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Selecting and Placing colors and fabrics for scrap type quilts, Part 2 Assembling the Quilt

In my last post, I discussed my Day Lilies quilt and how to plan fabric and color schemes for this and any “scrappy” quilt. Today, I’m continuing that discussion.

 

 

Step 1.

For any scrappy quilt, I think it would be impossible to try and plan the placement of every piece in advance. I like to work in units, making sure that the balance of color and fabric placement within each unit is satisfying to me.

For Day Lilies, my unit was one petal. I made stacks of brown, red and purple petals, using a wide variety of different fabrics.

 

 

Depending on your pattern, you may have just random placement of dark, medium and light within the units such as is done with Thousand Pyramids.

 

 

Or you may have colors shaded light to dark within each unit such as Day Lilies above or Urban Sunset shown here.

 

 

When working with shaded units, I have a little trick to make easily get several different units. Lay out a group of fabrics in a “run,” light to dark. Here I have such a run which I might use for Day Lilies. There are 11 fabrics.

 

 

I only need seven fabrics for a Day Lilies petal so I could make one unit using in order fabrics 1-7, for another petal I could use 2-8, then 3-9 and so forth. This will yield five different petals. Continue doing this with different runs of shaded colors.

For Urban Sunset, some of the nine-diamond units are shaded light to dark lengthwise and some are shaded light to dark sideways as seen above.

For these units, I did the same thing as shown above on Day Lilies. I arranged several “runs” of fabrics such as this one which contains nine fabrics shaded light to dark.

 

 

Since only five fabrics are needed for each unit in this quilt, there are five possible units that can be made shading them lengthwise and five sideways for a total of 10 different units. The lengthwise shaded ones are shown here.

 

 

When I find a unit with colors that I like, I will make at least two of the same colors. They will be used in different parts of the quilt so that the same units are not adjacent to each other. The Urban Sunset Pattern shows how the smaller units are formed into the increasingly larger units.

Once I have a good amount of what I call the “base” units, I will start arranging them into larger units. For Day Lilies, it is the large flowers by color – purple, red and brown.

 

 

For Urban Sunset, it is the larger units that are built according to the directions in the pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Thousand Pyramids you will make two sets of units one with the dark triangles at the bottom and one with the light triangles at the bottom. These are then alternated in the layout of the units.

 

 

 

 

After the larger units are sewn together then is when I finally like to lay them all out on either a design wall or the floor and arrange them to my liking. You will find that if you are satisfied with the base units and then the larger units, you will be pleased with the overall arrangement.

I find that if all the pieces of the quilt are decided upon in advance, it does not allow for the quilt to “speak” to you. Some of the spontaneity is lost and for me part of the pleasure of making a scrappy quilt with lots of fabrics is the discovery along the way.

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Selecting and Placing Colors and Fabrics for Scrap Type Quilts, Part 1

We had a huge response to my quilt, Day Lilies, when we placed it at the top of our Facebook page. There were many requests for a pattern and kit to make it. There is a pattern available. It is in my book Quiltmaking By Hand, along with several other patterns. But I will tell you why there is no kit and give you hints on how to plan color schemes for any “scrappy” quilt.

 

 

First and foremost, I used more than 120 different fabrics in Day Lilies and most other scrappy type quilts I have made. It would be impossible to make kits with that many fabrics and have them at an affordable price. Furthermore, some people want to know the placement of each and every fabric. It is better to understand how to do it than to try to copy something exactly.

Selecting the Colors

Why so many fabrics in Day Lilies, for example? The base design is a hexagon which means that If you look carefully at the quilt you will see that there are three colors of lilies—reds, browns and purples. Because of the hexagonal arrangement, the lilies are arranged so that no two flowers of the same color touch, thus the three colors.

 

 

Now, a closer look reveals that each lily is made up of six petals and each petal has seven pieces. Those pieces are shaded light to dark.

Even if you used exactly the same fabric in each petal of a color you would need 21 different fabrics—seven reds, seven purples and seven browns.

