What Shade are You with Vicky

Hey, I’m Vicky from Germany. You can find me on Instagram as @vevivicky and occasionally read a blog post I publish at venividivicky.org . Always in search of the next craft project, I discovered the wonderful thing that is quilting in early 2014. Since then, quilting has guided me through grad school (I’m now an architect by day!) and has become an important stable in my life.

When thinking of a theme for the What Shade are You blog hop I remembered a design I had come up with when I had only just started quilting: three years ago my boyfriend took a job in Bern of Switzerland, which has led to our relationship to become a long distance one. We had done this before, so we are fine most of the time, still I felt the need to channel this chapter in our lives creatively with a quilt. I translated the distinctive Swiss Alps scenery into a design of mountain formations. But back then bad fabric choices (canvas, curtain cut-offs!) and a lack of piecing skills resulted in a WIP that was never finished.

So I took the chance to start over fresh with this idea. Being able to work with the super soft Cotton Supreme Solids allowed me to finally bring this design to life and make my Switzerland Quilt.

Measurements: 70” by 90”
Focus Colour (mountains): 382 Chalkboard
362 Argento,
271 Meissen Blue
358 Harlequin
352 Meadowland
314 Oriole
301 Seafoam
103 Tourmaline
387 Apricot Ice
Accent Fabric, Backing & Binding:
Flight in Natural, Cotton+Steel, Black+White 2017 collection

The design consists of equilateral triangles which calls for precise piecing to match all points. This is why I decided to use the foundation paper piecing method to achieve a crisp result. I designed the three different blocks on my computer and printed 36 blocks in whole (some of them I printed in reverse). For the actual mountain part of the block I used ‘Chalkboard’, a lovely blue-ish black colour, which comes off a lot lessblunt than a real black. The background of each block consists of two colours from the remaining bundle of solids I had picked. I grouped them so there was always a pair of a lighter and a darker fabric of the same colour family next to each other, using 8 background colours in whole. I had played around with the colour placement a little before settling on this, but I love that this strict arrangement keeps the quilt less busy and puts the mountains in the spotlight.

With quilting I stayed at the safe side and went with a simple straight grid quilting, a design I come back to every so often. I have found grid quilting to be very sturdy and since this quilt will get a lot of use I can’t beat myself up too much for playing it save. My boyfriend is actually taking it with him to Switzerland!

Like mentioned above, I loved working with RJR’s solids line. The Cotton Supreme Solids have a buttery feel and a lovely drape to them. The colours are vibrant and very true to the colour card I received. When I next stock up on solids I will definitely consult their range of beautiful solids!

For a chance to win your own ‘Swiss’ bundle of the fabrics I picked, follow me @vevivicky and @rjrfabrics on Instagram where a giveaway each is held this week.

What Shade are you with Kristen

It’s Kristen… You can find me on Instagram @thesistyuglerstoo. A little about me: I love to create… pretty sure that’s what I was born to do! I started painting when I was 6 and haven’t slowed down since. My love of quilting began about 27 years ago when I took a class at a local quilt shop. There were 3 old ladies that taught and they were all in their 90s. We did everything by hand… There were no cutting mats or rotary cutters or sewing machines. Just templates, paper patterns, a pen, a pencil and a needle and thread. Although I see the value in this type of quilting as a busy mom I do not have that kind of time and I’m very thankful for my modern quilting tools. I stopped quilting for a few years but took it up again when my kids were little because painting watercolor was too hard with toddlers. So I saved painting for my Saturdays at art and quilted during the week with my girls.

On to my quilt… It’s called, “A metaphor of life”. I’ve known for a few months that I was going to be part of the RJR what shade are you blog hop. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I knew I wanted lots of bright fabrics because rainbow is my favorite color. I also knew from the beginning I wanted big elongated flying geese blocks with lots of negative space. I had an idea for the square blocks and I was super excited. Then guess what… plan A didn’t work out. That’s ok, I had a plan B, guess what… plan B didn’t work out either. So on to plan C right? Only one problem, I didn’t have a plan C so I hit a creative slump. I put the quilt away for a bit because I had a few months and truth be told I work better under pressure. Well fast forward a few months and my quilt deadline is only about 5 weeks away. So I started sewing the flying geese and racking my brain for a plan C. I’m still feeling very uncreative and frustrated that I have no plan C. Because I’m usually super creative and ideas come to me easily.

