I am so grateful to Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for hosting several goal-setting planning parties and mid-year reviews in the past couple years as it gives me an opportunity to more clearly focus on what I want to prioritize, then reflect and re-evaluate, and shift priorities as needed. And as a bonus, there are awesome prizes that people can win simply by linking up!
At the beginning of 2018, I set a goal to learn how to free motion quilt. Toward that end, I did get my Juki threaded and put the darning foot on it and sewed a few stitches on an old practice quilt sandwich. Then I put it away when my new floor was being installed. I got it out again a week ago, and it won’t sew a stitch. Maybe it just needs to be re-threaded. I don’t know. But I’ve been rethinking my FMQ goal. I’m not planning to give up becoming proficient with free motion quilting forever, but I’m leaning toward postponing it until next year. With working full-time, there is only so much time to devote to my quilting hobby-passion-obsession. And these days what I’m finding myself drawn to is playing with different color combinations, especially color gradients, and developing my confidence in choosing colors for my quilt projects.
My Evolution with Color Design
Feel free to skip the next several paragraphs if you are primarily interested in what I plan to make in the next six months, but as I was writing this post, I started to see my evolution related to color design more clearly and decided to share more in depth about it. I’m going to hold back on including pics of old projects, but I’ll include links to blog posts about them in case anyone wants to take a look.
When I made my Summer Sampler 2017 quilt, I used the colors included with the pattern mock-up except I used a dark grey background, and while this quilt is this project I’m most proud of because of how much my paper piecing skills improved from sewing all the blocks, I came to realize that using other people’s color schemes isn’t as satisfying as creating my own. But it was helpful to immerse myself in a beautiful palette that used colors I normally wouldn’t use, and I learned a lot about color working with this palette. The main pattern designers for the Summer Sampler 2017 are Katie Blakesley, Lee Heinrich, and Faith Jones. These women have also written one of my favorite quilting books, Vintage Quilt Revival: 22 Modern Designs from Classic Blocks, and from reading their book, I learned about creating a jeweled look by using a few different shades of each color fabric which is evident in the pattern mock-up palette for the Summer Sampler 2017.
The first color gradient quilt that I made was the Blue Ombre HST quilt I finished in June 2017 using Sarah Goer’s Ombre HST Pattern that she designed for me, but again I did not choose the colors, instead using the Kona colors suggested by Sarah.
My next experience with color gradient was when I made my Rainbow Hexie Pillows in September 2017, but most of the work was done for me because I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple hexies sent to me when I participated in an Instagram swap. I did make the choice to divide the color green into yellow-green and green that had more blue in it, and I feel that slight change made a smoother color transition from yellow to blue.
I further dipped my toe in the water of color gradient design when I made two Autumn Chain blocks in October 2018 using Sarah Goer’s Color Configuration as part of her #getyourquiltywishesgranted3 request through Instagram. Making those blocks helped me to decide to participate in The Bee Hive again this year. I was the queen bee in January and asked my hive members to make a Rainbow Autumn Chain block using a light, medium, and dark fabric of their color choice. I was amazed when I started putting all the blocks on the design wall after pulling out a color wheel that was in my mom’s quilting materials, and all of the blocks just flowed from one color to the next with me just needing to finish up the color wheel by making a red violet block.
I really started to gain confidence in my ability to choose both color gradients as well as triadic color wheel combinations when I designed Wedding Whirl in May 2018. I know many quilters are able to make their color design choices from Kona Color Swatch cards they have cut up and re-organized. I have not done that, and I don’t know how well it would work for me because those small swatches of color have led me astray. I have placed a scrap of a Kona solid fabric against one of the swatches and have thought that the colors looked good together, so then I ordered the new color fabric, and when it arrived, it was not quite what I wanted. I find the larger 3 1/2” swatch cards I am making work better for me as far as color design. I now have a good stash of Kona solids, particularly in the teal/turquoise/aqua colors as the red violet/purples.
Projects I Plan to Make or Finish the last half of 2018
As far as projects I plan to complete in the second half of 2018, Wedding Whirl and the Butterfly quilt are my first priorities, and I’ve made a good amount of headway with each of these projects. I am especially fond of the Butterfly charm blocks pictured at the top of this post that will be part of the Butterfly quilt I am making for my best friend.
I have two other color gradient paper pieced projects I want to make this year: Alison Glass’ Feathers Quilt and SparkleStash’ Fly Delilah Fly Butterfly mini.
I also want to start designing my own paper piecing templates. I’m not planning to try anything super complicated. I’m going to start with some crazy paper-pieced blocks that I will use in my Butterfly quilt and later this summer some color gradient vertical strip placemats using the array of colors below:
Two New WIPs:
I recently finished paper piecing a Red Backed Fairy Wren block designed by Juliet of The Tartankiwi. I plan to make it into a pillow cover to give later this month to my 88-year-old aunt who is also a quilter.
A few days ago I also started working on a Bowtie Pasta quilt top below with my best friend as a gift for one of her sisters. She bought the kit at our local quilt store, ThreadBear, but we substituted three fabrics from my stash to make it more to our taste. This quilt top has come together pretty quickly. Yesterday I finished sewing the blocks together in rows, and today I sewed the rows together. We’ll be taking it to ThreadBear to be quilted in the next few days.
Finishing Two UFOs
I originally planned to use the Allie Owl block below in a Fancy Forest quilt (pattern by Elizabeth Hartman), but I opted to make my Modified Fancy Forest version instead and did not include the owl block. I am making this into a pillow for an owl-loving friend.
Last year I designed a HST quilt top that used some of the colors of my Summer Sampler 2017 quilt, and I called it Random Intention. I hope to get it quilted in the next few months.
Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I enjoy making a few Christmas items each year. I’m still deciding on what Christmas projects I want to make, but below are some possiblities:
Leonard the Llama pillow in Christmas fabrics
A Quilting Life’s Christmas Table Runner
I bought the supplies for the beautiful Purl Soho Ornaments pictured below almost two years ago, and maybe I’ll take the supplies out of the box and start working on them in the next few months. Or maybe not!
Linking up to: 2018 Mid-Year Review hosted by Quilting Jetgirl.