with the fabrics I used in this challenge, and I could just hear the winner saying, “Gosh Jill, thanks SO much for ALL THE BROWN!!” With that in mind, I brought Syrah back out for another go.

I love to listen to music while I sew, so I peruse Spotify a lot looking for great playlists. One day I found the perfect match. The album was called “Feel Good Folk Pop.” I’m not a big one for assigning labels to who I am and what I make. I am a quilter. Period. But, I could totally see myself claiming the label of a “Feel Good Folk Pop Quilter.” I listened to that album the entire time I worked with this quilt, starting with fabric selection and ending with the last few stitches of the hanging sleeve. The vibe is strong, so you can imagine my despair when I noticed a few days ago that Spotify had changed the name of the album to “Feelgood Acoustics.” It just doesn’t have the same ring. 🙁

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I didn’t have an overall vision for the quilt when I started, I just knew that I would do a log cabin variation. I used to add so much stress to my life trying to control the outcome of a quilt. Now I know that my strength lies more in responding to a start than in beginning with the ultimate design or a perfected concept. I like the challenge of looking at a pile of scraps from the construction of a block and using them to make the next block. The pineapples I made produced a lot of triangle scraps, so I used them to make flying geese and other triangle drawings. Inspiration sometimes comes in immediacy, too. I opened up my email and saw a message from AQS. In it, they had included a block for the AQS QuiltWeek Row Quilt called Paducah Row (here is a link). I thought it looked neat, so I altered the proportions and made the chubby crosses that are sprinkled across the quilt. Mostly I just sang along with my playlist and made blocks. If I really liked them, I made more variations. If I sort of liked them, I stopped there. I had so much fun experimenting with this quilt. I think you can probably tell that it was a happy experience for me.

I made two important design decisions in this quilt. The first was choosing to quilt with invisible thread. I started considering how to handle the quilting after I saw the huge color contrast I had in the blocks. I auditioned lots of colors, including some exact matches, and was unhappy with all of them. In frustration, I called my friend Sarah who is a long armer and former art teacher. She talked me through my options and taught me some basic color theory, the gist of which being that I had a quilt full of complementary colors and finding a thread color I could live with would be hard. I was nervous about using invisible thread, but my concerns were unfounded. I found a spool at my LQS (thanks, Cassie!) and bought a pack of tiny 65/9 needles. I didn’t have any problems with melting, stretching or popping. Most importantly, though, the colors and piecing were allowed to shine.

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The last important decision was choosing to face the quilt rather than bind. I knew the quilt wasn’t perfectly square (that’s hard to do with a free-pieced quilt if you don’t plan on doing some heavy trimming at the end) and I was really reluctant to add a solid line to a quilt top that didn’t have any of them. I had never done a facing before, but it wasn’t too difficult. I found a tutorial from Victoria Gertenbach that was impeccably done. If you’d like to try a quilt facing, I highly recommend her tutorial at The Silly BooDilly.

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“Feel Good Folk Pop” finishes at 49″ x 49″ (ish). I used Quilter’s Dream Request batting and quilted it simply with a combination of Aurifil in Violet and Superior Threads MonoPoly.

Lastly, since this is a blog post about solids, I wanted to say a few words about them. I use solids because they are cheaper, they offer a higher contrast than prints (subtlety really isn’t my thing) and because I have a wider array of colors available to me. I noticed in the last year or so that I have been using mostly solids while the rest of my stash sits idle, so I decided to do something about it. Last fall I started destashing some valuable out of print pieces. Between that and a gift certificate I had, I was able to buy 117 half yard cuts of solid fabric. Most of them were Cotton Supreme Solids from RJR. I like building a palette from the fabric itself rather than from a color card (although those are nice when it comes time to reorder), and I wanted to increase the number of choices I had. With that many cuts, you know I wasn’t just picking out the colors that I liked or that appealed to me. So many times it is the color that you didn’t necessarily want that you end up desperately needing. Those are the colors that are the perfect conversationalists…they talk to all of the fabrics and draw them into the group. In the last series of quilts that I did, that color was On The Rocks. If you look at that grouping, it is the very lightest gray that you see that has the slightest of a cool blue-green tint. It was the perfect “glue” fabric. In “Harmony,” the color that lifts that whole quilt (in my opinion) is Gingko, the best green-yellow I have in my stash. Finally, in “Feel Good Folk Pop,” the color is Denim. This color is a great background player that maintains a presence while making everything else look good. I’ll definitely be reordering yardage of that one.