Then life throws my family a curve ball. One of my daughters’ best friends is diagnosed with cancer. Well she has never been one to sit back and let others take care of the problem. So she says we need to have a fund raiser for her friend. I say as soon as my quilt is done we can do that. She says, “Nope mom! Service always comes first and the rest falls into place.” So I say ok let’s go for it. And we do a fund raiser that was huge and successful and lots of work. Okay now time for quilting. Then a different daughter is struggling a little and she just needs some attention from mom. So I spend the time help her to feel better and it only puts me 2 days behind. But my quilt is still sitting largely unfinished. I have no plan C and I’m running out of time. So I still work on sewing flying geese and one night it hits me… I want a block I can use most of the colors in with hard lines and angles. But I’m sure I don’t have time to draft one because I’m so short on time, but where would I find one? I remember I have the book, 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak. I colored at least 30 stars before I found the one I loved… Massachusetts. So thanks to Carol for helping me break my creative slump. Well now its crunch time. I’m way behind and I need about 7 of me to finish. So I ask for help and I am reminded that in life sometimes we all need help. Thankful for a sister that can help iron and cut because she is a quilter too. My quilt is going smoothly so I think it’s time for a bit crazy, Don’t you? Since plan A and B didn’t work and I made a math mistake on 1 square of plan C and a small cutting error I didn’t have enough background fabric to finish my quilt and I need to have it to the quilter in 2 days. None of the brick and mortar quilt shops within driving distance of my house carry RJR solids. (I say get with the program Utah quilt stores.) By some small miracle my sister finds a small Etsy shop that carries the color I need and she delivers it to my house. I call these small miracles tender mercies, and oh how I am thankful for them.

I spend most of the next 2 nights sewing so I can get it to the quilter on time. And even though I’m up most of those nights the quilt gets finished on time! I am so thankful but also a little worried that because of the above craziness and some other small craziness that happened along the way with this quilt that maybe for some reason it doesn’t want to be made and it just might spontaneously combust at the quilters. (Haha, but really only sort of kidding.) But Rhonda @olieandevie on Instagram does a fabulous job quilting and my quilt survives.

So I call this quilt, “A Metaphor for Life” because sometimes life throws us curve balls and sometimes plan A and plan B don’t work, it might even take plan 532 before we find our answer. Maybe we lose our creativity and we feel defeated for a while. But if we stick with it and we jump back on the wagon and we only give up 2 nights of sleep or maybe 10 because your baby never sleeps. We discover in the end its all worth it. We’ve created something beautiful and worthwhile. And we wake up in the morning and say, “Let’s do it all again.” Even the crazy and the tears. Someone once asked Picasso how long it took him to paint a painting and he answered in the number of years, months, and days he was at the time. When they looked at him confused he replied that it is our whole life that shapes us and helps us to paint the way we paint and that everything in our life influences our creativity. I often answer this same way when I am asked about how long a painting took. And as quilters I think we can say the same thing… So I guess this quilt really took me 46 years 1 month and 19 days to create. Happy sewing! Thanks for sticking with me to the end.

What Shade are You with Jennifer Letchet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photography by Martin Freeman

What Shade are You with Louise Wackerman

It’s my turn on the RJR What Shade Are You blog hop!! Have you been following along with the #whatshadeareyou series with RJR Fabrics? I started following RJR fabrics when I found the series or blog hop or whatever you want to call it! What is this # I keep talking about? Each week or so, they feature a quilter with a quilt made from a bundle of RJR Fabric and then have a giveaway of that fabric bundle! The fabric bundle was what originally hooked me, but the quilters are amazing! I’ve found some new quilters to add to my IG feed, for sure. One day they had a call for bloggers interested in participating, so of course I volunteered and they accepted me.

