What Shade are You? with RJR Fabrics

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Our home computer died and it’s been a long few weeks without it! We just got it back last week and my dear husband has reinstalled everything. Unfortunately, it happened during the time that my guest blog posting on the “What Shade are You?” tour with RJR fabrics came up. In trying to catch up on things I’ve missed, here’s a posting about that!

I feel like there’s a big misconception out there in the quilting world that fabric distributors look around and reach out to people to participate in things. Yes, this happens to some extent, but most of what happens is quilters reaching out to them instead. It is SCARY and hard, but I’m trying to be brave. A good friend once said, “They can’t say yes if you don’t ask.” Yes, you’ll hear lots of no’s, but you’ll also get an occasional yes as well!

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I reached out to RJR fabrics last October. This was possibly one of the scariest emails I had yet sent. What did I have to offer that was different than the big names that were already participating in the RJR “What Shade are You?” tour??? I sent the email just asking if they were still doing it and if there was space for me to participate in the future. They said yes, and my date was set for February 10th. They sent a color card containing a swatch of all of their cotton supreme solids and I went to town. They are such a fabulous company with which to work. They are so generous with their product. I picked a basic idea of what I wanted to do and then very nervously got to work. It is terrifying to do these projects for big name manufacturers for me. What if they don’t like it? What if they expected something better? What if what if what if????

In the end, I loved how things turned out. I had my dear friend Kaylene Parry (@quilterlove66 on Instagram) quilt it in this amazing graffiti motif using invisible thread. It is just PERFECT. My sweet 5 year old loves to use the “celebration” effect via iMessage and calls it Confetti Bomb. Confetti Bomb just seemed like the perfect name for this quilt and it will always remind me of my sweet boy.

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Be sure to stop by RJR’s blog to see a full write up and a million photos!

Be BOLD with your background fabric!!

This year I am trying some new things with my quilts: BOLD backgrounds! This all started when I made my Dresden Butterflies quilt for Moda Bake Shop. I didn’t want to just go with white. I instead chose to use Bella Mist solid, and man was I glad I did!! It gave the quilt so much more visual interest, without competing with the bold prints. It was a subtle difference from white that I think made this quilt so much more fun in the end.

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When I started seeing lots of Garden Snails quilts going around, I kept thinking I wanted something fun for the background, but I couldn’t figure out what to use. Then Robert Kauffman introduced their Kona Color of the Year, and I was sold. Hook, line, and sinker. I HAD to have some Pink Flamingo in my life and why not use it on my garden snails quilt??? It is the most perfect color of pink in the world. This photo does not do it justice. It’s not bubble gum or pepto bismol pink. It’s not too little girly. It’s not too bright. It. Is. Perfect.

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It turned out even better than I could have imagined. I feel like it really pulled me WAAAAY outside of my comfort zone as far as background color. This quilt would have been cute in white. I have a bolt of it ready to go so it would have been super easy. I am glad I went for the unexpected pink flamingo.

I have decided that for all of 2017, and possibly beyond, I am not going to use white as my background color, unless the quilt genuinely needs it. It will definitely take some work and some planning, but there are so many wonderful options out there. Essex linen, crossweave, chambray, peppered cotton, solids, the options are limitless.

Have you ever used a bold background and loved it? I’d love to hear about it. If white is your go-to, try something new and it just might surprise you how much you love not using white!

My 6″ Sampler Quilt

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Well I officially have finished my 6″ sampler quilt. This quilt is one that gets a lot of questions about where the blocks came from. Probably 2/3 of them are from The Splendid Sampler, 35+ are from #jensfillerblocks (all available in my tutorials section), and I think 15-20 are from Tula Pink’s City Sampler book. There are 144 blocks in this quilt, with 1-1/2″ sashing (1″ finished) and a 5″ border around the entire thing. It finished up around 94″ x 94″, perfect for my bed!! It was beyond a labor of love. I cannot even guess how many hours I spent on this, especially with resizing 12″ blocks to fit. 100, maybe? More? All I know is I loved almost every minute of it and I really, really miss making 6″ blocks. They are fast, fun, and very satisfying to make something with pieces so small.

I do quilt a lot of my own quilts at home on my Juki (I also have a few long arm quilters with whom I work), but I knew this one needed an extra special touch. Some quilts just need it. I actually won a giveaway for a $100 credit to Marion of My Quilt Diet and this was the beauty I knew I’d use the credit on to help me make this quilting dream an affordable reality. I saved almost all of my Christmas money and used it to pay for the quilting on this. It was worth EVERY penny I paid.

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I chose a 108″ Moda gray solid for the background mostly because I was feeling lazy and cheap, but it was the PERFECT choice. Look at that quilting!!!!!! I chose Marion’s freehand graffiti motif and I could not be happier. She made this a true heirloom for my family to enjoy for generations. That’s the hope, right? 🙂 And now for a dumping of photos because I can’t pick just one or two to share.

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