Thanks again to RJR Fabrics for asking me to be a part of this series. I enjoyed it immensely.

Colors used in “Harmony:” Syrah, Bowood, Bowood Red, Cocoa, Espresso, Noel Red, Bordeaux, Brick Red, Morocco, Yum Yum Yam, Butternut, Saffron, Gingko, Hedge, Goldilocks, Slate, Denim, Gale Force, Mermaid, Kona Cofe, Croissant

Colors used in “Feel Good Folk Pop:” Syrah, Brick Road, Arabian Nights, Tropicana, Cantaloupe, Marvelous, Aubergine, Amethyst, Feeling Blue, Blue Bayou, Mermaid, Denim and Dottie in Gelato from Cotton + Steel

Make sure to head on over to Jill Fisher and RJR Fabrics Instagrams for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of the fabrics she used for her Feel Good Folk Pop quilt!

What Shade are You with Kristi Schroeder

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Initial K Studio is the brainchild of Dallas based graphic designer-turned-modern-quilter, Kristi Schroeder. After designing for luxury retailer Neiman Marcus and the award-winning architectural firm Corgan—Ms. Schroeder left the corporate world behind to pursue her true passion—modern quilting. This native Texan is a world traveler who draws inspiration for her quilts in art, fashion and textiles from around the globe. All quilts are conceived, designed, and handmade by Ms. Schroeder.

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With springtime’s arrival, I wanted to create something bright and fun to reflect the warmer weather and sunshine as well as challenge myself with a minimal quilt block design. Thus the Mini RJR Springtime Quilt! For the front I used the following solids: Beach Coral (355), Chili Pepper (49 T), Bougainvillea (361) and Kerchief (364 C+S). For the back I used Cotton+Steel 2015 Penny Arcade line by Kim Kimberly Kight – it was a perfect fit with the solids. Overall, I really loved working with the fabric! The solids were a dream to sew with and I loved how quickly the mini came together.

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Cotton Supreme Solids shades used:

Beach Coral

Chili Red

Aubergine

Optical White

Make sure to head on over to Kristi Schroder and RJR Fabrics Instagrams for a chance to win a half yard bundle, featuring the fabrics that she chose to use in her project!

What Shade are You Kate Basti

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Hello, all! I’m Kate. Graphic designer, entrepreneur, quilter, crafter and lover of all things colorful. I’m Wife to my better half and Mama to my sweet little girl. I’m a Hoosier native currently living in the middle of Ohio. And I’m not afraid to admit that I’m totally addicted to Instagram and the endless inspiration it provides. (I’m @katebasti if you’d like to stop in and say “hello.”)

So how did I find myself sitting behind a sewing machine every day? In 2007, while reading blogs at work (when I should have been working), I stumbled across an image of a basic patchwork quilt. The quilt was lovely, but it was the fabrics that drew my eye. I found shops online that sold the designer prints, and soon enough, I had a small stash. Ironically, I didn’t have a sewing machine or a real plan as to what to do with my stash. I basically just hoarded fabric. In 2008, I bought my first sewing machine – a basic Singer – and promptly let it sit in the box for a full year while I continued to build quite a collection of fabric. Finally, in 2009, I taught myself to sew. Pillows, buntings, simple bags. I even opened an Etsy shop and took custom orders for a few years. But it wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to try my hand at quilting. My very first quilt was a simple patchwork quilt for my daughter’s second birthday. I’d never had so much fun creating something so beautiful and practical. I was hooked. Nowadays, I typically have at least three quilts in the works at any given time and no fewer than half a dozen in my brain that I can’t wait to get to.

