I have been designing quilts for RJR for a long time using their current fabric collections. I enjoy taking a traditional type fabrics and creating a quilt design that really shows off many of the different types of prints within the collection. I found it easy to choose blocks to compliment the various types of fabric themes.
When they asked me to design a quilt with their solids collection, I thought, this shouldn't be too hard. How wrong was I! I knew I wanted to use a traditional block just because I am a traditional quilter and I always refer back to those types of blocks, but I needed to change it to make it more "modern". The hardest part was picking the fabrics!
I really like playing with log cabin blocks. I have made quite a few log cabin quilts over the years, mostly scrappy with traditional fabrics.
With this log cabin block I wanted to do gradations of two colors. The difficult part was finding the exact gradation that I liked the look of. I could find 4 tones but then the 5th one didn't look right. Or I could find 5 tones and the 6th didn't look right. I'm just way too picky when it comes to putting colors together. If I have a large or main print in a fabric collection, it is easy to see what fabrics would go well with it. When I have solid colors, the challenge was, how do I choose which colors I like best together. I finally ended up with peach and aqua.
These are the colors I picked:
235 Paris, 278 Just Peachy, 338 Flamingo, 277 Elephantastic Pink, 339 Tropicana, 257 Amaryllis, 294 Cove, 274 Riviera, 292 Turks & Caicos, 354 Horizon, and 289 Proud as a Peacock.
I work up all of my quilts on Electric Quilt 7. I can play with all types of shapes, layouts, and colors. This is the block I started with. It has one side of the logs larger than the other side which creates a curved effect.
Instead of having it as a square block, I decided it should be a rectangle. So it became this.
One of the challenges in making it a rectangle was if the small logs were consistently the same size, I couldn't make them fit together as they do in the square block so I had to put two logs that end at the same place towards the outer edge. (It's a math thing!)
I still wasn't quite done. So in the center to help make the transition from one side to the other I added a triangle.
Now I was ready to design the quilt. I could have just gone with a traditional setting so on my Electric Quilt 7 I started playing with different layouts. Some traditional....
And one sort of traditional but not completely balanced. This is the one I finally ended up with. I did discover something I didn't know about rectangular blocks like this. The block can't just simply be turned to create the layout. I had to make a left and right version of the block.
Now for the hard part, the quilting. I always stress about the quilting. I work so hard at getting all of the pieces just right, I think I am going to ruin it with the quilting! I was able to work with some motifs in EQ so I played with 3 different designs.
To make things easier on myself, I chose the last option. I'm not very good at grids, but even if they weren't perfect, it wouldn't be that noticeable. You know that sign that says "Plan ahead" and someone paints themselves into a corner? I did not use any tools other than a ruler to make the lines, all of which are not perfectly even. Well, I'm quilting along and realize that the lines have to match up in the center of the design. What if I didn't have the same number of lines on the left side of the quilt as the right side. I breathed a sigh of relief when it worked out okay, but realized that there was another area where they come together. Guess what? I had seven lines on the right side and eight lines on the left side. What to do? Take out a whole line (or lines) of quilting? Luckily one side I only had some short stitching lines that I could take out and divide the space into 3 instead of 2 lines. I used Wonderfil’s Invisafil thread so that the quilting was just an accent and not the focus of the quilt.-->
As an afterthought, whenever I make log cabin blocks, I like to double (or triple) the size of the front blocks to make the backing. For this one I made the original front block 10" x 12" so the back blocks are 20" x 24" which made 4 fit perfectly with some off center borders.
The last think I thought about was whether to put a border or binding on it. I decided with neither and made a faced binding (folded to the back) for the first time ever.
I call the quilt Sorbet. It just makes me think of cool iced deserts. I didn't have any fancy places to take photos like I have seen in previous blogs (like the beach) but I did have a nice sunny day to take these photos.
Thank you RJR for giving me this challenge. I loved working with the fabrics. They have a wonderful body and sew up so nice.
If you haven’t seen all the stunning projects that have been featured in the #whatshadeareyou series, hop on over to Instagram to check out the hashtag. While you’re there, visit and follow me (@tlischko) and follow RJR (@rjrfabrics) for two chances to win a FQ bundle of the solids I chose for my quilt!
As always: Do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading, Toby Lischko.