In August I’m off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. I’ve only been once before – in 2011 – and I had such a great time that I’ve been wanting to go back ever since. It didn’t work out the past couple of summers, but this time around it’s all planned. And I have to admit I’m very excited!
Even better, I’m going with a friend, the lovely Ms C. We’re going for the full 4 days, have signed up for a 2 day workshop and various mini-sessions. We’ll be learning new techniques, admiring all the beautiful quilts on display and shopping till we drop with all the money we’ve saved by staying with Mum rather than booking a hotel. Result!
The thing I’m most excited about,though, has to be our 2 day workshop, where we’ll be learning to make Jacqueline de Jonge’s Colourful Quilt.
It was Ms C’s idea to sign up for this class – we’ve both had been feeling like we wanted to try something a bit more complicated and involved than your standard squares-and-triangles block, and, as she pointed out, this certainly looks like it fits the bill! It was advertised for intermediate to advanced quilters, so we decided to take the plunge. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say…
I’d already decided prior to receiving the supply list that I didn’t want to make an exact replica of Jacqueline’s quilt. I’ve recently made a quilt in similar colours (my Broken Herringbone quilt), and, in any case, I’m not really a massive batik fan. I toyed around with a couple of options, pulled out lots of fabric from my stash, and in the end I decided to go with my current obsession of solids, using my current favourite colours of blues and greens. Of which, it has to be admitted, I had plenty. This is just as well, as there are 24 separate colours in the quilt, not including background and border fabric.
And here’s what I chose…
The 24 colours needed for the quilt top…
… with the background, border and backing fabric
I’d originally bought most of these fabrics for a scrappy-effect Storm at Sea quilt I was planning, but I’ve kind of gone off that idea recently. So this was the ideal project to re-purpose them! Better still, I only had to buy the background fabrics, as I already had the coloured ones and the backing fabric in my stash. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but in my eyes, this almost keeps the integrity of my Fabric Fast intact 🙂
I spent a lovely morning today trying to decide on the order the fabrics will appear in my quilt top – as you can (hopefully!) see above, I’m aiming for a kind of ombré effect. There are one or two colours I’m still not entirely convinced by, and a couple of the transitions between colours are a bit abrupt for my liking, but I’m going to see if they grow on me before I go out buying replacements. Get me – frugal or what?!
And so for now all the fabrics are tidily packed away in a plastic container in my sewing room, waiting for me to decide for certain whether these are Definitely The Right Fabrics For This Quilt.
So – what do you think? Any glaring issues with my colour choices? Do you think it’ll look unutterably cool or just a bit meh? Honest opinions needed before I start cutting!!!
Linking up for the first time in ages with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Over the years I’ve discovered the Caribbean from afar. I’ve read books and articles about the islands, seen documentaries, and drooled over friends’ holiday photos. I knew that all the islands have a different character, and were a riot of colours. That the flowers were hot pinks and reds, the foliage lush and green, the sands (generally speaking) almost white, soft and fine, and that the sea was a glorious, ever-changing shade of turquoise.
But it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I finally made it here for the first time and the beautiful reality of it just blew me away.
As a quilter, I love colour, and so, naturally, I was in my element! And all I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks is how to capture the essence of the Caribbean in a quilt.
Or, indeed, in several 🙂
Blues, aquas, turquoises
Luscious shades of green
Yellows and oranges
Hot pinks, purples and reds
These photos may not even begin to do it justice, but hopefully will be enough to spark memories of the beautiful colours that we saw during our wonderful holiday.
I’m still not sure how I want to capture all this vibrancy in quilt form, but the Caribbean we saw was gloriously untamed and wild with colour, so I’m pretty sure it will be scrappy and probably quite improvisational. And thanks to an impromptu gift from the wonderful RR, I know what I’m going to use for the backing…
And one more thing I’m sure of is that I just can’t wait to get started!
Back in the summer, I went into my local quilt shop and saw a sample for a class they were running this autumn. I was fascinated by the different sized blocks and how they all fitted together so neatly.
The class was already full, so I asked to be put on the waiting list. And promptly forgot all about it, figuring that there was next to no chance of getting onto the course this time around, and that I’d have to wait for it to be re-run in the spring.
Then last Wednesday afternoon I had a call to say they had a last-minute drop-out, and was I interested in filling the spot. First session – Friday, 2 days away. Wow! Well, yes, I certainly was interested, and after a little diary re-jigging I was happily able to make it. Cue frantic stash raiding on Thursday to try and find the necessary fabrics – a selection of 10-15 different fabrics from the same colour family, but with a range of different values. Ok.
Eschewing my favourite pinks and purples for a change, I decided to work with the blue/green spectrum – from pale aqua, through turquoise and teal to dark blue. I never thought I had much in the way of this colour family – until I went looking through my stash and scrap bin. Hmmm. It seems I have plenty (and this is just the scraps and fat quarters….)
The couse itself was excellent.The teacher, the lovely Judy, is a quilty friend of mine, and once she’d explained the principle behind constructing the quilt top, I got stuck right in. A new departure for me, this course uses centimentres rather than inches – now, while I can spot a scant 1/4″ seam at 10 paces, and can estimate the remaining yardage on a bolt with a reasonable degree of accuracy, I have no idea when it comes to metric measurements. Although, upon reflection, this could easily be made using inches, I bought myself a 31.5 cm square ruler (12 1/2″), and got measuring, cutting and sewing. And here are the blocks I’ve made so far, although I’ll need a fair few more to make a decent lap sized quilt
The next class is at the start of November, so I’m going to be kept busy over the next few weeks constructing these pretty blocks. Their extreme squareness appeals to my quilter’s OCD, and the fabrics I’ve chosen remind me of the ocean. This is one of the few things I miss about England, living here in land-locked Switzerland. The lakes are undeniably beautiful, but we Brits are an island race, and I really do miss the smell, taste and sound of the sea…
Linking on up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.