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As a stay-at-home mother, I spend much of my day playing with my little girl. We both love to color, and it was while coloring one morning that I pulled a beautiful combo of colored pencils to draw with. The color palette was bright and cheerful: pink, red, orange, yellow and turquoise. Like a gorgeous sunset over the water. I just knew I had to make a quilt with the color palette. So imagine my excitement when RJR Fabrics contacted me to participate in their What Shade Are You blog hop! They sent a color card of their Cotton Supreme Solids fabric swatches, and it was such fun to pour over all the gorgeous colors and choose just the right shades.

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If you haven’t worked with RJR Fabrics’ Cotton Supreme Solids yet, they are an absolute dream. They’re incredibly soft and sew together so smoothly. And such a fantastic range of colors! I chose 18 shades for my project. I just finished the top and cannot wait to start quilting this beauty! Many thanks to RJR Fabrics for allowing me to be a part of this blog hop!

Quilt Stats:

Size: 60” x 60”

Pattern: Terrazzo Quilt by Freshly Pieced @freshlypieced

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Cotton Supreme Solids shades used:

Sunset Ruby

Moulin Rouge

Crimson

Tangerine Dream

Mandarin

Carrot

Sunny Delight

Banana Cream Pie

Custard

Horizon

Toy Boat

Emerald City

Pink Orchid

Hot Pink

Pink Sapphire

Bougainvillea

Argento

Optical White

Make sure to head on over to her Instagram for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle, featuring the fabrics that she chose to use in her project!

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Hi, my name is Melissa Bonilla, and you can find me on Instagram as @msboni83. I also run an Etsy shop called August Lane Sewing where I sell bags and accessories that I sew. I have been sewing off and on for most of my life. I started out (poorly) hand-sewing Barbie clothes from upholstery fabric samples that my mom had when I was elementary-school age. I learned with my grandmother how to sew on a machine starting off with lined notebook paper. My first real project was a long skirt made on my mom’s machine, with her help of course. Right after high school, I took a beginner sewing class at Ventura College, in California (where I grew up). We made a knit t-shirt in that class, and that was my first introduction to sergers. The next semester I took a beginning quilting class with my mom and my aunt. We all loved it!

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When RJR contacted me about participating in this blog hop, I knew I needed to make a bag. I am kind of known as a bag lady in my local quilt guild, the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild. I knew I wanted to make something big, and the Poolside Tote by Anna Graham of Noodlehead stood out as a great option. It’s such a fun bag! And it is such a great size, perfect for carrying all my kids’ stuff to the pool.

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Once I finished the big bag, I decided I needed a small pouch to hold smaller items. The Open Wide Zippered Pouch (also from Noodlehead) was perfect.

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I loved the selection of Cotton Supreme Solids available from RJR! Purple is my absolute favorite color, and it is so under-represented in my fabric stash because so many companies don’t produce good purples. Not so with RJR! I was able to find several great purples to combine for my project- the only problem was narrowing down my selection.

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These fabrics are so great to work with. They don’t hold on to wrinkles, and they glide through my sewing machine like butter. The colors I used on the outside of the bag are Caviar, Grape, Amethyst, Jacaranda, and Hydrangea, with Black for the accent/handles. The inside of the bag uses Silver and Battleship. All zippers are from Zip-it on Etsy, my favorite source for zippers.

What Shade Are You Blog Hop with Nadia @nadiashae

Hi everyone!

My name is Nadia @nadiashae and I’ve been quilting since the summer of 2013, when I needed a new hobby to get myself out of a “funk.” My best friend taught me how to use a sewing machine, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I became more obsessed with quilting later that year, when I began my graduate studies in English and needed something to take my mind off of the stress of grad school. From there, I stumbled into the Instagram modern quilt scene and the rest is history. I’ve been in several swaps and have made lovely friends since then. More recently, I became a founding member of the Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild in my new town of Columbus, Ohio. I can’t wait to see where quilting takes me next!