 

 

Then you would have “spotlights” of colors without any blending or variance of the pieces once they are assembled.

A closer look at my quilt shows that within any one flower each petal is different. Sometimes a red petal might shade into a hint of brown or purple, or a purple might shade into a hint of red and so forth. This achieves a better blending of the colors in the final quilt.

 

 

So how do you select the colors in the first place? Rather than repeat myself and write it all here again, I urge you to watch the two following videos which explain my basic philosophy of color and how I put fabrics together. Go to the “Tips and Lessons” page of my website and choose “Design and Color.”  Then watch these two videos:

  • “Jinny’s Color Secrets”
  • “Choosing Quilt Colors with the Portable Palette”

Now try these steps in selecting a palette of colors for your scrap quilt.

  • Select the colors you would like to use and have several values of those colors ranging from light to dark.
  • Add whatever additional colors you need to shade those colors together.
  • Make sure you have a “deep dark” fabric, an “accent” and several neutrals.

If you are uncertain where to begin, take a look at the pre-cut section of our web site.

https://jinnybeyer.com/product-category/fabric/pre-cuts/

There you will find several bundles of 30 or more color coordinated fabrics that are shaded together.  Find one that appeals to you and once you have those fabrics, go to your stash and pull out any fabrics within that color range, the more the better.  Here are some that I recommend:

  • Desert Dawn
  • Emerald Isle
  • Indian Marketplace
  • Moon Glow
  • Protea
  • Rainbows End
  • Urban Sunset
  • Zinnias

Indian Marketplace is a good start if you like the colors in Day Lilies. Urban Sunset is the one I used for the Urban Sunset quilt.

 

 

Take some time to look through your fabrics and make selections.  Next week, I will talk about placing those fabrics in the quilt.

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Quarantine Quilts Part V

For the past few weeks, we, the staff, have taken over Jinny’s blog on several occasions to let you see while the staff is keeping to home when we are not at the Studio.  Today we have for you our last installment, at least for a while, on Quarantine Quilts. 

JJ

 

 

Even though she is in the middle of moving to Ohio, before she left us at the Studio, JJ made sure to send us photos of her latest projects with the note, “Everyone is showing off more quilts than me so I look like a slacker!”  Just looking at her Moon Glow quilt,  finished and quilted, we think you will agree that this woman is no slacker.

 

 

JJ also sent a picture of this adorable quilt, also finished and quilted. Sewology is a BOM from a quilt shop in Utah and we are sure it is going to look wonderful in her new sewing room. 

Cathy

 

 

Just in time for Easter, Cathy finished this lovely Easter Cross by Martha D-Zines. The second photo shows how it started. The method is pinwheel twist using the Lil’ Twister tool.

 

 

Cathy also has been working on this simple but adorable pattern called Ebb Tide by Villa Rosa Design. The fabric is Home Sweet Gnome by Cotton & Steel (Sarah Watts). Her daughter happens to love gnomes and Cathy wanted a mindless and relaxing project.

Dana

 

 

In addition to the masks she has been making, Dana has been working on her Lemur quilt, an Elizabeth Hartman design.  There is a total of 20 lemurs and she has made her way through four!  She is using Jinny’s fabrics, a mix of palette, some collections and batiks.  She is also using C See’s Portable Design Mat because “it is totally perfect for small pieces!”

 

 

Dana is trying to keep a sense of normalcy even working from home and tries to dress up as much as she can for work…but with slippers.  For a “comfy” outfit to change into when work is done, she made this quarantine top some knit fabrics that she had with cats to enjoy the comfort of her home. The quilt behind her is the one her grandmother made for her, quilted entirely by hand.

 

 

And since she and her husband, Alen, are using this time to decorate their house.  Wanting to wallpaper a wall in our dining room, they ordered this peel and stick wallpaper from Spoonflower. Dana says “it is divine and super easy to work with – it even feels like fabric.”