I used the following colors:

Eggnog 228 Canvas 150

Carrot 131 Oriole 314 Bandana 367 tangerine Dream 276 Orange Crush 372

Cove 294 Riviera 274 Luau 376 Turks and Caicos 292 horizon 354

Pistachio 404 Spring 405 Lucky Green 406 Sour Apple 346 Grass is Always Greener 347

2961-001 2960-004 2960-001

Super excited, right?? Yes, I was. Then panic struck! Me being in the lineup with all these other quilters that use tons of different fabric. I typically only use a few different colors in one quilt, but all these others use tons of colors. I remember walking around Quiltcon looking at the quilts with more than just a few colors for inspiration… Then I decided on a design I had made in one of my office meeting sketches. It was a design I could incorporate a bunch of colors into. The kiddo and I got to work and picked the fabrics, finally… Then they came. And stage fright set in again. And I decided I didn’t want to make the design I was starting to make… So in came design idea number 2. A Quilt Design A Day design! The ‘spark’ above from Design Seeds inspired my purple design. And that purple design became my #whatshadeareyou quilt! I thought it would be cool, but I still wasn’t sure it would stand up against all the other quilts in the series. Once I started going, it kept growing on me and I liked it more and more! And now I love it! I hope you do too! I’m calling it Raindrops on Wildflowers! As I was quilting it, I debated, one big spiral or three spirals? The whole family agreed on three circles. The kiddo said it was like raindrops in water! The quilt block is obviously something I just made up, but then I realize it was full of inset corners! Ergh… But I remembered they aren’t so bad and I pretty much mastered it! Well, for this block at least! I’ll post a tutorial soon. The front had to be the solids collection, which I love. My go to solid fabric is typically another brand that I won’t mention here… But I might have just been swayed! This fabric is much softer than my usual. And there’s still tons of colors to choose from. No reason this fabric can’t be my new go to! And the back is actually a really fun polka dot fabric. The front had to be solids, but you could choose anything for the back. Obviously I had different intentions since it was a different quilt design I ordered the fabric for, but I like the polka dots and stripes together!   And stayed tuned… A tutorial and giveaway will be popping up here shortly!  

What Shade are You with Allison Lee

Hello, I am Allison Lee, @QuiltDesignAtelier and welcome to RJR Fabrics’ #whatshadeareyou blog hop! I love solids and foundation pieced quilts with lots of pieces and lots of colors. I’m so blessed to have been given the opportunity to create a quilt using however many and whatever solids I wanted! I already knew what design I wanted/absolutely had to use, and could hardly wait to get my color card to start plotting. ‘Tempest I and II’ are my experiments in exploring color movement and celebrating Cotton Supreme Solids. Looking at the quilts side by side, you’ll see they have the same colors, except for the background. I love how different they look. I chose the background first – the color that would move constantly through the design. However, I couldn’t choose just one background color, so I had to make two quilts. I love how they turned out. The colors flow and sing with brightness. Which one is your favorite?!

Color Choice
Like many before me, I cut up the entire color palette so the individual pieces could be joyously tossed in the air, arranged and rearranged in moments of inspiration, frustration, and finally, clarity. So helpful! RJR’s extensive Cotton Supreme Solids palette allowed me to select color arrays with smooth value transitions. I love a good ombre, all day, every day. I intentionally added yellow to the hues (when possible) as they move from dark to light value. Limiting my palette to six values of four hues meant there would be 24 colors to work with.

Background I
‘Netorious’ in Cloud Metallic #5000-10 is my most favorite print from Cotton and Steel. It’s one I come back to again and again because it plays well with so many others. It also has one of my most favorite fabric words – “metallic”. The greige base color with a hint of green is a perfect neutral – it goes well with just about every hue. And then you add metallic silver: MAGIC. Tempest I is my joyful ode to neutral metallics and the juicy, saturated solids that interact with them.

