What Shade are You with Amber

To say I was excited to join in on RJR Fabrics “What Shade are You” blog hop is an understatement! I was so excited to play with these yummy solids!

I am a huge fan of Carolyn Friedlander and when I was trying to figure out what I would make with these fabrics, I knew it would be one of her patterns. I took one look at the Aerial pattern in my stash and knew! This was the quilt!


Quilts + Beach = Perfection, don’t you think?

When the fabrics arrived, I was pregnant with my second child and had absolutely NO SEW-JO. None. Notta. Zilch. Even looking at my studio made me nauseous. It was so strange. So these beautiful fabrics sat on my cutting desk for months. Yes, months, until my Baby Boy was born on June 30th. I got home from the hospital on July 2nd and by the end of the following week this quilt top was pieced! Boom. Sew-Jo came back with a vengeance!

This pattern is paper pieced, which is my absolutely fave. It’s so therapeutic for me. Plus, all the vibrant colors of these solids really made my day each time I sat down at the machine to work.

I thought of each section as a plot of land and had plans to make this very green oriented, but as with all my grand plans, the quilt took on a color story all it’s own. I feel like all the colors really work well together. A bit soothing, a bit edgy and a bit exciting.

Here is a list of the fabrics I chose for this quilt:
Cove 294
Apricot ice 387
Cantaloupe 209
Horizon 354
Pool side 327
Jam jar 400
Meadowland 352
Sea glass 234
Sweet pea 420
Orchid 421
Lilac festival 378
Wisteria 424
Night 280
Electric blue 296
Paris 235
Flamingo 338
Tropicana 339
Chili pepper 49
Black cherry 394
Pistachio 404
Kelly green 127
Sea foam 301
Meadowland 352
Aloe Verde 349
Banana cream pie 336
Tangerine dream 276
Eggnog 228
Kona coffee 117
In the buff 320
Chalkboard 382
Shadow 431

I chose the grey sprinkle print as the border. I wanted something neutral and those little sprinkles make me think of herds of cattle or horses surrounding plots of crop land. The backing is a bright lawn, so soft and really shows off the quilting.

I quilted this on my Juki 2010-Q with a free motion foot. I knew I wanted straight lines, but I did not want them to be perfectly straight. The quilting is straight matchstick lines in each individual plot, with the border being left un-quilted. The binding has a few of my favorite colors scrapped into the sprinkle grey.

I’m in love with these solids. Beautiful weight, vibrant color and so easy to work with! Not to mention so many colors to choose from! It was hard to pick! I wanted them all!

A huge thank you to RJR Fabrics for allowing me to make this gorgeous quilt! If you want to make this quilt as well, I have good news! Head over to my Instagram @bossmarecraft to win a bundle of your own! Believe me, you don’t want to miss out!

What Shade are You with Anjeanette Klinder

Hi! I’m Anjeanette Klinder and I’m so excited to be participating in the What Shade Are You blog hop today! I’ve been watching and drooling over all the past weeks on the blog hop and finally decided to give it a try myself. I’m a wife, mother of two boys, wrangler of two dogs, quilter, teacher and designer from Maryland. I am active on Instagram as @anjeanetteklinder. You can also find me from time to time with posts on my blog. I’m a maker at heart. If I am creating something, I’m happy. I learned to sew when I was a girl, although I learned with garment sewing. When my siblings started having babies 21 years ago, I started making the babies quilts and my love affair with quilting began. I like to try every kind of quilt making I can imagine, so I don’t have one specific aesthetic that is my go to. I want to try it all.

Typically, when I design a quilt, I start with some fabric in mind, and go from there. But I decided for this project, I needed to start with a color palette. I knew my date for the blog hop would be the start of fall and I decided to use bright fall colors for my selection. I didn’t want to use subdued colors at all. I knew I wanted a stark white background with some black and white and thought they would pair up best with bright colors. So, bright it was. I picked yellows, oranges and purplish red fabrics.

Here is a list of the fabrics I chose for this quilt:
33 Optical White
5091-01 Half Inch Gingham Black
5092-01 2.5 Inch Gingham Black
34 Black
182 Lemon Chiffon
92 Goldenrod
326 Sunny Delight
379 Sunny Side of the Street
221 Saffron
305 Butternut
412 Orange Peel
276 Tangerine Dream
209 Cantaloupe
413 Persimmon
367 Bandana
414 Gelato
415 Pickup Truck
287 Raging Beauty
217 Hot Pink
419 Lip Gloss
311 Rio
181 Rhododendron
357 Sunset Ruby
417 Magenta
265 Custard
387 Apricot Ice
216 Orchid

I thought about the actual title of this blog hop. What shade AM I? When I moved from Arizona to Maryland, I was in love with the change of seasons. Spring and Fall have the best yellow, orange and reds of the whole year. I like the idea that I picked fabric to go with the season the quilt was being shared in. I also love the idea of using my favorite groups of colors. I will say that the mustardy yellows really are my favorite in this particular quilt.