Rebecca

 

 

Since the retail shop is closed to walk-in customers, Rebecca took home the Border Play sample she made and machine quilted it.  She loves the color combination!  Now she just has to bury threads and bind it, so it will be hanging up whenever we are ready to reopen.  She basted five other quilts including this Labyrinth, so there will be lots of quilting in the days and weeks ahead!  She has also made 60 masks for family, friends, neighbors, and hospital workers.

 

 

You’ve gotten a glimpse into what we are up to during this strange time. Now, we’d love to see what you’re doing. Share your pictures on our Facebook page.

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Quarantine Quilts Part IV

When we first had the idea of showing you on the blog what the staffers are working on at home, we had no idea that it would be enough for several posts.  Today, we continue on with our look into their sewing rooms.

Lura

 

 

Lura has been working on her lovely Rose Star quilt blocks for a while and now they are all done. She chose this gray-green background fabric of Jinny’s from her Coventry collection and is on the hunt for a little more to do the borders. She wonders if any Jinny Beyer fans can help?

 

 

In addition, she is another member of the staff to do the “Quarantine Quilt-along” by Gudrun Erla.  Lura’s “Elvira” was done in done in Charley Harper fabrics.

Elaine

 

 

Elaine finished the quilting on her husband Dan’s penguin quilt, made in commemoration of his trip to Antarctica last year. The design, “Penguin Party” is by Elizabeth Hartman.  How adorable is that!

Nancy

 

 

Nancy recently finished quilting this Feathered Star the night before it had to be photographed for a quilt show so the binding was only glued onto the back. This was quickly sewn down when the quarantine began.  Jinny’s Aruba fabric is the background and the deep red Delhi fabric is the perfect border.  The quilt was inspired by her favorite piece at the “Infinite Variety” quilt show in Manhattan in 2011.

 

 

This second quilt goes way back to the 2013 Quilters’ Quest. It was called “Potomac Charms” and the top was a sample for the Studio.  Working on the hand quilting this winter with a “big stitch” it reminded her of an Alpine sunset seen while hiking this past summer and the quilt was renamed “Mont Blanc Sunset.”

 

 

And finally, the step-outs for Nancy’s “No Tear Paper Piecing” class were getting a little ratty so she just sewed them all together.  The quilt is filled with Jinny’s fabric  and Palette #122 makes the perfect background.  She’s now working on a pieced border with 100+ flying geese.

We hope you’ve enjoyed looking into what the staff has been up to.  At the rate they are sewing away, we will be back with more soon.

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Quarantine Quilts Part III

I hope you can forgive me if I brag a bit about the talent of the quilters who work here.  In the past two blogs we have shared some amazing quilts from a few of our staffers and now we have more on the way.

Julia

Not every quilt shop can talk about the beautiful quilts from their accountant but we can.  Here are just a couple of projects our accountant, Julia, is working on.

 

 

First is this small quilt top (33″ square) which is the “Liberty Squares” pattern by Toby Lischko.  It was started in a workshop with Toby around 7-8 years ago. Only a couple of the 4″ blocks were completed at the time.  It was started with fabric from Jinny’s Northern Lights collection.  In February and early March, Julia finally completed the rest of the squares.  This past week she added two Bedfordshire fabrics for the borders.  For the binding, she is using the same green as the inner border.  She’s at a loss right now as to how to quilt it but it will probably be by machine to get it done.

 

 

The second quilt many of you may recognize as it is from the recent Quarantine Quilt-along by Gudrun Erla on Facebook.  Julia’s stack of Andalucia fat quarters was close at hand so that was what she used.  It was a very quick quilt top to assemble, finishing at 49″ x 63″ and now, she says, it joins the growing pile of tops to quilt.  

Kelley

 

 

There are several projects Kelley is working on at the moment.  First, she’s piecing the final border (Delectable Mountains) of this medallion quilt from “The Quilt Show.” It is called “Halo Medallion” designed by Sue Garman. Kelley says it’s been labor intensive and she is excited about finishing it. She used mostly Jinny’s fabric with the exception of the focus fabric and the background.