Background II
Medianoche 430 is the richest, smoothest, darkest blue I’ve encountered. Even the name rolls off the tongue beautifully. It translates to ‘midnight’, but is also the name of a delicious Cuban sandwich. I knew it would be a challenge to photograph, but I didn’t care. Its color depth suggests black, but it is not black. I would like a few bolts of this amazing color, please. Tempest II is my love song to Medianoche (the color or the sandwich – take your pick!).

I am often inspired to take a classic quilt block and make it bigger, with many, many more pieces and colors. So the final quilt is made from a single block, exploded outward. I’ve done this with the pineapple block and various log cabin designs. I am fascinated with the twisted log cabin block. I love to analyze geometric designs and figure out how they’ve been created. To make the quilt bigger, and to smooth the transition from one value to the next, I decided to use each solid twice. This color repetition also gives the design more depth. Here are my rough draft layouts constructed in EQ7:

These quilts were a labor of love, no doubt. There are 24 rows in each quadrant. Only two can be sewn on at a time, so that’s 48 trips to the sewing machine! The shapes are foundation pieced from the center outward, so adding a row is like watching a flower slowly bloom. It is so exciting to see the design and color emerge!

The challenge for me is deciding the quilting design. I drafted undulating zigzags onto each colored ‘spoke’ and then quilted with variegated thread. I chose thread close to the fabric colors so it would not take away from the graphic piecing design. The zigzags move with the direction of the ‘spokes’ to allow your eye to follow, rather than rest on a particular area.

Listed below are the fabrics I chose. They cut, sew, and press like a dream. All the heart emojis!
1. Jam Jar 400
2. Robin’s Egg 391
3. Schooner 392
4. Horizon 354
5. Proud as a Peacock 289
6. Mermaid 393
7. Tourmaline 103
8. Harlequin 358
9. Peridot 342
10. Pea in a Pod 359
11. Wimbledon 205
12. Think Green 375
13. Apricot Ice 387
14. Just Peachy 278
15. Charlotte 226
16. Guava 373
17. Rio 311
18. Magenta 417
19. Carolina 313
20. Cornflower 94
21. Haviland Blue 169
22. Jean Jacket 429
23. Denim 106
24. Slate 298
25. Netorious in Cloud Metallic #5000-10 (background)
26. Medianoche 430 (background)
Backing and center for Tempest II: Sea Farer gold metallic #5114-01
Binding and center for Tempest I: Swan 370

Thank you, RJR Fabrics for the opportunity to create with your beautiful solids. I most definitely did Quilt With Love. Now, for the best news: RJR is giving away a bundle of the fabrics I chose for these quilts, and so am I! To enter, follow both @RJRfabrics and me @QuiltDesignAtelier for two chances to win a FQ bundle. Check out #whatshadeareyou for other quilters and their inspirational Cotton Supreme Solids projects!

All the best!

Allison Lee @QuiltDesignAtelier

What Shade are You with Stacey Day

Today is my turn for the RJR What Shade Are You blog hop! I love participating in blogs hops, it gives me a chance to create something just for me, and have a little fun with all of my wonderful followers (Hint: FABRIC!) This is my second appearance in the blog hop. My first was back in 2015 with my Lanterns quilt Tutorial. It felt like only yesterday, and the ways my life has changed in such a short time, from there to here, is truly amazing. From a new house, to a new baby, to new opportunities within the quilting world, the last 2 years have been busy and scary and WONDERFUL.

RJR makes Cotton Supreme Solids. They are a dream to sew with. The fabric is the perfect weight to mix with anything, and you have 197 rich, delicious hues to choose from.

Now let me introduce my newest creation, Heat Wave!

I LOVE everything about this quilt. The colors, the layout, the quilting, everything. I’m sure somewhere there is a grouchy quilt police officer wagging a finger and chanting “Stacey, you are being prideful. You can’t just TELL PEOPLE you LOVE your own work.” But you know what? The hashtag for RJR is #quiltwithlove . So I just threw this quilt over their head, because I LOVE IT! I want to shout that love from the rooftops!