Initially, I considered using just one of each, yellow, orange and red. I considered what my little stack of fabric would look like for the giveaway and I thought that would be a sad stack of 3 colors plus black and white. I’m quite happy with the bundle of bright fall fabrics with a bit of black and white. I hope you are too. I loved that I could choose a patterned fabric to coordinate with the rest of the quilt. Cotton + Steel has the most delicious black and white checkers fabric that comes in a few different sizes. I used the 2.5″ black gingham for the backing and cut up some half inch black gingham for the bias binding. I think it plays well with the geometric interlocking stars with black and white stripes. And really, who can say no to checked bias binding? I saw this open cascading star repeat somewhere and thought it needed to be set in columns. Each column is represented by a different color family, with three columns. I love a good connected star design. The bits of black and white stripes make the design pop for me. I’m not going to lie, making the stripes was a bit of a pain. I tend to like designs that although they are straightforward, they are a bit time consuming. At the end of the day, when I have a lovely quilt, the time put into it is absolutely worth it.

I rented some time on a longarm machine at my local quilt shop. My midarm machine has recently gotten sick. It was nice to have a whole huge room to myself to quilt this up. It was great to have the large checkers on the back and the large blocks on the front to keep everything nicely lined up as I loaded it on the frame. With so many lines already in the quilt, I decided to quilt a large meander instead of something more detailed. I wanted to bring a bit of carefree and organic design to the feel of the quilt. I also wanted the design of the piecing to be the star of the show.

I’ve never used RJR solids before. I really like the hand of the fabrics. I’ve used lots and lots of Cotton + Steel which I already know I love. I was delighted with the softness of these solids. Some solids I’ve used in the past have been incredibly stiff. These solids are nice and soft. I will be using them more in the future. Thanks to RJR fabrics for letting me sew with your gorgeous fabrics! I hope you enjoy the bundle of colors I’ve picked!

What Shade are you with Louise Orth

Hi, I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing Blog Hop with RJR solids! I absolutely love using solids in quilts, they make such an impact! So, let me introduce myself, I’m Lou, or also known as @imstudiolou on Instagram. I first started sewing back in 2012 when my mother-in-law taught me on her old Husquavana. The satisfaction that came from creating was addictive and I have never looked back!

Now I sew as often as I can! I often sew quilts and other projects for magazines and have recently started up a Subscription Box for the modern quilter, called The Modern Quilter’s Box, so if I’m not sewing, I’m most definitely thinking about it!

In my quilting I’m drawn towards geometric and angles and love using Foundation paper piecing or a trusty HST, which is definitely represented in the quilt I chose to make for this blog hop. So here it is, Revolve around me:

The RJR Supreme Solids I used for the project are:
34 Black
396 Raven
282 Gale Force
125 Silver
382 Argento
33 Optical White

Beautiful shades of black to white

It is approximately 42” square and made using Foundation Paper Piecing I’ve included a digital image of the design so you can get a feeling of the piecing used.

I also used a strip of every shade in the binding and a Cotton and Steel, Black and White “Print Shop” print for the backing.

I love the feeling of movement and swirling that you get from the position of the lines and the ombre effect combined. The RJR solids were just perfect for this as they had such lovely shades to use. I Think I might see how small I can go and make a tiny mini version using the leftovers!

It’s also recently had an outing as well, to the Festival of Quilts, in the UK, where I entered it into the Contemporary category. It was really lovely to see it hanging there with so many other amazing quilts!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing and reading a little about my quilt! It was such a joy to watch it coming together and the RJR solids are truly lovely to work with, I’m actually working on another all RJR Supreme Cotton solids quilt right now, but that’s not in the magazine for a few months yet, so I’ll have to wait till I can share that! Don’t forget the giveaway that will be coming up on Instagram!!

Lou x

What Shade are You with Iva from Switzerland

Hi I’m Iva from Switzerland. Online you might know me as “Schnig Schnag – Quilts and more” on Instagram @schnigschnagquiltsandmore and on my blog schnigschnag-quiltsandmore.blogspot.com. I’m so glad to be a part of „what shade are you“. Thanks Lisa (@sewwhatyoulove) for putting me in touch with RJR and your support with this blog post ♥ A little bit more about myself… I’m 35 years old, married and mom of two girls (8 and 10 years old), two cats complete our family. I love to work with my hands and am a bookbinder by trade, but my passion for sewing and especially quilting is a lot stronger. My bookbindery transforms more and more into a big sewing studio! But I love it!

Take a look at my IG feed and it will show you I love solid colors, especially in ombre or rainbow order…

My quilting journey began 13 years ago, but my first quilt took me 3 whole years ;). After this first quilt I really got into quilting and now most of my family members sleep under quilts. My parents and my parents in law love their quilts, my husband and my girls do too. I myself need more than one to snuggle underneath, I get cold very quickly. On the upside, it allows me to make more quilts…

About my “Geese Gathering” Quilt…
I got the idea for this quilt during a flying geese mini quilt swap I participated in. Flying geese are one of my most favourite patterns.