 

 

Apparently, Kelley is not one to shy away from tough projects.  Several of the staffers have challenged each other to make Jinny’s Moon Glow quilt and Kelley just finished sewing the blocks together and is ready to quilt it.  That is quite an accomplishment.

 

 

An easier project is  this “Easy Threesy” table runner from a Karen K. Buckley workshop. It has all Jinny Beyer fabric except for the woven black background. Kelley is just about to quilt this one, too.

Finally, Kelley has also been working on a new project, the Quilter’s Trek block for the Studio. We can’t show it to you now.  We will reveal it in a couple of months but we are all happy with how it is turning out.

Judy

 

 

Speaking of Moon Glow, Judy is using this time to get back to hers. This group project was started last February; some have finished or made more progress than others. Judy is making hers larger so she’s not finished but here is her progress to date.

 

 

Judy, like Julia, followed the quilt-along with Gudrun Erla and here is her version of “Elvira.”  She started with a few fat quarters and then had to hunt up more to complete it.  What a difference between the two quilts.

Those were lots of beautiful quilts but we will have even more for you next time.

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Quarantine Quilts Part II

We are back today with more quilts from staff members who are spending a lot of time at home.  We hope you enjoyed the quilts of Diane and Carole.  Next up is Elizabeth and Linda.

Elizabeth

 

 

Elizabeth was working on this Seagrass matchstick quilt from Craftsy for a quick wedding present. Unfortunately, the wedding was postponed until August taking away any sense of urgency in completing it.

 

 

Once Jinny’s new Impressions fabric arrived, as Elizabeth says, she “dropped Seagrass and picked some Sweet Tea.”  She is making the shop  sample of this new quilt and it is looking good.

Linda

Linda is busy as always with lots of projects in the works.

 

 

When the pattern for Jinny’s Sweet Tea was ready to go, Linda got to make the first sample. She chose purples and teals along with a Casablanca border print and completed this lovely top.

 

 

This triangle square quilt is for her nephew’s baby, Sophia, using Palette #149 as a background and random grey fabrics. All of the fabrics are from her stash.

 

 

While organizing her sewing room, Linda discovered a long missing piece of County Clare border print to finish a kaleidoscope quilt made as a class sample using Marti Michell’s kaleido-ruler and pattern.  With it was the backing which looks perfect with the front. Don’t you just love when you make discoveries like that?

 

 

Also in-process is this Disney Frozen panel for her granddaughter’s 3rd birthday. The icy blue Milan fabric will be a great backing for a quick quilt. It seems all little girls love Elsa and Anna!

Twenty years ago, Linda’s daughter selected the pattern from a Fons and Porter book “Quick Quilts from the Heart” as her college quilt. She then changed her mind and wanted a 30s fabric quilt so this quilt top sat in the UFO pile. About 10 years ago, Linda started trying to quilt the top.  Nothing went right and finally all the stitches needed to be removed and batting replaced. Now, after a year of removing stitches, she quilted it on the longarm and it is done (with a little help from the kitty)!

We have more staff quarantine quilts coming to share with you so keep watching for the next post on the blog.

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Quarantine Quilts Part I

We staff, on occasion, take over Jinny’s blog usually when we have a snow day. Many of us have read about global pandemics in works of fiction but could never have imagined we would have to live through it. So now, spending more time at home, we are doing what quilters around the world are doing—working on our quilts.

As you will see in the quilts we share today, we tend to work on a few projects at once.  Don’t you?

Diane

 

 

 

You may recognize this table runner. It is from the same designer as the Showering Stars quilt we had for a Weekly Web Special. Diane is making a table runner and a second. She has shortened one by leaving off the two end pieces and making placemats with it. How clever!

 

 

Above is the border for a quilt made for a class Diane was supposed to teach.  The flowers and circles are amazing.  She is still trying to decide what she wants the quilt on the inside to be but I can’t stop looking at that border.

