The Moda designers had a fun project for the Spring Quilt Market this year. A group of us designed 18" block patterns to give to local quilt shops to use during this National Sewing Month. 18 inches is a substantial size for a single block and leaves room to play with fabric and combine several shapes and sizes into a layered composition.
At the time of designing my block I was working on my Picket quilt with it's stitch and flip sides that make up the picket fence border around the quilt perimeter. I liked playing with this shape and how it also suggested flower petals, especially when grouped around a central square.
I call my block "Full Bloom" because it reminds me of the petals in a fully open flower in a grand display. The petals are separated by sashings to give more definition and color play in your piecing while dividing the space in an interesting way.
For a schoolhouse session at Market we showed our blocks. I made up two blocks using my new collection (shipping in October 2019) of Painted Meadow. Coneflowers in paisley shapes, textures, little sprigs, all make up the blocks in this composition. And I could not resist doing a little fussy cutting and making one of my fat bumble bees the center of a bloom. Perhaps this bee is looking for pollen in the center? These blocks are not quilted yet and I'm still deciding if I'm going to make pillows or work these into a quilt top.
I like to experiment on the computer with the blocks and what it looks like made up different ways. With this block, the corners could be more valentine-like with hearts (like the top left image) and a hashtag center. Or maybe the center is surrounded by darker colors to set it off in contrast. Multi-colored blocks (lower left) have a different feel from monochromatic blocks that play with values of light and dark.
Studying what happens with light and dark values is interesting when you have all these rectangles that continue across the block. You can have mid-range tones that suggest overlap and transparency, or sashing lines that stay solid and strong. Some look like woven plaid. Others are radiating light or dark from the centers. I love the different look and feel you can get from one block with this play of light and dark. Wouldn't it be fun do do a monochromatic quilt just exploring these light and dark relationships?
If you want to make a block with a big fuzzy bumble bee, like the one above, look for the Painted Meadow collection in October. Painted Meadow has corals, red, greens, teals and pinks. Or use solids with a range of light and dark values. Or go completely scrappy with enough room in those squares for some good fussy cutting. Whatever you make, I hope it is fully blooming and glorious! Check out this link for the FREE pattern and please visit your local quilt shop to see if they have projects with these 18" blocks!
Robin Pickens 18" Block
Visit the previous designer's blog posts and the future posts to see more 18" block fun! Here is the schedule and links to their blogs:
9.23 - Lella Boutique and Sherri & Chelsi
9.24 - Kansas Troubles and Corey Yoder
9.25 - Crystal Manning and Me & My Sister
9.26 - Jan Patek
9.27 - Robin Pickens (me and here is the pattern!)
9.30 - BasicGrey
10.1 - Betsy Chutchian and Lisa Bongean
10.2 - American Jane
10.3 - Kathy Schmitz
10.4 - Zen Chic and Deb Strain
I'd love to see images of things you make with your blocks! Do you make a sampler with all the designer blocks? A table runner with a set of three or four? A pillow or mini wall quilt? Have fun sewing and share with us!
When I saw the Kinship Fusion Sampler created by Gnome Angel and Skyberries I knew I wanted to try it in Thatched fabric, my new basics line coming out with Moda Fabrics (shipping in November 2019). I was wanting a color-play exercise that used a limited palette and a select group of the fabrics. I like this line for fillers and backgrounds, but they deserve to hold their own in a quilt sew-along!
I love the modern feel of many of the blocks, playing with geometry in often asymmetrical layouts. I thought the woven illustration of Thatched would work well to add just a little depth to the blocks.
I actually jumped in about a week into the sew-along, which is typical for me. I WANTED to do the sew-along but I get distracted and think I don't have time to add ANOTHER project. But then I see people posting on instagram and I can't stand it anymore and jump in late.
My original plan was to make the quilt in mostly grays and white with a tiny pop of color. Maybe just the heart block in orange? I selected three grays from Thatched to use- the Gray 85, Pebble 24 and Shadow 117, giving me a light to dark range of grays. There are actually 5 grays in this first release of Thatched but I wanted to keep it simple. I've never made a black and white quilt before or a black, white and gray one, so this was a new exercise in restraint.
fBut I guess at heart I am really a COLOR GIRL and I needed more than just one pop of color! I loved the idea of just orange with the quilt, but the addition of greens to the mix felt so much more appealing and fun. I really like how the combination of Chartreuse 75, Sprig 14, Peacock 77 and Turquoise 101 play together. It was a tough call to decide if I should add the dark green Pine 44 to the mix but I left it at the original four greens.
For the oranges I used Tangerine 82 and Apricot 103. Again, tempted to add more with Maize gold but I pared it back. Every time I use the oranges it feels like a jolt of orange juice waking me up!
Usually I keep the color story of greens or oranges within a block but once in awhile, one escapes and jumps in another color block! Quilt block 29 is an example of that with it's little orange square. And block 82 with one orange corner to liven up the group! (And yes, sometimes I go out of order and make some of the later squares in advance if I have the right pieces cut)
When I got to day 25, I layed out what I had on the floor to get a feeling for them all together. For the planning of this sampler, I used the coloring sheet that Gnome Angel has on her blog at https://www.gnomeangel.com/100days100blocks2019-colouring-sheet/. It was tremendously helpful in planning and playing around with the colors. You need to purchase the pattern to get the coloring sheets and I am not posting my colored in one since that would be a violation of the pattern copyright.