I created this block in my CAD program, then I mirrored the block and build the whole quilt layout. I tried different colorways and chose one with an ombré effect. The great challenge was narrowing it down to 11 color families and their shades out of the 204 RJR Cotton Supreme solids.

To do so I cut the whole fabric card in little pieces and chose my 34 different fabrics…
191 Indigo
428 Pacific
393 Mermaid
289 Proud as a Peacock
354 Horizon
328 Bora Bora
292 Turks & Caicos
274 Riviera
376 Luau
294 Cove
377 Iceberg

361 Aubergine
378 Lilac Festival
422 Plum
333 Bougainvillea
287 Raging Ruby
371 Melody
218 Pink Sapphiere
217 Hot Pink
135 Carnation
216 Orchid
176 Ballerina

402 Spruce
109 Shamrock
407 Grove
329 Emerald City
127 Kelly Green
347 Grass is Always Greener
346 Sour Apple
349 Aloe Verde
249 Sprout
408 Leaf
404 Pistachio

33 Optical White

At first I was planning on piecing a quilt with 3 x 4 blocks, but I made a big paper piecing mistake that I guess (hope ;)) might have happend to you before too?! I forgot to mirror the templates and didn´t notice it until my 12th block! OMG! I couldn’t believe it! What now?! My hubby had a really great solution, that by adding 4 blocks I was able to save most of my geese strips. So I re-calculated to 4 x 4 quilt and found that some fabrics were missing. I was able to order the missing fabrics to safe the quilt. Thanks a lot RJR!

Then onto the backing…The solution: A stripe of all the colores I used in the front! Just turquoise would have been too boring!

I quilted this big baby with my longarm machine. It’s a mix between ruler work and freemotion quilting. I love to work with rulers: I can work so precisely. Freemotion is always a challenge for me. I’m a perfectionist and freemotion is never perfect… but I’m well on the way to be less of a perfectionist…

Geometry is my thing. I love it since I learned it in 7th grade. The quilting on this quilt is very geometric. I tried to make a second layer just with the quilting. I hope you can see it. White is really hard to photograph.

What shade are you was a huge project for me and kept me busy for two months, but it was so much fun. Without the challenge here, I would have probably never made this quilt. This is one of the main reasons why I like our quilting community. There are always ways to participate, to try out the new or to master challenges. Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

And stayed tuned… You’ll soon find this pattern in my little shop As soon as it goes life I will post it on Instagram.

What Shade are You with JessicaQuilter

Hey everyone! I’m Jessica, from JessicaQuilter on Instagram. I am so honored to be asked to participate in the RJR What Shade Are You blog tour. I am so excited to share with you my journey of working with the RJR Cotton Supreme fabrics! I am a stay at home mom, who homeschools our 13 year old son, and runs a custom quilting business where I design my own patterns and love making t-shirt quilts. You can check out more on my website jessicaquilter.com.

Choosing a group of colors from the amazing gorgeous color card RJR sent was not a hard decision for me. The color purple has always been “My Color.” Ask anyone who has ever known me, what shade am I and they will answer “Purple.” I have had a purple room since I was a kid, and my sewing room is purple walls with teal accents. The different shades of blue and teal were always a close second favorite in my book. Adding in a bit of fuchsia/pinks with a bright highlight of lime green, and now we are in the sweet spot for me. These colors remind me of jewels, flowers, and best of all CANDY!!!

The RJR Cotton Supremes I chose are the following:
Aloe Verde #349
Bora Bora #328
Turks and Caicos #292
Pools Side #327
Electric Blue #296
Royal Blue #126
Cloud 9 #281
Grape #121
Amethyst #215
Hydrangea #214
Bougainville #333
Aubergine #361
Opera Mauve #123

Choosing the right pattern for these colors came easy for me. To make “My Plaid” I used my “Spring Plaid Quilt” pattern. I had the idea for this quilt a long time ago. It came about from an idea I got while shopping for new flannel shirts online one day. I thought of how different prints of plaid can sort of define different decades of my life. I thought, “If I were to create a plaid that is a timeless ‘Me’ plaid, what would it look like?” And so began the process of sketching out my dream plaid quilt. I knew immediately that I wanted there to be a larger section alongside of a more tighter-knit and woven group. The idea of the woven rows extending out into the border, and then into the binding, came much later in the creating process. I made the center of the quilt and then after adding my last border I knew the binding had to echo the last woven border completely.

The RJR Cotton Supreme fabrics are absolutely divine! Not only are they soft but the richness of the colors are simply scrumptious!

