Color Coded in American Patchwork & Quilting
The latest edition of American Patchwork & Quilting went on sale this week, and I’m delighted to share that I have my first quilt design in its pages. This is Color Coded from the June 2019 issue.
I’m so pleased with the photography! That yellow door makes my heart sing. And the rainbow bookshelf? Oh my word. I love it so much. Jay Wilde was the photographer.
This design is the latest in a series of quilts based on a simple little Windmill block. I started making them in 2005 when I’d gone back to work after two decades as a stay-at-home mom. I wasn’t having any time to sew and I wasn’t happy about that, but I was too tired to think.
In desperation, I cut a bunch of patches from scraps and began making little Windmills. It was something I could do mindlessly when I didn’t have the energy to make creative decisions.
Pretty soon I had dozens, and it wasn’t long before I had hundreds. I needed to do something with them, and after some playtime I realized they had a lot of potential.
The first things I made were scrappy, and while they’re attractive enough, they weren’t terribly creative. But then my imagination caught fire, and in the past few years, I’ve designed dozens of quilts based on a Baby Windmill.
Now I have a whole trunk show of these quilts, and it’s called Windy Wonders. It helps quilters understand how to think like a designer.
Spinster above is an example. It was made from my stash, as almost all of my quilts are. It was unbelievably enjoyable to sew!
When I made Color Coded, I started by creating the blocks of color. You can see in the orange row that at first they were more muted. As I went along I decided that the Windmill in the middle needed to be more prominent. I didn’t want it to look too mushy.
It’s so much fun to dig in your scraps, color bins or drawers for fabrics that will work. And the cutting goes quickly because the patches are all the same size!
You can see that I auditioned many different layouts for the colors. I wanted them in rainbow order but I had to think hard about distributing the warm and cool colors from top to bottom.
In the end, the warm colors all landed at the top, with the cool colors at the bottom. And maybe it wouldn’t have mattered!
This is a great stashbuster and the sewing is easy. It’s a delight to sew—I never felt bored while making this quilt! A scrap quilt holds my interest because there’s always some new combination of fabrics to consider. Which is also why I think a scrap quilt is intriguing for a viewer—so much going on.
This is the June issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, on newsstands now. I hope you’ll pick yourself up a copy soon! There are many other wonderful designs as well.
My thanks to editor Jody Sanders, photographer Jay Wilde, and everyone at American Patchwork & Quilting. You’ve done my quilt proud.
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