 

 

This final is one is just a UFO begun many years ago and loaded with Jinny’s fabrics. This strip quilt has great dimensional qualities just from the careful placement of lights and darks.

Carole

 

 

Carole also has several projects going, all amazing. First, she finished her quilt for the Sacred Threads “Backyard Escape” Challenge. Using mostly Jinny’s fabrics and paints, it depicts a painted birdhouse given to her by her grandson, Rhys, a few years ago. She hung it on a branch of the dogwood tree next to her deck and a bird built her nest inside, raising her little family.

 

 

Two other projects are still in the works. First, ten members of Fiber Artists@Loose Ends are each making a piece for the beginning of a series that may be called “World Wide Threads,” this one depicting East Asia. They have to measure 16” in width, but length can vary up to 45”. For her background, Carole is using part of a Japanese room divider. She painted it then added beads (about 475 of them!) and embroidery. She also added some sashiko stitching, appliquéd and painted a crane, then appliquéd pine branches and bamboo using all Jinny Beyer fabrics. Whew!

And finally, Carole is working on one section of a triptych (not knowing what the others look like) depicting a town on Islay, in Scotland. It is one page of a calendar and the Quilters of Islay are doing a challenge to recreate the twelve photographs in fabric. The quilts will become part of a travel exhibit. The photograph is shown with her work in progress. She painted the sky and the two brown textured fabrics chosen for the landscape are Jinny’s…perfect! Other Jinny Beyer fabrics are in waiting for the rocks, snowy road, wall, houses, etc.

Diane and Carole are just two members of our staff.  We have lots more to show you so keep checking back in the days to come. But before we go, the staff doesn’t have as much time at home as you would think. Why? While our retail store is closed, upstairs in mail order, it has been quite busy. Our manager, Rebecca, sent this photo of what she and others have been up to which is filling your orders and getting those needed supplies out to you.

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Celebrate National Poinsettia Day

One of my favorite things to do is to find a beautiful Image, extract the colors from the image and then find fabrics to go with those colors. It’s a great way to experiment with color and to select a beautiful palette for a new project. So, in honor of National Poinsettia Day on December 12, I worked with a photo taken at a local business, Merrifield Garden Center, by one of our staffers, Nancy, and created a bundle of fabric that is also this week’s web special.

 

 

In addition to the fabrics, I wanted to give you a suggestion for a project which uses these fabrics. I’ve chosen the block, Triangle Charm, from our Quilters Block Library . This is a free pattern which can be downloaded in a 6, 10 or 12-inch block. I selected a 10-inch block. This allows you to easily cut the triangles from 3-inch strips.

 

 

A half yard bundle will give you plenty of fabrics to make sixteen 10 or 12–inch blocks with leftovers for other projects. You will need additional fabrics for your choice of border.

The block is an easy one made with a simple right triangle. The final outcome of the design is reflected in the amount of each color used. The secret is in the shading and there are a variety of ways to shade it. For this blog, I have chosen two variations. Block 1 has more darks with the lights giving the sparkle and Block 2 has the color shading reversed so there are more lights in the quilt. Both have exactly the same fabrics from our Poinsettia bundle.

 

Block one and block two

 

Select the block you prefer then layout and arrange one block to use as a fabric placement reference for the remaining ones.

In the layout I have used, half of the blocks are made one way and the other half are reversed. Block 1 is used here.

 

 

First, four of the regular blocks are pinwheeled. Make two of these regular pinwheel units.

 

 

The reverse blocks are also pinwheeled as shown below. Make two of these.

 

 

Arrange the regular and reverse pinwheel units as follows:

 

 

In past blogs I have talked about proportions of color and how different a quilt can look depending on how much of each color is used.  The color impact of this same design, using block 2, which contains more light colors is quite striking.

 

Quilt made with block one and quilt made with block two

 

To me, adding a border to a quilt, is like putting a frame on a painting. It finishes off the design. Like paintings, some quilts do not call for a final “frame” but for the most part, I like to add some sort of border, usually a “border print”. Click here to see a video demonstration of how to put a border print frame on a quilt and achieve perfectly mitered corners.