I picked an analogous gradient of my favorite warm colors and went to town. Each color is a color I love individually, and together they make a perfect sunset inspired palette.

Heat Wave is the perfect example of how a small change can make a huge difference. I had mocked up a different layout for these blocks, something eclectic and busy and kinda neat, but in my near-coma-like sleep deprived state I sewed half the blocks as a mirror image of the first. And I didn’t notice until I started laying the blocks out. After a little head scratching (because I STILL hadn’t noticed what I’d done) I turned the blocks around and VOILA! Heat Wave was born! I still had to take a picture so I could purposefully do what I just did accidentally (and then FINALLY realized what had happened), but the top came together quickly after that and it couldn’t have turned out better.

The next step was quilting, and I had Heat Wave hanging over the bars of Penny(my Tin Lizzie Apprentice) for almost a week while I pondered. Then I realized it was Wednesday (again, I blame the sleep deprivation). Now I know some blogs are really good at showcasing just a top. Me, not so much. So she needed to be quilted, and quilted now. The funny thing is once I had her loaded on the frame, the quilting just fell into place. I recently returned from a family vacation, where I was able to meet up with a quilting friend. She once told me an anecdote from a famous longarm quilter (don’t ask who, I really can’t remember) and it always stuck with me. The moral of the story is when it comes to thread choice, always take the risk. So I did. I matched the yellow and violet fabrics in my quilt, and then used each color exclusively with the motif. Violet with the straight lines and yellow with the curled meander. The contrasting thread and patterns really worked well to highlight the secondary patterns in the quilt, and reigned in the pre-quilted color chaos.

To top off the perfection of this quilt, I chose to face it instead of binding to keep the colors flowing. Paired with the first really nice sunny day we’ve had in weeks, it felt like magic taking her outside to photograph. Even H wanted his turn with the camera! (We now have a lovely montage of grass growing.)

Now for the fun part (and the reward for reading to the end)! One lucky follower gets to win a bundle of the gorgeous Sunset Palette I curated for my quilt.

To enter, follow on Instagram @staceyinstitches, and leave a single comment telling me 2 things: Where you follow me, and what your favorite color is! Easy peasy! I will draw a winner at 4pm PST Tuesday.

There is also a second giveaway on the RJR Instagram Account. Log on and follow RJR Fabrics instructions to enter.

Happy Stitching!

What Shade are You with Amy Webb

What shade are *you*?

Me? I’m Amy and I’m a turquoise/mint/light blue or really any shade of blue kinda girl! If you’ve ever read my blog (http://www.amylouwhosews.com) or seen my Instagram feed (@amylouwhosews), this will not be a surprise to you at all! I love the calmness the color blue invokes – the sea, the sky, nature in general.

I really don’t consider myself a big quilter. I’ve been sewing since I was young, but started out making clothing. I quilted a bit with my mom and have made a few over the years – but find I’m not super patient with the process! Bags, zippies and clothing come together so much quicker! However, I do love quilts! And I’ve always admired triangle quilts made with solids. So when RJR asked for people interested in doing something for their #whatshadeareyou feature I had the perfect idea in mind. I’m really happy to share it with you!

My brother has a new house out on the Chesapeake Bay. From their back porch they have a gorgeous view of the green grass, gray boulders at the shoreline, and the aqua bay melding into the horizon of the darker blue sky. I tried to capture that in the colors I chose to represent each part of the view. And also capture the calm and peaceful feeling of standing at the water’s edge.

I was hoping to get out there to take a photo in the same location but I wasn’t able to make it work. Instead I went to a nearby park with water views of a creek off the Potomac and a rock quarry where stones were cut and hauled up river to build the U.S. Capitol building! How cool is that!? We had a fun time on our hike/photo session. We got some funny looks though!

Props to my friend who climbed up there to hold the quilt up!

