For April 2022, the Maywood Makers were provided with fabric from the Opal Essence line of fabrics.I am a Maywood Ambassador–if you missed my earlier post, you can read more about that here.
These fabrics will be in your favorite quilt shops soon. The palette is very different for me. It’s very soft and calming. There are 9 color groups and each group have 4 values, so there is a lot to choose from. Each fabric in the line has shiny elements overprinted –they are subtle and simply add a bit of texture and shimmer to the fabric. For this project, we were given free rein to create a design for a mini quilt.
I decided to go all out improv since that’s my ‘go to’ world to play in -and I challenged myself to stick to angled shapes (no curves).
I selected fabrics with the geometric shimmery overprint in a range of colors and values.
I started by creating strip sets with varying widths of strips. Here’s what my cutting mat looked like at one point. You can see that shimmery pearlescent overlay.
My initial thought was to create Half-Rectangle Triangles.Here’s a mockup in EQ8.
I created a couple HRTs from the Opal Essence fabric and placed them on the design wall (sorry–I forgot to take photos of this step.)
After a bit of playing around, I decided that the small size of the project wasn’t conducive to really maximize the impact of those blocks. So, I cut them up and added random bits of unpieced fabric to the resulting tall triangle blocks.
Here’s an inprocess photo of one of the blocks.
I kept playing with randomly pieced blocks and finally came up with this design. I used a lot of negative space to highlight the angularity. I planned on using a wool batting scrap that I had from a previous project but ran into a projblem. The wool batting had a pale yellow tint to it and it changed the color of the white fabric just a bit. So, I layered an 80/20 pure white batting on top of the wool. I use wool for quilts that will travel because it has less tendency to cause creases in the quilt. However, I think that the double batting was bulkier than I am used to and my corners are not as crisp as I would like. That’s something that I will have to work on! This photo is before I blocked it a bit more.
I completed it with a faced binding. It measures 16 x 16 inches. I quilted it on my Janome and used my walking foot to randomly create simple straight lines in a white and pale pink thread. The pink thread doesn’t photograph well–it was an experiment to see if it would add a touch of color to the negative space…it didn’t add much. However, I decided that I wanted the quilting color to be subtle so I decided not to use any of my turquoise or green threads. (See my post on Eccentric Quilting techniques for modern quilts for more examples.)
I also had fun with Smartist which is a cool app on my iPhone. It allows you to take an image of your work and place it in a gallery or interior setting. So I added a double mat and frame and then created this very neat display image below. I think that it looks pretty good displayed this way! In ‘real life’, when I frame a piece or stretch it over a canvas, I don’t finish it with a any type of binding. I leave the edges unfinished because they will be hidden under the mat or on the back of the piece stretched over a canvas.