Some time ago (ok, a long while ago) I was given the chance to work through the awesome “Modern Colour Workshop” e-book by Australian quilter Crystal, aka Raspberry Spool. Coming to quilting from a photography background, I knew the basics of colour mixing, however I really enjoyed all the extra information regarding how to choose a colour scheme that works, and how to give your quilts that hit of visual interest that all the amazing quilters seem to do so effortlessly, but many of us are left floundering. The final exercise was to create the stunning colourwheel from the cover, using our stash fabrics, helping us to see how all the different fabrics aren’t just “purple” or “red” and placing them in their correct positions.
I finished up to that point, and then, after appliqueing my wheel onto a plain charcoal background, it stalled. I knew what I wanted for this mini quilt, but my time never seemed to be my own, and I was still working on building up my quilting freemotion skills. Finally, that day came, and I am so over the moon to share with you all the finished product.
Each segment of the background is divided by straight lines radiating from the colour wheel, and then quilted using one of 6 different patterns, ranging from simple (pebbles, angled stipple) to complex feathers. Of course, I had to throw feathers in there, I just love them!! I didn’t have any charcoal thread, so I used a sample of Aurifil 40wt in black that I received at AMQF. It’s a bit thicker than I normally like to quilt with, making the repeated lines look very stark, however has a dramatic visual impact overall.
Each colour segment was quilted with a half feather, making a full one between two wedges. The centre circle was stitched with a Spirograph effect of multiple overlapping rounds to make a flower/star. All of this was stitched with clear mono-filament to enable the colours of the fabric to have full impact, and the quilting to provide a dimensional interest.
These feathers are my favourites! After attending multiple classes and lectures over 2 seasons of AMQF (Australian Machine Quilting Festival), I have a few different shapes that I am trying to teach my muscle memory and incorporate into my quilting. The variety keeps in interesting and helps to fill some oversized shapes too.
Because I’m thrifty and can’t bear to waste any fabric, I cut the binding out of the excess background, as well as the centre portion that I removed after I had stitched on the applique. I didn’t quite have enough, so I rummaged through my scraps for lots of colourful pieces, which were added in between binding strips to give the edge of the mini a bit of interest. I just love how it looks like colourful sparks that have pulsed out of the centre. If I was really clever, I would have co-ordinated them to match the colour wheel, however I was just at the “get it over with” stage of this project. It had definitely been dwelling in my WIP pile too long, and now it’s hanging on my studio wall where I can enjoy it every time I go in there!
If you’re intimidated by colour, or just want to get some inspiration on how to put your beloved fabrics to best use for quilts with visual impact, I can strongly recommend Crystal’s book, Modern Colour Workshop. Get it HERE in her shop!
How do you feel about colour? Love it? Only use co-ordinated fabric lines because you’re nervous about it? What would you like to improve in your quilt planning?
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