Now, back to the quilt… Since I had never made a triangle quilt I followed cutting and sewing instructions from the pattern Kwik Hexie Links by Karie of Two Kwik Quilters. I was able to use her coloring sheet in the pattern to figure out how many triangles of each color I was going to use and design my own color pattern.

Initially, I was going to just do one section of each color, but when I got the green and the grey sections sewn together the line was too stark. So I went back and sewed another row of triangles together mixing the lighter greens and grays to have colors fade a little into each other. I then repeated the same thing to mesh together the gray and aqua, then aqua and darker blues. I love the ombre-esque feeling it has. This really ended up being a hybrid planned/improv quilt. I tried not to overthink the placement within each section and it worked out better than I could have imagined!

My talented friend Becky (IG: @sarcasticquilter) echoed the idea of the view with her quilting of cloudy shapes in the sky and waves in the water,

blades of grass in the green and rock shapes in the gray. She did exactly what I was hoping for!

The RJR Cotton Couture colors I used for each section are as follows:

313 carolina
296 electric blue
280 night
126 royal blue

400 jam jar
391 robins egg
294 cove
274 riviera
328 bora bora

319 overcast
283 on the rocks
125 silver
341 stormy night

249 sprout
347 grass is always greener
127 kelly green
405 spring
408 leaf

I used Dandelion XOXO for the binding and Bluebird Dottie for the backing both from Cotton + Steel basics.

Going with my nature theme I thought the yellow for sunshine would provide the perfect pop. And I couldn’t pass up that gorgeous minty basics print for the back!!

It was fun to realize while shooting the photos that the gray section matched the weathered boardwalk, bridges and bark on the trees – not to mention the big rocks!

I really loved working with these fabrics to create something that I am really proud of. In fact this is probably the most proud I’ve been of any quilt project I’ve ever made! I can’t wait to gift it. And then make another one for myself! Thanks so much to RJR Fabrics for their generosity and opportunity to make and share this with you! Find me on Instagram @amylouwhosews!

What Shade are You with Sharon McConnell

I did it! I actually made a quilt with solids. This is my first time ever doing it and this quilt is my contribution to the What Shade Are You? series by RJR fabrics. Each friday they feature a quilt made with their Cotton Supreme Solids and have a giveaway (more on that in a minute).

This quilt was outside my comfort zone in a couple ways. Besides being my first ever without any prints, I had to choose the fabrics ahead and stick with them! RJR sent me a color card with all their solids and I chose which ones to use for my quilt. It was kind of tricky (and a really hard decision) to choose what would look good together just from the swatches on the card.

These are the colors I picked:

Swan 370
Indigo 191
Sunset Ruby 357
Flamingo 338
Rio 311
Pink Sapphire 218
Putting Green 290
Schooner 392
Neon 348
Sprout 249
Citrus 384

Usually when I choose fabric for a quilt, I go to my stash and pull a bunch and then add and subtract as I go. It was a good challenge for me to choose a limited palette and then make it work in my design. I am happy with how it turned out!

I usually associate all solids quilts with the really “modern”, minimalist design look, so I decided to go with that. I wanted to make a really graphic pattern that is simple but with lots of interest and movement. Since curves are my favorite, I decided to go with curves, but a shape I haven’t used before.

A couple of things I learned in making this quilt. First, with solids, your piecing has to be spot on. There is no forgiving print or color variation to hide mismatched seams (-: Second, solids are a fun way to explore color. I feel like there is much less need to emphasize value to accomplish a successful pattern. The solid color fabrics are so flat and saturated, you can definitely experiment with very subtle differences in value and shade without losing the detail of your piecing and overall pattern.

I would like to thank RJR for giving me the opportunity to make a What Shade are You? quilt. Be sure and follow me on instagram @colorgirlquilts and my website colorgirlquilts.com.


What Shade are You with Toby Lischko

Hello, my name is Toby Lischko of www.gatewayquiltsnstuff.com. I am a quilting teacher, author, and designer and I have been quilting since 1985 and I have continually challenged myself to try different techniques both in my designs and in quilting. You may know me by my Instagram account @tlischko.

