Category Archives: Quilt designs

What Shade Are You: Rails {a finish}

REPOSTING from RJR Fabrics “What Shade are You” Blog post today.
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Today, on “What Shade are You” I would like to share with you on my design journey and inspiration for my quilt “Rails”.

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I am Michelle Wilkie. I can be found on Instagram @ml_wilkie, or on my blog Factotum of Arts.

I was so excited to be participating in What Shade are you, and when I received my bundle in the mail a multitude of ideas came to mind. The colors are so vibrant.
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My original bundle, had a couple additional colors but the final fabrics I chose were:

Cotton Supreme Solids:
Optical White
Black
Turks & Caicos
Night
Electric Blue
Anemone
Citron
Sunny Delight
Tangerine Dream
Chilli Pepper
Grape
Shell pink
Raging Ruby

Additionally, I used some C+S fabrics to add some interest within the solids:
Sprinkle in Corduroy
Dottie in Fedora
Dottie Cousins in Natural

I get inspired all the time from the world around us. For this quilt, it was no different. My husband is from Mannheim Germany, where we both lived for a few years before moving to the US. My inspiration for this quilt came from the Neustheim Train Junction.

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The lines fascinated me. I loved the idea of using improvisation strip piecing to try and mimic these strong direction lines. It was an interesting experience bending the fabric to make the gentle curves. Some tips:

  1. I started this quilt at one end and added in one direction, using strips to mark out where I was adding curves that would intersect with other lines.
  2. Use a lot of starch to get the pieces to lay flat and press often.
  3. Make sure you trim your threads and additional fabric as you go, especially when using white.
  4. Lastly, I glue basted this quilt while it was on my design wall. I pressed each layer to fix it to the one beneath. This technique was important as it helped the top to adhere flat to the bottom layers and hold in place as it stretched out some of the puffy areas.

Here’s a close-up of the quilt top. The predominant colors are blues, yellows and white, however as I stepped back with each addition, I decided to add pops of colors. This adds balance and richness to this quilt that helped also break up the stark bands of color. You can see the use of red, purple, pinks, and orange.

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For the quilting, I used Aurifil 2410, 2021, 2120, and 2783. I used irregular-spaced wavy lines that flowed with the fabric strips, to complement the colors and design of the quilt. In the binding, I also added some interest and continued the flow of color by inserting a piece of C+S print and a small blue strip to my white binding.

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This was so much fun to play with such vibrant colors. I loved the overall finish that the Cotton Supreme Solids provided. Thanks to RJR fabrics for the opportunity and to you for stopping by.
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Stop by my RJRFabrics and ml_wilkie (on Instagram) for a giveaway later today.

Mad Dash {Pattern Release}

Today I am releasing my Mad Dash Quilt Pattern. It is now available in my payhip and craftsy shops.

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Over some time, I had started to collect a significant amount of scrap and panels of Maze and Vale low volume, hand printed fabrics. Saving them for the perfect quilt. After playing around with dashes, inspired by the lines in a text document, I came up with this design.

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In my head, I could envision the recently released Art Gallery Fabrics soft Denim for the dashes, and the Maze and Vale prints for the backgrounds.

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I love how this quilt turned out. I have two layers of batting and denim on the back as this is now our picnic blanket.mad-dash-back
The pattern includes 3 alternative sizes. The pattern testers did an amazing job. I love their choices.

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Photo Credits to each of the testers:
1. Debbie's Pillow (IG: @aquilterstable); 
2. Katherine's Lizzie House quilt (IG: @katgraycraft);
3. Jacqueline's quilt using solids (IG: @jskarritt); 
4. Molly's in a great woodsy palette (IG: @lane33andhalf)

Details

Name: Mad Dash
Design:
Original Design (Payhip or Craftsy)
Fabric: AGF Denim Studio, Maze and Vale Low Volumes
Backing: AGF Denim Studio
Binding: AGF Textured Denim
Dimensions: 60 x 60″
Quilted: Sarah @ Crinkle Love

I would love to see any makes with the pattern. Tag me on Instagram (@ml_wilkie) or use the hashtag #maddashquilt

Recent quilt designs {QDAD}

It has been forever since I posted some of my designs, here on my blog (looks like all the way back in March). I have gotten back into posting designs but mostly on Instagram as I have been participating in #30daysofdesign.

So to catch you all up here are a few of my favorite designs for some of the previous months, April and July.

April

This first design was really focused on playing around with Half Rectangle Triangles and the Quarter Rectangle Triangles. I really loved the unusual color palette that was provided by the spark.