As a general rule for myself, in the beginning process of working with a fabric, if it gives me grief while I am pressing the fabric before cutting it, I tend to not use the fabric. But these Cotton Supremes were so stable, so sturdy, and high quality to work with. They iron so well, and don’t even get me started about the excitement I felt while working with these under the machine! Let me just say that they sew like a dream!

I quilted the “My Plaid” with a poly/cotton blend batting that I tend to use on most of my quilts. My quilter LOVED these fabrics! The thread just sunk right into them and created that oh-so-yummy-crinkly-goodness we love as quilters!

When I was hand stitching the binding down, I kept thinking of how buttery-soft these fabrics were. I can’t wait to make something else with them!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that my family and I recently moved to Lexington, Kentucky. The pictures here are taken all over my new city. We loved the background the barns and horse statues provided. I hope you enjoy them too!

This is the first quilt I made from start to finish in my new home in Lexington, Kentucky. It will forever have a deeper meaning to me besides having the privilege of sharing this with you.

The backing fabrics I chose for “My Plaid” are two prints from the RJR company Cotton and Steel. I love the rich purple-plum and teal. I couldn’t make up my mind which one to use, so they both got a piece of the action!

I quilted “My Plaid” on my quilter in a meandering block-chase design. I free-hand quilt all of my quilts, so the designs do not have an exact name. But I really wanted to echo the squared off shapes within the pattern. I absolutely love how the quilting looks on the RJR Cotton Supremes! These fabrics are just begging to be quilted!

Making one project wasn’t quite enough for me! I really wanted to use up the leftovers from My Plaid. So, I made Mini Plaid!

Isn’t it just the cutest thing?! This mini quilt measures 18.5” x 20”. You can also get this pattern in my Craftsy Shop HERE. The RJR Cotton Supremes were just so easy to work with and the colors made this little mini shine! I just love it so much and have it hanging in my sewing room already! I want to thank the RJR team who invited me to participate in the #whatshadeareyou blog. I am so very excited to join such an amazing and talented group of quilt makers before me. I have created “My Plaid” as a pattern for you to download. It can be found in my Craftsy shop HERE. If you would like to buy the exact colors I used, my local quilt shop, Quilters Square will have kits you can purchase too, just click HERE. I hope you enjoy working with the RJR #cottonsupremesolids as much as I did!

What Shade are You with Leslie Tucker Jenison

Since I have been studying with Nancy Crow these past few years I have rekindled my love of solids. In addition to dyeing my own solids, which I love to do, I am using a lot of commercial solids. One can imagine that “solids are solids”….it probably doesn’t make much difference who you buy them from, right? Wrong. Did you know that many companies source their “gray goods” from multiple places? That some companies outsource the dyeing to just as many sources? Guess what happens to the quality control?? You got it.

Let’s talk for a moment about RJR. As a surface design artist it goes without saying that I spend a lot of time working with cloth; quality is important to me. Last summer when I was making objects with Urban Artifacts I had selected a group of solids to accompany the print line. I noticed that the quality of the fabric was quite good. This was feedback I received from every one of the makers who worked with the fabric. I started to wonder about it and I inquired inside the company. Here is what I learned: the owners of RJR have had a long-standing relationship with the same Japanese company for the source of all their cloth as well as their printing and dyeing. There is a very high quality of cotton broadcloth used and it is consistent. This matters to me.

A few months ago I was approached about making a quilt for the “What Shade Are You?” project and I happily agreed because I really love the Cotton Supreme solids. My style of working tends to be improvisational in nature so there is no pattern to be acquired with this project, but I’ll share with you what I used to create my quilt.

Here is the list of all the fabrics:
283-On The Rocks
433-Silver Lining
380-Silver Screen
395-Warm Gray
341-Stormy Night
282-Gale Force
357-Sunset Ruby

Urban Artifacts:
3067-002 Box Springs in Wine
3067-003 Box Springs in Charcoal

I’m going to “walk” you through how I constructed this quilt and what I was thinking about when I was designing it.

I love to use a rotary cutter to “draw” lines and shapes into my fabric. I think of the rotary cutter as my pen or paintbrush and the cloth as my paper or canvas. When I piece elements together those seam lines become my gestural “marks”. For me, it has been a new and exciting way of thinking about the work. In this construction, another piece in an ongoing series called “Aerial Geometry”, I am thinking about my experiences of flying over the Great Plains in a small aircraft and looking at the geometric layout of fields, crop rows, and farms dotted across the landscape. Quite a bit of my abstracted work is about the meaning of home and place. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of natural and man-made elements. While it might not reach out and “smack you over the head” my work frequently includes shapes and symbols that represent these ideas in many of my quilts. Also in this quilt I have included a basic house-shape, a nest shape, and some graphic Alliums to represent my garden.

First, I free-cut numerous strips of all the neutral colors in my palette. These were sewn together and small segments of Goldenrod, Goldilocks, Sunset Ruby, and Redwork were added randomly throughout. I created sections of gray neutrals and “beige” neutrals separately.

