Hi everyone, I’m Colby, also known as @theauthenticstitch on Instagram.
I’ve been sewing since I was child, but I’ve only been quilting since mid 2015.
What shade am I? Simply put, I’m every shade. I love colour, and I’m in my element when I’m playing and creating with it. I’ve found that quilting has been a perfect way to combine both my background in Visual Arts and my sewing passion. I haven’t been drawn to solids previously, I love my prints, so I was so excited to create something that made the solids really shine. I knew as soon as I was approached by RJR that I was going to create something of my own design and that it would be using bias appliqué… on steroids. You may have seen my baskets previously, but they have nothing on this quilt! Then the colour card arrived and I was in heaven. All the possibilities, all those delicious colours.
In the end the Cotton Supreme Solid colors I chose for my quilt top are:
BEACH CORAL 355
GRAY STONE 155
PINK ORCHID 331
PURPLE HAZE 279
TURKS & CAICOS 292
And I couldn’t resist to add some cotton + steel prints:
C&S – RAINDROP, PRECIPITATION PISTACHIO 1939-02
C&S – BASICS , SPRINKLE STARDUST 5023-08
I sketched my original mandala on paper, and then adapted the design so my bias binding applique would work on it. When it was time to transfer the design across into the fabric medium, I upscaled the pattern and sectioned it into 6ths so I could just repeat the 1 section as it was rotated around. I transferred the design onto the fabric using a water soluble maker so I could easily remove any markings once they were no longer required.
I had already planned my colour layout out in the original design process, so it was just a matter of transferring my pattern pieces onto the fabric and fusing to make the raw edge appliqué pieces. Once the pieces were all cut they were then pressed onto the quilt top background in the proper place!
Making the 1/4″ bias strips was made a lot easier with my bias machine and each strip was cut at 5/8″ to make a nice even bias. Each strip is carefully planned in order of application because strips are layered over the top of others. It started getting very exciting as I got towards the end of this part of the process, the quilt was really starting to take shape!
Next came the quilting. I chose Cotton and Steel Precipitation in Pistachio from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Raindrop as the backing and used a cotton/poly batting. Wrestling with this beauty on a domestic machine was a challenge (it’s 60” square) but I started free motion quilting from the centre and worked my way out. I wanted to keep the central quilting quite simplistic so I didn’t take away from the main design, so I bordered the mandala with straight echo quilting, and threw in some pebbling around the fused pieces to keep the focus on the solids.
And finally the quilt was bound in Cotton and Steel Basic Sprinkle in Stardust, creating a frame for the quilt that varied ever so slightly from the bias appliqué and the background.
And then ‘Blossom’ was finished!
#WhatShadeAreYou – RJR Fabrics – Game Night Quilt by Lesley Storts
Even though my quilting experience goes back many years, my use of solid colored cotton for projects was limited until a couple of years ago. I caught glimpses of people’s quilts with solids and realized that I wanted to play! Several projects have been started, some completed, and then I was asked by RJR Fabrics if I would like to participate in their What Shade Are You Blog Hop. The answer was a resounding yes! I had already sketched out a project that I wanted to make with solids and after reviewing the abundant array of colors on RJR’s color card, I knew this project would have the variety needed to pull it off.
This is the list of fabrics I ended up using:
Martini Olive 343
Golden Topaz 285
Chili Pepper 49
Tangerine Dream 276
Banana Cream Pie 336
Lucky Green 406
Turks & Caicos 292
Electric Blue 296
Scarlet Letter 325
Aloe Vera 349
Orange Crush 372
In answering the question, What Shade Are You?, my answer is that I am shade competitive…but just a shade. My solid fabric quilts have ended up being stories about my life and experiences. This quilt is no different and reminds me of happy times in life. My mom taught me to play backgammon and Chinese checkers when I was a kid and my aunt and uncle taught me how to play Othello (yes, that’s Othello in the bottom right corner). We played these games often. Just a quick round or two but mostly 3 because we wanted to see who won the best 2 out of 3. Growing up, I played cards with girlfriends at camp, at sleepovers, or solitaire by myself. When I was dating my husband, I was introduced to Euchre. It’s against the rules to live in Ohio and not know how to play this game. At least that’s what I was told when we moved here and I was just compliant and learned – haha! Our family and friends play all kinds of games on a regular basis when we socialize.
My quilt, Game Night, originated from these happy times. Backgammon was made from a foundation paper piece template that I created. Top right is the traditional block, card trick. Chinese checkers is based on the Star of Bethlehem block and I created a foundation paper piece template for the triangles. Othello is a classic checker board pattern.
RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids are fantastic for many reasons. As mentioned before, the color choices are exceptional and just as vibrant in person as they are in the pictures. The weight of fabric and how it lays makes it so easy to quilt. There is minimal fraying or stretching. Using RJR’s solids for this project was exactly what I needed.
Last year, a quilt friend of mine showed a “potholder” quilt at guild. I was intrigued. Potholder quilts date from the US American Civil War and were created from individual blocks that are completely finished and bound then stitched together. I had wanted to try this technique and this project was ideal.
Constructing the quilts was fun and sometimes challenging, but the quilting was the best part! I tried hard to elicit the feel of the different games through the quilting. Both backgammon and Othello have fairly minimalist game boards so there are a lot of straight lines.
Chinese checkers is round! I was thinking and talking about how I could make the circular game board work and my daughter suggested quilting it in. Creating an image with the thread was especially satisfying.
When I think of traditional playing cards, I think of the swirling designs on the card backs and tried to replicate that with free motion quilting.
The fabric is so vibrant it almost looks electric! The only rule for picking the back was that it be bright and fun. I love the way that RJR’s solid fabric showcases the quilting.
Are you ready to have fun playing with RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids? Head on over to Instagram and find @rjrfabrics or me @lesleystorts for details about a giveaway with all of the colors I used to create Game Night. You can also find me on my blog at StortsMarket.com.
Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