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This color palette also translated well into Alison Glass Fabrics which I really need to start using more vs. collecting 😉 I think this is a great skill building for machine piecing or could translate well into an EPP project. 24_apr_20162

Another favorite this month was this very modular design using squares and lines. The inspiration was a building. I like the slightly unusual color palette but thinking that I might make it with different colors.25_apr_2016

My favorite in all of these is definitely this one, that was inspired by some very large barrels that were wrapped in string. I was very surprised in this color palette, as I really like it though not the usual neutrals I would choose. 26_apr_20161

This is how I translated a Daffodil garden amongst the concrete jungle of the city. Its amazing how the pops of color just makes the dull dreariness so lively.

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July

Not my favorite design, this simple cross block quilt but I did think it was an unusual color a palette with the pastel, white based colors.

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I loved how it translated into these fabrics. 02july20165

Again the unusual color palette of this design that is inspired by a yellow beach umbrella is one of my favorites in July. I am thinking of making this one as is. Kind of reminds me of an Annie Albers rug.

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Lastly, I played around some more with the New Your Highline spark photo, and came up with this design to represent the building structure and the pop of orange from the sign.

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I’ll catch you up with August and September next week.

 

Working with Fractions {WiP}

I was so excited to find out that my son’s 3rd grade math homework was working with fractions. He was tasked to make his own quilt design, breaking a square into fractions. This is what he came up with (at the bottom of the page).

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We talked about making it into an actual quilt. He was so excited. This weekend, I needed a break from my other projects and made up a couple of 7″ test blocks. Hilariously, he came into my studio “Mum, these are cool but I want it to be BIG”.

He bought into my color palette, that was really based on how much yardage I had available.  Kona white, silver and plenty of yardage of pickle and highlight, with a pop of stone, was in for the win.

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Color placement of this palette (right border still to add) was so fun to play with. Also, if you have not tried playing with a block turned into a large scale design, it is a lot of fun, highly recommend it.

My favorite thing though, was working with him on the design. We are thinking about a series of his fraction blocks, for a future project (maybe, for end of year teacher gifts).

Linking up with Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s bee Social (tomorrow).

Sew Fresh Quilts

Introspection {design process}

As some of you know, participating in Quilt Design a Day has been such a great activity for me. It has given me the ability to find myself as a quilter, find out what I like and don’t like, and given me the ability to focus. The thing I am most thankful for, is being more aware, opening my eyes to the world around me.  I would like to share with you all some of my experiences over a few blog posts, let’s try every two weeks to start and see where the journey takes us. There maybe even some link-ups, if you all are interested sharing, as we go on this journey. I would love to hear your thoughts and what you all see in your journey too.

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Have you noticed that we all have a natural ability to find things we like and that draw you in. Most of the time though, we don’t spent time in that moment, however I think that changes, at least for me, when you are on vacation or actually chosen to be in the moment. That’s why we take photo’s right.

Moment 1: OBX

While on vacation at the Outer Banks, NC, we spent time at the beach by Hatteras Lighthouse. It has, what I think is an amazing remnant of a jetty or boat ramp. I find it so stark both within its environment (nature vs. man-made) and in color (dark vs. light).

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The color palette of this spark is very neutral and making this work as a quilt design was a bit of a struggle initially. I started with my usual minimal style with just using vertical lines to represent the jetty and it moving into the center of the picture.

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It was not enough for me and I felt it needed more in the background so I started playing with adding triangles. Once complete, the bars now were not as visible and I didn’t think they were required. I played around a little more with the balance for the representative jetty remnant, surf and sand. This was my final result:

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This turned out much better than I could image and I love the fact its more the idea it represents vs. the actual shapes that are in the spark.

Moment 2: Mosaic

Walking through the slave quarters, at a Charleston plantation was very humbling. The history was felt and I loved the pieces that were in the quarters representing past lives. In one of the quarters was this mosaic of broken things that were unearthed.

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This lead me a more traditional modern design for me, with the focal point of the circle and dark green bottle shard (with the coral dot) becoming a focal point also in my design. I liked the color palette for the blues/aqua and was automatically drawn to overlapping shapes. The hardest thing for me, in this design, was playing with the placement of the shape. Originally this shape was turned 45 degrees, which made it a more flat shape. After playing withe angles and placement, I like it much better on point.

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Lastly, I played with the repeat. This is the final design, for now, but I am still thinking about thinning out the denser columns (removing maybe one shape from each column).
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I hope you enjoyed my walk through and thoughts of my design process for these two.  I would love to hear your feedback or if you have questions or want to know more about something, please leave a comment below. Additional information on my quilt designs can also be found here:

  • QDAD page for a summary or instagram #qdad (for several other designs) #qdad2reality for finished quilts.
  • Quilt design class

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.