On my design wall I marked a general shape to represent the intended size of my construction. I find this to be a helpful guide while working.

My desire was to alternate the gray and beige areas, which were cut from the long pieced sections in alternating sizes and widths. I wanted to vary the direction of the pieced shapes.

Here is how I “built” the construction: first the pieces, then the rows, then I joined the rows. When piecing these somewhat amorphous shapes I overlaid the edges and cut through them so the pieces would come together as a flat construction. I didn’t worry about that whilst piecing the strips because I steam-ironed the strips really well. It does become important when laying the larger shapes together.

Here are all the large shapes before the rows are joined.

After the background was pieced together I created “stems” for my Allium elements by cutting sections of Gale Force and Rework fabric colors, folding and sewing a quarter-inch seam, then rolling the seam under and pinning the stems to the surface, then stitching in place. Four stems were appliquéd prior to the quilting, and one was added afterward to create some visual depth.

Next, I stitched together a group of raw-edge strips of solids and prints to create a “nest”, which was stitched onto the surface of the construction. I wanted all these elements on the surface prior to being quilted as I planned to add more elements after the quilting.

Here is a closeup of the “nest” components.

Here is a photo of one of my dry giant Allium blossoms, still standing in my garden. I enjoy their metamorphosis and I like how they look after the blossoms have dried out. They offer a lovely visual texture in my garden so I leave them in place as long as possible.

My quilt was longarm-quilted by the talented Joanna Marsh from Kustom Kwilts. She did this beautiful matchstick quilting of the background. I like to use a double batting of Quilter’s Dream Orient and the top layer is Quilter’s Dream wool. This seems to be a perfect combo: lightweight, breathable, and perfect for quilts that will need to be shipped and folded as the wool prevents creasing!

I free-motion embroidered the first layer of blossom with my sewing machine feed-dogs down. Then, I hand-embroidered more stem components of the blossom and the buds were added with French knots. This is one of the few places where I really need to use a thimble because that is a lot of layers of fabric and thread to push a needle through!

The roof and base of my “house” were created with Urban Artifacts by pillow-casing some batting between two layers, stitching and quilting the pieces, then appliquéing them to the quilted surface.

Next, I squared up the edged and stitched a facing onto the quilt, then turned it to the back and whip-stitched it in place. This is a cotton canvas print from Rifle Paper company, which is a division of Cotton & Steel (which is part of the RJR family, in case you didn’t know!).

Here is what the turned corner looks like from the front. I like the clean edge of a faced quilt, particularly for one that is to be a wall piece.

I’m satisfied with the details of the construction.

And here is my finished quilt!
Dimensions are 40″ by 40″.

If you are coming to Quilt Market and/or Quilt Festival in fall, 2017, please look for my quilt as part of “Personal Iconography: Graffiti On Cloth”, a special exhibition presented by Dinner At Eight Artists. Jamie Fingal, another designer for RJR, is the other half of the curating team with me. I hope you enjoyed seeing how my quilt was created. I really encourage you to ask for Cotton Supreme Solids at your local quilt shop(s). It is really a great product and I am a fan!

Easy Flannel Baby Blanket with Jennifer Fulton

Easy Flannel Baby Blanket

Hi! I’m Jennifer Fulton @Inquiring Quilter, and I’m pleased to share one of my favorite sewing projects.

I love it when someone close to me gets pregnant because that means I get to make a baby quilt! Sometimes though I don’t always have the time to make a quilt. That’s when I pull out my easy peasy flannel baby blanket pattern. Not only is this blanket easy to make, it’s quick too! It’s one of those gifts every mother will appreciate because it’s so useful (not to mention soft and cuddly!)

To make this blanket you’ll need two yards of flannel, one yard for the front and one yard for the back. May I suggest these gorgeous flannels from the Afternoon in the Attic Flannel collection? The fabrics coordinate perfectly, and you’re certain to find a color combination you like.

After you purchase your flannels, it’s time to make the blanket! This is an easy get it done in an afternoon kind of project.

Cut the flannels
Cut off the selvages, then stack the flannels, one on top of the other and cut them the same size. I cut mine 36” square.

You can also cut rounded corners if you like, by tracing around the edge of a small plate and cutting on the line.

After cutting the flannels to size, prewash them (I call this “preshrinking”). Dry the flannels on high heat and press.

Sew 1/4” from the edge
Layer fabrics RST (right sides together) and pin. Sew 1/4” from the edge all the way around, leaving a 6”-8” opening for turning.

Turn right side out
Clip the corners at a diagonal. Turn the blanket right side out and gently poke out the corners so they are square. Press.

Sew the opening closed
Press under the raw edges at the opening and pin.

With thread that matches the top, sew all the way around, 1/4” from the edge. This will close the opening and stabilize the edge of the blanket.