Yes, my helper was involved and let me know she was bored of this whole thing.
There is one thing I wanted to mention about this particular pattern for a sampler. I really appreciate that the sizes of the blocks you cut are very consistent so it is efficient with fabric and makes it easy to precut pieces. For example, a lot of pieces might be 2 1/2" wide so you knew that by cutting that size strip, it would be utilized for a lot of smaller pieces. I could go through and count out how many pieces I would need at certain sizes or how many flying geese were needed at the same size and then make them in bulk. This really cuts down on time and makes it enjoyable to move through the blocks faster and with more efficiency and economy. I thought it was a very smartly planned out sampler that way!
I have been loving the blocks I've been seeing on instagram from other people sewing along. I particularly love seeing some of the fussy cutting and cute fabrics. It is a different feeling to do a sampler with a limited palette and limited fabrics and I like the new muscle that is flexing in my mind to explore the contrast and color relationships. I like how clean and modern this feels to me. But I can't lie, a part of me wants to just throw one of my big flowers into one of these blocks!
I'm guessing the next time I share these blocks on the blog I'll be done or at least close to done. Follow me on instagram to see more progress with the Thatched blocks at @robinpickens. Follow along to see all the great blocks on instagram with the hashtag #kinshipfusionsampler or #100blocks100days2019 and thank you Angie @gnomeangel and Bec @skyberries for a great sewalong! (Also, I am dying over Bec's blocks made with Heather Ross fabrics- fantastic!!)
Layers cakes and Half Square Triangles. Fun and lacy borders. Meet "Emilia"!
This quilt uses Layer Cake 10" squares to make large triangles and reflected small triangles on the opposite side with the same print. I've grouped them into color blocks. If you don't have a layer cake to use, you may want to make your cutting easier to start by using Creative Grids Perfect10 Ruler (CGRPERF10) to make those nice sized starting blocks!
One of the distiguishing characteristics of Emilia is the borders. The half square triangles continue out into the side borders, using the sashing color, to make a lovely triangular lacy edge. It makes the whole quilt almost sparkle! Wouldn't this pink version be pretty in a girl's room? I focused on pink, green and lighter purple shades for this one. I used a chartreuse green for the sashings but a minty green would be pretty too.
Emilia is written for two sizes, a larger, 76" square or smaller, 55" square lap size. You can easily adapt the pattern to add more rows of blocks if wider sizes are needed.
Emilia was designed to show with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection, which is shipping in March 2019 to quilt shops. But since I have Dandi Annie here...and its in stores now, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how Emilia might look in some summer Dandelions! These computer renders are some color play to look at the pieced blocks and how the quilt changes looks with the sashing and border colors.
I think I am partial to this darker gray border. I would use Moda Bella Solids Graphite 202 for this. I think the Moda Bella Solids Gray 83 would be nice for the sashings and border triangles.
This makes me think of a sunny summer farmhouse day! Moda Bella Solids Baby Yellow 31 and Maize 273 work nicely together with this line.
And back to grays with a lighter version of border. I like having a slight difference to white so the inner triangles pop and sparkle more. Moda's Bella Feather is a lovely very very pale gray, close to white.
Emilia can be found in local quilt shops or at my shopify shop. I hope you have some fun with half square triangle love and border play with this one! Happy sewing! For more ideas for Sweet Pea & Lily or Dandi Annie, take a look at more patterns...
Jelly Roll-friendly and quick to piece, this Showering Stars quilt is full of drama!
I knew with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection for Moda Fabrics (ships in Feb/March 2019) I wanted a quilt that used deep purple to enhance the theatrical nature of the purples in the prints. One thing I enjoy with this group is the purples are in both cool and warm purples. I needed to find the right deep purple to show off their splendor.
I have now fallen in love with Moda Bella Solid PRUNE 238. Its rich and vibrant and LUSCIOUS! Its the glorious deep purple/plum color as the background. Did I mention I bought a bolt of it? Not sure what I'm doing with the rest but I can't wait to use it as an accent to other prints.
But what would Showering Stars look like reversed, with a light background? I haven't made it this way (yet) but thought I'd give some computer inspiration for other colorways. I used a soft gray in the star points and dashes to let the colors in the star trails feel more colorful and sparkly.
And going all-out color with this turquoise background and light green star points. Completely different look but all of these are using the same Sweet Pea & Lily prints in the star trails.
This quilt was my main booth image at the Houston Quilt Market this past fall. It was fun to have such a different color play with this collection! One part I like is the greens and grays still transition through from previous collections.
Check your local quilt shop for the Showering Stars pattern, along with Sweet Pea & Lily fabrics! Patterns are also available at my online shop if your local shop is not carrying it.
Find a falling star and make a wish! And check back for more Sweet Pea & Lily quilts!
Blues, teals, robin's egg blue. Having fun trying out my Blockstep pattern in Dear Mum fabrics.
