Friday, March 4, 2016

It's a 'Picnic in the Park'

That's the name of my latest pattern. Quilters often ask me how I design a new quilt. For this one I wanted to use the yellow to orange values in the new Northcott Gradations Brights fabrics. I also wanted simple piecing and an 'on point' setting - you get more 'bang for your buck' if you put blocks 'on point' - fewer blocks but they cover more distance on the diagonal! I also wanted to have a wide range of values to do the work in this quilt. 

I have never been a huge fan of yellow. I often struggle if I try to use it in a quilt because it is so 'luminous' and I think you need just the right amount and in the right places across the quilt. If the placement isn't quite right, the viewer can get 'stuck' looking at that one piece of yellow and miss all the other great things that are going on in the quilt.

So the best thing would be to make a quilt that's ENTIRELY based on yellow. I thought I couldn't get into as much trouble that way!  And I think it worked. 

I chose 5 yellow/orange values: Light, Medium and Dark Yellow and Medium and Dark Orange. For this sunny quilt I needed another colour for the circles and sashing. I chose the complementary colour to the Dark Orange: Turquoise. This contrast in colour really makes the quilt successful.

After I design a quilt, the next step is to give it a name.  That's where my family play a big part.  I send a small picture to my daughter and she brainstorms name ideas.  She is VERY good at this!  My husband also has a look and makes his suggestions. Then we reject the ones that aren't great, keep the ones that are and finally choose the one that we all like the best.

I'm not sure if they named this quilt or if I did. But I know that when I looked at the final quilt it made me think of a park where groups of people are having picnics. There are pathways among the blankets spread around with dots of people enjoying a summer day.  I don't know where that image came from....but that's how this quilt got its name!

The quilt is 62" x 82" and is designed for Confident Beginners.  I used fusible applique for my circles and the pattern includes detailed instructions for this method.

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