What Shade Are You with Wendy Sheppard

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

Hello, my name is Wendy Sheppard. I am most excited to be part of RJR’s What Shade Are You blog hop – my first RJR hop ever! QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_resized

Come meet my Blueberry Pie House wallhanging quilt (finishes at 24″ x 26″)!

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This wallhanging uses a total of 2 gray and 5 blue solid FQ’s, combined with 3/8y of white solid.

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Here are a few more pictures of the quilt. You can see from the pictures how solids are excellent in highlighting machine quilting!

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Due to the fact that this little project having little (and many) pieces, I have cut and constructed for the each section as I go along – instead of doing all the cutting at one time. I have also written the instructions that way so that it’s easier to keep track of the pieces. I hope that will work better for you too.

Now, if blue and blueberries aren’t your thing – you can easily substitute with your favorite colors! How about reds for a Rhubarb Pie Ranch, yellows for Lemon Meringue Lodge, or purple for Muscadine Jam Cottage, orange for Orange Cake Bungalow… I hope you will have fun making this little house wallhanging – enjoy!

Want to know how you can recreate this amazing wall hanging quilt? Just click on the link to make your own Blueberry Pie Quilt!

And make sure to follow Wendy’s adventure’s with quilting by following her at her blog www.wendysheppard.net and also don’t forget to also check out her Instagram for more fun pics! @ivory_spring

Happy Quilting!

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!


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!


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!


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

Color Tabbing with Flaurie & Finch

Fabric shopping. Let’s not kid ourselves, is one of the best parts of quilting!! Seeing what is new, building that dream stash, not leaving empty handed because we wouldn’t survive without that fabric in our sewing room!

For me personally fabric shopping is part of my creative process. I love to see what colors are popular that year or letting my mind wander off with the endless possibilities of what I could make (or how beautiful it will be folded up in my stash). I often go with my mom or sister and make a whole day out of it. It’s really a time to sneak away, grab lunch and be with people that can understand my undying love of FABRIC.

As I have cruised the endless isles of heaven, I have often thought how does fabric come from an idea to my hand? I, like many of you follow designers closely waiting for their new lines to be released, to see what they have come up with next. So how does this happen? What are the steps from design to production to purchasing?


So I asked the lovely ladies from Flaurie & Finch how an idea becomes a fabric line and they gave me a crash course in color tabbing. After a designer’s idea for a fabric line gets approved it is then printed on high-quality paper. It has a color reference strip called a color window that has the correct and desired colors chosen from the fabric designer. This print is shipped to our manufacturers in Japan, color tested and a formula is mixed creating the colors that will be used to screen print the sample. This process takes six weeks and what is returned is called a strike off. In additional to the sample of fabric, there is a color window that will be used to match the intended color.


After the first strike off is received a process called color tabbing is performed for each individual piece of fabric that has been printed in Japan. Color tabbing is comparing the original printed color window and the screen printed color window to make sure that they colors match. If a color doesn’t match the desired colors the boards and samples are sent back to Japan with notes for the manufacturers and another strike off is sent back. Once the colors match up they are approved and sent into production. Many times it can take up to three strike offs to achieve the correct color. RJR Fabrics and our manufacturers in Japan strive to achieve the perfect product and make sure every piece of fabric is handled with care and respect before it goes into production and sent to you.


After learning about this process you can really see all the thought and care that goes into each and every piece of fabric. For me, It really shows that each piece is designed with intent and is a piece of art that we can cherish and make our own.

Happy Quilting,



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.


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?


Cotton Supreme Solid colors used in order:








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.


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….)


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.


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.


“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. 🙁


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.


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.


“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!

Mini Madness


Weekend sewing projects have always been my favorite. It’s a time for new things I have been wanting to try but haven’t found the time during the busy week when I am being pulled in so many directions. During the weekend my mind runs wild with ideas that have been scribbled down in a notebook so I didn’t forget my stroke of quilting genius I had while waiting for my quad americano at Starbucks.


I love the idea of time slipping away with my head in the fabric clouds (who am I kidding, its there about 90% of the time anyway). I love to push past my comfort zone and really try to exceed even my own expectations. The best advice I received was from my first and only quilt teacher. She said if you can’t see it from a galloping horse it doesn’t matter. Wait… huh? You mean it doesn’t have to be perfect? Once my hands matched by mind I understood what she meant. What she was saying was it’s okay to make mistakes, play with ideas that are out of your comfort zone and just have fun with it. Because that is what quilting is. It’s having the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. I have never been much of a rule follower so I loved this outlook on quilting. Blunders are what make you a better quilter. They are what helps you problem solve the next time you accidently cut something 5 inches when it was supposed to be 6 inches. Yes we have all been there! Because that is what quilting is. It’s the fun of falling in love with a collection of fabric that you have no idea what you will make out of, but a piece of your heart would die without it. It is about remembering the words your mother or grandmother told you when you sewing your first quilt. It’s about passing time with your friends laughing at silly jokes, eating candy and sewing in your pajamas late into the evening. It’s about taking the time to make something for yourself or for someone that you love giving them a part of you with it.


Sewing possibilities are endless. Every piece I make my legacy gets sewn in time. I have projects that take me longer, but I also love the quick satisfaction of sitting down and finishing something right away. What can I say? I’m a girl that loves instant gratification. So this weekend I completed a mini wall hanging quilt using the Brook color way of Cotton Supreme Solids from the Color Inspirations Club. Mini quilts are a wonderful way to make something fun and useful! They make great presents and can be seasonally changed in your home. Because of the scale they also let you try new techniques without having to fully commit. You get to dabble in something different you otherwise would have been too fearful to try. The pattern I choose was Desert Star by Andie Johnson Sews. The pattern is free and offered on the RJR Fabrics website. It was such a fun quilt to make. Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

At RJR Fabrics we love to see what you make using any of our fabrics. Please share on our Instagram and Facebook! Happy Quilting!!


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.


Cotton Supreme Solids shades used:

Beach Coral

Chili Red


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!

Ready set sew banner We are so happy to announce two additional Ready Set Sew Kits. The all-new pre-cut series designed by the original creator of Strip Club, and owner of Cozy Quilt Kits Designs, Danielle Stout. All the fabrics in every block, including background, come totally pre-cut, with borders and binding cut to the width and length of the quilt. Geared toward confident beginners, the projects featuring RJR’s bestselling Basic collections including: Jinny Beyer Palette, Malam Batiks, Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Basically Patrick, and Cotton + Steel basics.


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Featuring Malam Batiks by Jinny Beyer


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Featuring Malam Batiks by Jinny Beyer

All the kits are cut, assembled, and packaged in the USA. With everything pre-cut means there is no fabric waste, and you save time. RJR does all the work for you so you can Ready Set Sew. Happy Quilting!

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.


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.


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


Cotton Supreme Solids shades used:

Sunset Ruby

Moulin Rouge


Tangerine Dream



Sunny Delight

Banana Cream Pie



Toy Boat

Emerald City

Pink Orchid

Hot Pink

Pink Sapphire



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!