I have been designing quilts for RJR for a long time using their current fabric collections. I enjoy taking a traditional type fabrics and creating a quilt design that really shows off many of the different types of prints within the collection. I found it easy to choose blocks to compliment the various types of fabric themes.

When they asked me to design a quilt with their solids collection, I thought, this shouldn’t be too hard. How wrong was I! I knew I wanted to use a traditional block just because I am a traditional quilter and I always refer back to those types of blocks, but I needed to change it to make it more “modern”. The hardest part was picking the fabrics!

I really like playing with log cabin blocks. I have made quite a few log cabin quilts over the years, mostly scrappy with traditional fabrics.

With this log cabin block I wanted to do gradations of two colors. The difficult part was finding the exact gradation that I liked the look of. I could find 4 tones but then the 5th one didn’t look right. Or I could find 5 tones and the 6th didn’t look right. I’m just way too picky when it comes to putting colors together. If I have a large or main print in a fabric collection, it is easy to see what fabrics would go well with it. When I have solid colors, the challenge was, how do I choose which colors I like best together. I finally ended up with peach and aqua.

These are the colors I picked:

235 Paris
278 Just Peachy
338 Flamingo
277 Elephantastic Pink
339 Tropicana
257 Amaryllis
294 Cove
274 Riviera
292 Turks & Caicos
354 Horizon
289 Proud as a Peacock

I work up all of my quilts on Electric Quilt 7. I love that I can play with all types of shapes, layouts, and colors. This is the block I started with. It has one side of the logs larger than the other side, which creates a curved effect.

Instead of having it as a square block, I decided it should be a rectangle. So it became this.

One of the challenges in making it a rectangle was, if the small logs were consistently the same size, I couldn’t make them fit together as they do in the square block so I had to put two logs that end at the same place towards the outer edge. (It’s a math thing!)

I still wasn’t quite done. So in the center to help make the transition from one side to the other I added a triangle.

Now I was ready to design the quilt. I could have just gone with a traditional setting so on my Electric Quilt 7 I started playing with different layouts. Some traditional….

And one sort of traditional but not completely balanced. This is the one I finally ended up with. I did discover something I didn’t know about rectangular blocks like this. The block can’t just simply be turned to create the layout. I had to make a left and right version of the block.

Now for the hard part; the quilting. I always stress about the quilting. I work so hard at getting all of the pieces just right; I think I am going to ruin it with the quilting. I was able to work with some motifs in EQ so I played with 3 different designs. I used Wonderfil’s Invisafil thread so that the quilting was just an accent and not the focus of the quilt.

To make things easier on myself, I chose the last option. I’m not very good at grids, but even if they weren’t perfect, it wouldn’t be that noticeable. You know that sign that says, “Plan ahead” and someone paints themselves into a corner? I did not use any tools other than a ruler to make the lines, all of which are not perfectly even. Well, I’m quilting along and realize that the lines have to match up in the center of the design. What if I didn’t have the same number of lines on the left side of the quilt as the right side? I breathed a sigh of relief when it worked out okay, but realized that there was another area where they come together. Guess what? I had seven lines on the right side and eight lines on the left side. What to do? Take out a whole line (or lines) of quilting? Luckily one side I only had some short stitching lines that I could take out and divide the space into 3 instead of 2 lines.

As an afterthought I, whenever I make log cabin blocks, I like to double (or triple) the size of the front blocks to make the backing. For this one I made the original front block 10″ x 12″ so the back blocks are 20″ x 24″ which made 4 fit perfectly with some off center borders.

The last think I thought about was whether to put a border or binding on it. I decided with neither and made a faced binding (folded to the back) for the first time ever.

I call the quilt Sorbet. It just makes me think of cool iced deserts. I didn’t have any fancy places to take photos like I have seen in previous blogs (like the beach) but I did have a nice sunny day to take these photos.