Here are four different border print frames. Two yards is sufficient if using the 10” version of the block. Some borders suit the darker version of the quilt and some the lighter version.

 

Casablanca red border, 2795-04

 

Casablanca brown border, 2795-02

 

Sophia border, 1280-05

 

Ashford border, 1695-41

 

I hope you enjoy playing with these fabrics.  Let us know what you choose to do with them.

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Last Rainbows’ End Bundle

For some quilters, choosing fabrics for a scrap quilt can be a daunting and confusing process.  Any of our grand bundles work very well for scrap-type projects and designs. The web special this week features the last mini-bundle of the Rainbows’ End Grand Bundle. If you have collected all five of the mini-bundles you have a great collection of fabrics for any scrap project.

A very good example of this would be the quilt I designed for this year’s Quilters’ Quest shop hop. For that quilt, we chose colors of fabric bound books and I called our quilt “Open Book.” (See my October 1 blog.) But the design will look equally good in other color schemes, including the Rainbows’ End  Grand Bundle.

We are in the process of reworking the Open Book pattern for a scrap quilt project, so even if you did not attend the Quest you will still be able to make the quilt. The pattern will be available within the next couple of weeks. Meanwhile, make sure you have all five of the bundles because these colors and fabrics would be perfect made into Open Book.

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Quilters’ Quest 2019 is Right Around the Corner!

This is a very busy time for us at the Studio. We are in the middle of our retail shop anniversary sale which is followed soon after by our annual shop hop, Quilters’ Quest, from October 11th through the 20th.

The theme for this year’s shop hop is books. Each shop has chosen a favorite book and will use that particular book to decorate the shop. We’ll have special related items available for the people who take part in the Quest.

Our Quest colors are traditional ones reminiscent of a long-established library that fit the “book” theme. Each shop has put together a pack of six 10” squares using those colors. All of the shop owners got together and traded fabric squares and then created a quilt using those fabrics. Many shops have finishing kits to help you in making their quilt. You will collect a free pattern for each shop’s quilt as you travel the Quest, then have fun deciding on which quilt you would like to make!

 

 

I wanted our quilt to fit the book theme. I tried a variety of designs that all seemed too complex, then one of my staffers suggested a design like my quilt Inner City which she thought looked like books. I took the idea, elongated the pieces and created my new version calling it Open Book.

 

Inner City

 

 

 

Don’t panic! While the design looks involved with lots of angles, it is actually very easy to sew with all straight line sewing.

All the shop owners agreed that our fabrics would be in the mid-range with no super lights and no very darks. That way each shop could add what they wanted to fit their design. The first thing I did was to sort the fabrics into groups – very dark, dark, medium, and light. I added a few fabrics in the very dark and light ranges. The lightest fabrics would be the pages of the books, the others the book covers.

 

 

Then the fun started. I found C See’s 18” portable design mat invaluable as I laid out the pieces one section at a time. Then I could roll it up and the pieces would stay in place until I was ready to sew. The pattern writer, Elaine Kelly, did a masterful job in breaking the design down into easy assembly instructions.

 

 

Once the inside was complete I had to decide on a border for the quilt. Such a bold design needed a strong border. I opted to set the center off by adding a border of two stripes from my mini-stripe fabric, followed by the wide stripe of the Casablanca border print.

The finished top is 52” x 56”. I am now in the middle of hand quilting it and I hope to have all the quilting complete by the time Quest starts.

 

I continue to quilt on Open Book each evening.

 

It was such fun creating Open Book but I had lot of leftover pieces that were already cut and waiting to be sewn. I also had the narrow stripe from the Casablanca border and leftover mini stripe. So, I decided to make a “bonus” quilt from the extra pieces. The result of that is Stacks. One complete set of swatches collected from each shop and our finishing kit will make both quilts.

 

 

The Quest is fast approaching. I hope you will be able to join us.