Create a “border”
Top stitch all the way around, approximately 2-1/2” from the edge. This will create a nice border for the blanket, and further stabilize the edge. To add more interest, you might want to use a contrasting thread and a zig-zag or other decorative stitch.

At this point, your blanket is all done! To download this free pattern from RJR Fabrics click here.

What Shade are you With Krista Hennebury

Hi There! I’m Krista Hennebury, otherwise known online as Poppyprint. I live near Vancouver, British Columbia and am active in both modern and traditional quilt guilds. I blog here, I teach workshops all over Canada and occasionally elsewhere in the world and I share pretty much everything on Instagram as @poppyprint.  I’m so happy to be back for an encore What Shade RU blogpost. You can read about my first RJR Supreme Cotton Solids quilt, Round Peg, Square Hole right here.

Pop Stars by Poppyprint, quilted by Twincreekquilts

I’ve long been enamored with traditional star quilts. Last year, while teaching at a fibre arts symposium, I saw a gorgeous 8-pointed star quilt made by another teacher Stacey Armstrong. Her star diamonds were scrappy strip-pieced.  I realized that at the right block size, I could make the star diamonds out of my Improv Under the Influence units (I just keep trying to find new ways to incorporate these fun improv units into my work to give students design ideas, like here, here and here). The stumbling block for me with the 8-pointed star block was the Y-seams. I knew I wanted to use lots of great color and make more than one star. I’m kind of allergic to Y-seams. And there would be a LOT of them in the quilt I envisioned.  In doing some research online and looking at images of 8-pointed star quilts, I learned that Nancy Zieman had created templates to make these star blocks in three different sizes without the use of Y-seams. I immediately ordered a set!

RJR Supreme Cotton Solids for my Pop Stars quilt.

Then the painstaking job of choosing colors began. I first imagined a very soft, almost ghost-like quality for this quilt, with barely-there stars on a light background. Then I realized how difficult it is to display or use a most white quilt in real life. Plus, the myriad colors available on the RJR Supreme Cotton Solids color cards were just too hard to resist. In the end, I decided on a plan of split complimentary colors for my stars and their backgrounds.  Here is a list of the color combinations I chose.

Top left star background: Peridot 432
Star colors: Raging Ruby 287, Melody 371, Bouganvillea 333, Lilac Festival 378 and Sweet Pea 420

Top right star background: Mustard 410
Star colors: Gift Box 291, Knotting Hill 309, Robins Egg 391, Schooner 392 and Jam Jar 400

Bottom left star background: Beach Coral 355
Star colors: Riviera 274, Cove 294, Luau 376, Seaside 426 and BoraBora 328

Bottom right star background: Turks & Caicos 292
Star colors: Rio 311, Rhododendron 181, Sunset Ruby 357, Magenta 417 and Rose Colored Glasses 322

Then I bound it all up with Indigo 191, the most gorgeous navy and a great alternative to black on this quilt.

Pop Stars by Poppyprint 54" x 54"
Can you see the seam lines that saved me having to sew all of those Y-seams?

The templates made cutting and piecing this quilt a breeze. By splitting the background squares and half squares into two triangle shapes, you avoid Y-seams all together. My star blocks finished 24″ square, but I added 1 1/2″ borders to each star block in the same background colour to float the stars, maintain the sharp star points and also give the negative space a little more continuity and interest.  Each border was pieced on with mitred seams to stay consistent with the diagonal seams at the corner of each block.

Mitred seams by Poppyprint
Mitred seams take time and effort, but in general I get better results than when I try y-seams. I know I just need more practice, but that’ll come on another project.

Quilting a 54″ quilt in summertime on my domestic machine was not a task I was looking forward to. My second storey sewing room gets so hot! Enter the my friend Carol Chernov of Twin Creek Quilts, a fabulous longarm quilter who lives only 20 minutes away. You can find her on IG as @twincreekquilts.  Luckily Carol had time in her schedule and was keen to collaborate on this project with me.

I gave Carol complete freedom to quilt the top however she saw fit, using her Innova machine that she affectionately calls Lulu.  She suggested adding dimension to the solid fabrics by using a double layer of batting: 80/20 against the backing paired with 100% wool under the quilt top for extra loft. So effective!

Pop Stars by Poppyprint 54" x 54"

When it came to the quilting, Carol really put a lot of thought into the motifs. I loved her initial idea of the circle to define space around each star and they came out even better than I’d imagined.  Carol decided to quilt each individual improv-pieced strip in the star diamonds (holy cow!) so that the piecing work was able to shine through in the final appearance and not disappear under a complicated motif that crossed over all of the seams.  Her freehand and ruler work on this quilt is just spectacular, I wish you could see it in person!  It is heavily quilted, but I think the motifs are so consistent and really accentuate the design of the quilt rather than overwhelm it – I love it so much and I feel very lucky to have some of Carol’s amazing work.