Thank you RJR for giving me this challenge. I loved working with the fabrics. The fabrics have a wonderful body and sewed up so nice. If you haven’t seen all the stunning projects that have been featured in the #whatshadeareyou series, hop on over to Instagram to check out the hashtag. While you’re there, visit and follow me (@tlischko) and follow RJR (@rjrfabrics) for two chances to win a FQ bundle of the solids I chose for my quilt!

What Shade are You with Jessica Skultety

Hi! I’m Jess of Quilty Habit, and I’m quilting teacher, lecturer, and writer from New Jersey. I’ve only really started making all-solid quilts in the last couple of years, and every time, I fall in love with their graphic beauty. This quilt design lounged for years in my sketchbook, just waiting to be created in real life. Enter RJR Fabrics and the chance to make any quilt I wanted with Cotton Supreme Solids. It was like the quilting gods were sending me a sign, so I had to take it!
“Burst” was made techniques from my “Orange Peels and Improv” class. I pieced the background together in four color segments, using improvisation and snippets of Cotton and Steel Basics to add depth. At first, I was only going to use solids, but the little peeks of prints seemed promising and added interest to the background as I worked.
Improvisation is my favorite piecing method, and I was excited to work with Cotton Supreme solids for the first time. They are so soft, and it’s staggering how many colors are available! I love saturated, cool colors. First, I used colored pencils to decide my piecing plan.
The orange peels, all made in slightly lighter fabrics, are appliqued on by machine. The process can take a long time for this many peels (50, give or take a couple), but I always turn on a good TV show and work away at them (currently, I’m watching season 4 of Veep).
Here’s a list of colors I used: 
Harbor – 425
Royal Blue – 126
Night – 280
Horizon – 354
Atlantica – 374
Grape – 121
Bougainvillea – 333
Purple Haze – 279
Violet – 423
Jacaranda – 317
Riviera – 274
Melody – 371
Poolside – 327
Hydrangea – 214
Orchid – 421
Optical White – 33
Silver Screen – 380
Turks and Caicos – 292
The goal was to make the orange peels look like they were bursting out from the middle of the quilt (hence the name “Burst”). Perfect for spring, when all the flowers are bursting open. I’ve been completely obsessed with making and designing orange peel quilts since 2014, and all those I’ve made have to do with flowers or the wind. Here, I imagine the wind swirling around and around until a huge gust makes the flower petals scatter. I purposefully created three different orange peel sizes (small, medium, and extra large) to add detail through scale. Once I pinned down the middle and large orange peels, I scattered the others randomly within their paths.
The actual quilting step is my favorite part of making any quilt. I quilt everything on my domestic machine, even this quilt, which is pretty large (78″ square). I decided to accentuate the design from the middle using wavy lines and pebbles. I used several Aurifil threads to achieve this effect: 2024 (white, 28 weight), 2535 (magenta, 40 weight), 5006 (light blue, 40 weight), 1128 (medium blue, 50 weight), 2520 (light purple, 50 weight), 1200 (dark purple, 50 weight), and 2805 (light blue, 50 weight).
Pebbles are one of my go-to quilting motifs, but I always underestimate how long they will take. I went through at least 12 bobbins on pebbles alone!
Towards the end, I had some trouble with my machine (she’s fixed now, thank goodness!) but I couldn’t stitch the middle. I grabbed my variegated purple perle cotton to handstitch a starburst right in the center. I’m really pleased with this little detail!
The back of the quilt was made from several coordinating Cotton and Steel Basics. I also used a little bit of extra solid fabric to balance it out. I really love making double-sided quilts! Finally, I bound the quilt in scrappy greys, teals, and blues from the front.
I was so glad to see that the orange peel design, improvisation, and texture showed up from afar!
It feels absolutely wonderful to finally see my vision in quilt form. Thank you so much to RJR for the chance to work with you and your fabulous fabrics! If you hop over to Instagram, @rjrfabrics and I (@quiltyhabit) are each giving away a bundle of fabric that I used here. Best of luck!