I enjoy looking at the difference in light vs dark backgrounds. The feeling changes completely when the fabrics are against a darker teal vs white.
If you could see my fabric stash, you’d notice I fall in love with big dramatic patterns. I love a big statement. I like big flowers. Sometimes I really want to SEE more of that big design. That is why I also like to make some quilts that give space for a powerful print to have it’s spotlight. Think of it as a gallery wall or panel of windows. I knew I wanted to show off the large scale peonies in my "Blushing Peonies" line for Moda Fabrics. That idea inspired “Tokyo Terrace”…pockets of space to display the splendor, balconies of gardens and sunlit architectural structure. This pattern plays with the contrast between large panels to showcase a bold botanical print and small 2” squares in blocks that balance the large flower blocks.
When working on this quilt, I enjoyed making the blocks of small squares and playing with my placement and balance of patterns and color. Then I love the great feeling when row after row comes together quickly with larger blocks. I pieced this in a weekend and I’ve already done another color version since it comes together so easily. Here is a computer-generated version of this quilt in a pink colorway as well as the green one I made.
The above quilt was pieced by me but long-arm quilted by Tanya Heldman of Free Range Quilter. She used a lovely curved floral design that compliments the soft lines of the peonies and contrasts well with the geometric structure of the quilt.
Blushing Peonies fabric with Moda is in quilt shops now. If your local quilt shop does not carry Tokyo Terrace pattern you can find it in my etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/colorandquilt
September 16th was National Sew a Jelly Roll Day and I was too busy sewing to post on the blog that weekend. At least I was too busy with fun sewing! The folks at Moda started the love of precuts and they have #ProjectJellyroll to show the great projects you can do. Jelly Rolls are great for making projects quicker when you need 2 1/2 inch strips and the variety of prints you can get in a precut bundle. Sometimes you just want the ease of things that coordinate and go together fast!
I decided to use my Sliding Shoji Screens pattern for this weekend project. I designed that quilt pattern to showcase my large scale floral prints with large panels of rectangles that are separated by solid Jelly Roll strips. This makes the cutting much faster. But for this version I wanted to flip the design so the patterns were in the Jelly Roll dividing strips (from my Blushing Peonies collection) and the large panels were solids. Although I liked the plan on my computer (where I often mock things up before cutting) I felt it could use a little extra "something." I decided to try Amy Ellis' Ikat from her Serenity collection and I loved the combination with my peonies!
The combination of precut Jelly Roll strips with large panels of fabric really make this quilt come together quickly. It's satisfying to have a quilt top at the end of the weekend and I really enjoyed sewing along as I saw others doing their projects for National Sew a Jelly Roll Day.
If you'd like to check out the Sliding Shoji Screens pattern, it is available through quilt shops or on my etsy shop.
Lucky for me I have a mom who sews and is willing to tackle a project when visiting. Little did she know when she arrived for my daughter's graduation that she'd be piecing a whole quilt too! But that is the beauty of Sliding Shoji Screens...you really can piece it in a weekend. Thanks Mom!!
Moda's Bella Solids of Amelia Apricot (9900-162) and Persimmon (9900-294) are mixed with Blushing Peonies in warm tones to make a summery quick and easy quilt. Mom wanted to try my new Juki sewing machine and I think they formed a good friendship. (And yes, when I'm working in my studio I just pile things up and drape fabric wherever- it's how I work)
My mom is smiling because finally the slave-driver (me) will let her have a break. She did good. This happy quilt top is off with a long-arm quilter now. Stay tuned for more pics when the grandma-special returns!
Sliding Shoji Screens is available at my etsy shop.
Color play to visualize new quilts! I wanted to see how Hopscotch Happy might look with some Blushing Peonies fabric (This line will be shipping to stores November 2017). Since I'm still in my summery mode with bright and happy hot colors, I wanted to try the red and gray families of color ways and add a little more of the peonies in the pink/orange colors. For three of the blocks, I liked making the background color a soft apricot to warm it up more.
Too much charcoal gray can start to look like Halloween but a touch just adds contrast and sophistication. But what if you DO want a fun quilt that can look fall-like and transition into October and Halloween? A simple switch of background to black and my quilt now looks ready for cozy times in front of the fireplace and candy corn! Have fun playing with Hopscotch Happy! Available at my etsy shop.
What would Sliding Shoji Screens quilt pattern look like in a new line? I wanted to try it out with my Blushing Peonies prints that will be shipping from Moda Fabrics in November. Here is the original color version of the quilt done in the light version:
And here are two versions of the quilt in new colors and prints! For the first one I wanted to try a punch of citrus orange (this is Bella Solid 161 Amelia Orange). I made the smaller divider strips in Persimmon 294 to add some deeper contrast. I have ordered my fabric and can't wait to get started on this one! It feels so summery and happy to me!
This gray version evokes a calmer, more restful quilt with the pretty color pop of peachy peonies. I wanted to try more light and mid-tone grays and keep my contrast relatively low. I like the added in deep charcoal in the floral pinwheels pattern as my dark color. I don't think it overpowers the other patterns because there is still a lot of light gray in the floral motif.
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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