Pop Stars by Poppyprint 54" x 54"

Pop Stars by Poppyprint 54" x 54"

Naming quilts is always a challenge for me because I tend to overthink and put too much obscure meaning into names.  Plus, so many star quilts end up with similar names. The split complimentary contrasts really make these stars leap off the quilt, so I just had to go with Pop Stars. Possibly cliche, likely unoriginal, but I like how it suits the quilt while relating to my online name of Poppyprint.

Pop star by poppyprint & twincreekquilts
I just love the movement that the quilting motifs give the stars…as if they are spinning. Which colour combo is your favorite? I’m leaning to the purple/lime star myself.

Thank you RJR for the opportunity to create again with your beautiful fabrics. Thank you readers for checking out my post and good luck with the fabulous giveaway!

What Shade are You with Julia Wentzell

Hi! I’m Julia! I’m a mom to 2 girls and 2 boys, married, and love living close to the Atlantic Ocean. My sister-in-law and I are the makers of Briar Hill Designs. We’re having a blast working together! We share all about our quilting and art on Instagram at @briarhilldesigns, and on our Blog briarhilldesigns.blogspot.ca. Come and join us there!

So, here she is! My quilt for the What Shade Are You Blog Hop! I’m quite in love with Cotton Supreme Solids, and since I couldn’t say “I’ll take ’em all!” I delightedly settled on this palette of beauties! 

Here’s the list of Cotton Supreme Solids I used:

– Glow in the Dark
– Bowood Green
– Martini Olive
– Pea in a Pod
– Peridot
– Hydrangea
– Opera Mauve
– Marvelous
– Cloud 9
– Periwinkle
– Lancaster Sky
– Hyacinth
– Amethyst
– Feelin’ Blue
– Jacaranda
– Purple Haze
– Verbena
– Jean Jacket
– Celeste
– Tourmaline
– Banana Cream
– Harlequin
– Citrus
– Citron
– Custard
– Linen White
– Lemon Chiffon

For the background I chose Swan. It’s the perfect off-white, and I’m ordering a bolt of it next week, I like it that much. 

Sewing has always been a great interest of mine, though my love for quilting came quite a bit later. I sewed decor for my dollhouse as a kid, then clothing for myself and friends as a teen. I studied all-things-sewing at University including pattern making, tailoring, and reproducing period clothing. I then moved on to making wedding gowns, theatre costuming, and alterations until we had children. Sewing then changed to sundresses and stuffed animals. I even opted to make my kids duvet covers instead of quilts! I’m embarrassed and a little mad at myself that it took me so long to give quilting a go! My first taste of quilt making, and I was hooked! I followed a pattern for my first two quilts, and every one since then has been my design. 

Click here to purchase the easy circle cut ruler: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/shop/detail/953/ez-quilting/-/easy-circle-cut-ruler

Design inspiration can come from many different venues. For this one, I set up some criteria, and came up with the design for this block from there:

·I wanted to design a quilt that could show off the soft and gentle side of working with solids.
·It needed to be a block that could be successful for many levels of quilter, while also teaching skills.
·I designed this pattern in the dreariest, slushiest, bone chilling cold of grey Nova Scotian winters (now you really want to visit, right?!) so I also made a requirement that this design needed to help me think happy thoughts of warmer weather. So this was nicknamed “The Happy Quilt” until I chose to name her Botanica.

I designed the blocks in EQ7, then made tweaks to the curves to fit the Circle Cut Ruler by EZ Quilting. Curved piecing, and what I call true-up templates help the blocks come together with ease.

Making Botanica with these warm purples, soft yellows and spring blues was made especially enjoyable because I could also choose mini palettes for individual blooms. Seriously, the 49 blocks in this quilt were not enough to play out all the dreamy colour grouping potential! Blocks are 12″ and set in a half-drop layout. They’re also rotated so the leaves point every which way, which adds to the organic look of the quilt. 

Backing is Cotton + Steel’s Checkers in Sky. Their gingham is a favourite of mine! This is the third time I’ve used one of the gingham weaves as a backing. I’ve used ½”, 1″ and their 2½” check and they all look great. As a bonus, it’s a little wider than most quilting cottons at 50″ so I could piece the back of this 84″ quilt in two pieces instead of three. 

I thought long and hard about how to have it quilted. In the end I chose a loopy edge-to-edge, that Sheri at Violet Quilts and I built together. 

Batting is Hobbs Heirloom Premium Wool, and the scrappy binding was made with a selection of pastel tinted solids in the bundle. 

I’m so pleased with how it turned out in these gorgeous colours! For a chance to win your own botanical bundle of fabrics, follow @briarhilldesigns, and @rjrfabrics, and tag a friend on the giveaway post! 

