Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Organizing Twilight Gardens

Whether you are purchasing a kit for this quilt from One World Fabrics, or you are putting together your own collection of fabrics, it is really easiest to organize them, overall by value, and then by color or scale of pattern.

The quilt pattern specifies the use of light, dark, medium, etc. fabric pieces for each block, and if you have your fabrics divided this way to start with, it makes it very easy to pick fabrics from these groups that will go well together in a block.  Some fabrics in the kit have warmer tones and some cooler tones.  The solid black is used in many blocks as it really provides a dark ground and showcases the other fabrics, allowing you to see their subtle colors. A few of these basic fabrics lean a little toward red, others lean a bit toward green.  There are enough to choose from that you can put together ones from each group that emphasize one color in a block. Keep in mind that a medium-light in one block, might be a medium in another block depending on the other fabrics you put with it.

There are also a few fabrics which are distinct and have a special place in the quilt. Some of these include the blues that are used in the tulip applique and the basket blocks, the Ecru that is used as the light flowers, the stronger reds which will be the inner border of the quilt, as well as appearing in several of the blocks and sashings.  The sashings, including both the piano keys and the checkerboard, and are made from leftover bits from the block piecing and applique.  They include little pieces of everything, and you are free to emphasize any of the fabrics you like the best when putting these together. There is a dark charcoal with subtle stripe included with this pack in the kit.  This is used as the background for the tulip block.
Many of the weaves included in the kit are very simple, and read mostly as one color, however, it is really nice to incorporate fabrics with a little more pattern and visual interest. In each block, try to use one patterned fabric that will stand out against some of the tone on tones. It may be the background surrounding a star, or even the points of a star. Plaids and fancy weave patterns will look great if you scatter them throughout the quilt, and don't forget to use them in the sashings as well. The sashings revisit all the fabrics used in each block and carry those colors and textures to other areas of the quilt.
We look forward to starting on block 1 of Twilight Gardens right after the 1st of the year. Be sure to read through the pattern to familiarize yourself with the sections of the quilt, the fabrics used in each block, the techniques used, and the overall assembly including piano key and checkerboard sashings.

Remember, One World Fabrics's kit for this quilt is not packaged monthly, but rather as a single quilt kit, allowing you to pick the placement of fabrics in blocks as you choose during construction. There are no print fabrics in the kit; all the fabrics are yarn dyed wovens, giving the finished quilt a really beautiful, textured look.  Plenty of fabric provides lots of choices (and lots of leftovers for your stash :-) ).  If you would like to order a kit for Twilight Gardens, click here.

If you have any questions about this quilt, please leave a comment.  Thanks, and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Looking Ahead to Twilight Gardens in 2017

Our trip to Quilt Market in Salt Lake City this past Spring was truly inspirational, as always. There are countless beautiful quilts, and more fabrics than you can even imagine. In fact, you almost have to turn off your sensors after a while, as every turn bombards you with more choices. 

In the genre of Taupe, one rarely finds a lot of choices, however.  Although the popularity of the Taupe palette has risen noticeably over the last decade, with more and more Japanese quilts finding there way into the shows here in the U.S.; Compared to main stream designers and fabric lines, it is still a small share of what you see at Market. So, you can imagine how excited we were to see this stunning quilt hanging in the Diamond Textiles booth.  
Twilight Gardens is a new quilt design from Pam Curo of Cotton Tales Designs. I have known Pam for over 10 years, and carried many of her patterns. She has always been a great designer and pattern author, both in cotton and in wool, and her preferred color palette seems to be muted country colors to darker primitive shades, with Taupe falling right in the middle. Twilight Gardens was designed exclusively for muted, textural yarn dyed cottons. The colors in the quilt are subtle, and the light values seem to sparkle against the black and darker toned backgrounds.

I immediately found myself in a discussion of how I could bring kits for this quilt to my customers. One World Fabrics is one of the largest retailers of Taupe palette yarn dyed cotton fabrics, and this was the perfect quilt to showcase what we offer.

The pattern is written in the Block of the Month style with each block receiving it's own section. Pam has divided the quilt into 10 blocks/sections, with the last section being devoted to bordering, and finishing the quilt. Although this can be a fun way to receive kits, it adds a large amount to the packaging and cost of the kits, not to mention all that shipping. With an eye toward economy, we have opted to package the entire pattern and all the fabrics as a single kit. We will then do a series of blog articles covering fabric organization and placement, and block construction monthly, for those who would like to make the project as a BOM. This is really advantageous as it gives you more freedom of fabric choice and placement throughout the quilt's construction. The kits include the same fabrics as the original sample, and are generous, providing a wonderful assortment. To minimize fraying and waste, we do not recommend that you pre-wash your kit fabrics.
Yarn dyed cottons do tend to shrink a bit more than print fabrics when washed, however using 100% unwashed yarn dyed fabrics in the quilt, any shrinkage that occurs after the quilt is finished, should be uniform. I like to lay out all fabrics from the kit and organize them by size and color family. This will make selecting block and applique fabrics so much easier. Reading through the entire pattern is also very helpful, to familiarize yourself with the overall construction method and sequence. 

I look forward to hearing comments from you all once quilt construction has commenced in January.
Fabric kits for the Twilight Gardens quilt can be purchased from One World Fabrics by following the link below.

Twilight Gardens Kit pre-order

Hope you will join us.