Taking on a project for the What Shade Are You series was definitely a challenge for me. Before this, I quilted exclusively with prints and blenders, aside from background fabrics. I was pretty daunted by the idea of letting solids take the lead on this one, but I took the challenge head on and I added another new endeavor to the mix: large-scale quilting.

I’ve long been inspired by Heather Jones’ quilts, with their large-scale blocks and bold colors. I wanted to give it a go myself, so I used the Giant Starburst Quilt-A-Long from the Canoe Ridge Creations blog as my guide. It was difficult for me to deal with such large pieces at first, but I quickly got the hang of things and now I’m so happy with the results!

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I love a good star quilt, and with the huge one-block pattern and the bold solids, I feel like I achieved my goal of “tradition-made-modern.” I was drawn to all of these colors because of their rich saturation, and I’m so pleased with how they pop against that white background. I’m pretty proud of this one—it’s the first thing I ever shared at a guild meeting, despite my nerves 😉

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I can’t wait to finish this quilt—it’ll be perfect for picnicking and reading at the park, once spring returns!

Quilt stats:

Size: 60” x 60”

Pattern: Giant Starburst by Megan @ Canoe Ridge Creations

RJR Cotton Supreme Solids (clockwise from top):

Caviar

Saffron

Raging Ruby

Marvelous

Anemone

Toy Boat

Bandana

Peridot.

Background: Kerchief

Cheers!

Nadia / Instagram: @nadiashae

What Shade Are You with Gina @Party of Eight Our Story

Hi! I am Gina and I blog at Party of Eight Our Story, or at least I did before I joined Instagram (IG). I am very active on IG so my blog has been a bit dormant but I am happy to be here today for the RJR What Shade Are You blog hop featuring RJR Cotton Supreme Solids. My husband and I plus our 6 six kids make us a party of eight.

I am a self taught sewist and learned to sew about 7 years ago by sewing up vintage dress patterns for my twins. I soon discovered I liked more fabric than I could buy yardage for clothing so i started buying smaller cuts. I decided I would make some quilts to use up the fabric I loved so much, but you guessed it, making quilts lead to more fabric not less. There have been periods of time over the past 7 years when I haven’t had much time to sew due to newborns, toddlers, tweens, and teens so small project sewing has been most of what I have done the past 3 years. My youngest started pre kindergarten in the fall so I am feeling ready for larger projects. I have proclaimed 2016 to be the year of the quilt and will be making each of my kids a bed quilt plus one for my husband and I. There will be some garment sewing as well and I have friends I would like to sew for too!

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My project was born by getting a head start on my 2016 quilt making. We recently bought a duvet cover for one of my twins because she loved its mint-aquaish color and large florals. This duvet was the color inspiration for my What Shade are You project. I chose a geometric quilt block to balance the floral print. I hope you will head over to my blog to check out more pictures and read the story of the quilt I made.

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Make sure to head on over to her blog, Party of Eight Our Story, for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle, featuring the fabrics that she chose to use in her project!

Exploring color with Rebecca Bryan

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Once upon a time, Rebecca taught high school, earned a masters degree, and worked in research. Back then she found her creative outlet in embroidery and quilt making. These days every bit of Rebecca’s education and mental energy goes toward raising her young children – as only a perfectionist and over-achiever would – but still finds her creative outlet in designing and making quilts.

Modern Rainbow by Rebecca Bryan Rebecca’s first book with Stash, Modern Rainbow: 14 Imaginative Quilts that Play with Color, came out February 2015. In it she explores using the entire spectrum in quilts in creative and inspired ways.

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“If you had to be a color, which color would you pick? That’s a fancy question for “what’s your favorite color? My answer is (of course) ALL THE COLORS!!! Which is why for my project with RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids “What Shade RU?” blog hop I chose blue and green solids.”

Rebecca lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, 4 children, and 2 dogs. Make sure to head on over to her blog, Bryan House Quilts to learn more about her quilting adventures as well as a chance to win a fat quarter bundle featuring the Cotton Supreme Solids used in her quilt design!