What Shade are you Marthe Henderson

Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s my turn to share a quilt! Before I do I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I am 37 years old. I am happily married and we have 5 kids. We love where we live and get to enjoy the outdoors often. With mountains all around us we love to go camping and hiking. This summer has been the busiest we’ve ever had so there hasn’t been as much of that as we’d like. When I’m not with my family or sewing you can find me baking, cooking or reading. I learned to sew when I was 8. My best friend’s mom taught a bunch of us girls. I made many of my own clothes. Dresses, shirts, shorts, skirts, pillow cases, bags, but no quilts… that is until I was pregnant for the first time. Since I never start with anything easy (take knitting for example… I am self taught and the first thing I made was a sock. Yup, just one. Insert laughing face… you knitters will know how funny that is!) I made a quilt that was full of pieced frogs with lots of HSTs and little pieces. I figured I knew how to read a pattern, so why not. It turned out pretty cute, so I decided to hand quilt it. I learned right away that hand quilting is not for me. Since then I have made many finished quilts and even more quilt tops! But I’ve never hand quilted again.

I discovered the world of Instagram quilters about 2 1/2 years ago. I dived into swapping and grew to love the community of quilters you can find there. You can follow my journey @thesistyuglers.

Now for my quilt! The idea for my quilt has been in my head for a while. But I was too chicken to make it real. So many little pieces and so much fabric and so much time and the fabric and quilting would have to be perfect if I was going to do it. Well, when the opportunity to make a quilt for the #WhatShadeAreYou blog hop came along I knew it was time to make my dream real. The Cotton Supreme Solids as so soft and there are sooo many colors to choose from. I knew that this would be the perfect fabric. I started with pattern design. I love Fair Isle sweaters. I think it must be in my blood, as part of my mom’s family came to America from Norway. So I knew right away that I wanted to mimic the look of the sweaters I love so much. I started by looking at lots and lots of knitting patterns. I wanted to make sure that I had designs I love and the perfect combination of rows.

After deciding on my rows it was time to pick colors. I am not as talented as some at combining colors, but I do okay. When I get stuck I am thankful to have a sister and a husband who can help. My sister helped me color several mock ups of each row combining different colors for each row, but still having each row combine with the others. I sure do wish that I could get colored pencils in as many colors as I can get fabric! I wanted to make sure that my fabric mimicked the look of my favorite yarns. You know the variegated ones? I just love those. It would have been easier to make solid colors, but you know that because I don’t do things the easy way I had to use lots of colors!

In the end I picked 24 different solids:
Chili Pepper
Fire Engine
Noel Red
Raging Ruby
Haviland Blue
Jean Jacket
Pea in a Pod
Martini Olive
Sunnyside of the Street
French Vanilla
Egg Nog

I was also lucky enough to be able to include some Cotton and Steel fabrics:
Add it Up Indigo
Folk Dress
Folk Dress Earth

The next step was a tricky one. With finished pieces ranging in size from 1″x1″ to 1″x3″ it really put my quilty math skills to the test. I had to figure out just how much fabric I would need for my 110″x120″ quilt, all cut up into those tiny pieces and in a total of 27 colors. I’m sure it won’t make sense to most, it hardly makes sense to me at this point, but here’s how I figured my amounts.

Got it? I thought so… Once my fabric arrived I waited and waited to get started. The task at hand was a bit daunting. This is going to be huge. Epic for sure, but huge! Twin size is the biggest I’d ever made before. So I cut, and cut, and cut. I started with this row:

It was a breeze to sew up and it looked so cute, so I started another right away. To say that it was overwhelming would be an understatement. I cut all the pieces and laid each one out individually. It took forever. I don’t have a space in my house big enough to lay it all out at once, so I had to work in sections. Sew, sew, sew, iron, iron, iron.. this one row took me at least a month to complete.

At this point I only had 1 1/2 months left to finish all the rest of the rows and get it to the quilter. I stepped away for a week just to get my mind back in the game and to try to think of a way to accomplish my look but take less time. As we all know bacon makes everything better, so I made bacon. Quilty bacon!

Not only was it satisfying, but it gave me the answer I was looking for. I figured out that I could make long strips to cut apart and if I made several different ones I could work faster and still get the random look I needed for the multiple colors. When all was said and done I dropped it off to the quilter on time, at the last second. Marion is a fantastic quilter and was chosen carefully. I knew that this quilt would need a touch of magic and her work gave it just that.

I got my quilt back just in time for me to trim it before I left for a trip to Texas. I thought I was going to have to take it with me and I was stressed because I had a week to hand bind it. Yup hand sewing. 460″ of hand sewing. Very few things in life are worth hand sewing, and this is one of those things. I am so thankful I have a wonderful sister who actually likes it. She was at my house before I left and she was kind enough to take the quilt and do the hand binding for me!

I don’t know how many pieces there are in total in this quilt… but the row with hearts alone has 1560. I don’t know how many hours were put into the making of this quilt. I’d guess well over 100. I do know that I used an entire spool of thread with 1422 yd on it to do the piecing. I also know that lots and lots of love went in to its making. And a quilt that’s made with love is a quilt worth making.