Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Four Block Quilt!

We recently showcased Wendy Sheppard's Solar Stars table runner, where she talked about the advantages of trying a new technique in just one block rather than committing to making an entire quilt's worth. 

In her Urban Oasis quilt, featured in Quilter's World, Wendy took that concept on a slightly different route, showing a pattern that works with just a few pieced blocks--either made specifically for the quilt or as a way to use up orphan blocks.

"Urban Oasis" by Wendy Sheppard; featured in Quilter's World spring 2014
After seeing this quilt, we had several questions for Wendy (why the gray background; how did you design this), which she was kind enough to answer. Read about how she did it and then start planning your own version! (And for a slightly different look, the Urban Oasis fabric collection comes in a purple/magenta colorway as well)

What made you choose gray as the background?
I thought a brighter neutral such as cream or beige would blend in with the fabrics too well.  Since the purpose of using a neutral is oftentimes to provide a contrast with prints, I used the gray to accentuate the contrast between the solid and the prints.

What do you like about the Urban Oasis prints?
I like that the collection is so contemporary - the florals, the paisleys and the other accompanying fabrics are all done with a contemporary flair!  The colors used are perfect for the fabric prints.

When you make an "orphan block" quilt like this, do you work on the design on paper/computer, or do you play on the design wall?
When I design, most of the time the design first appears in my head.  I will then think about it in my head for a few days, and work out the general design.  Then, I will work out the math, etc. on the computer.  I don't have a design wall, believe it or not.  HA!

What is your favorite part of this quilt?
I think the stripes are my favorite parts of the quilt.  It gives a slatted look - as if one is looking through a wooden fence and finds floral delights.

Love the green thread you chose for quilting. What can you tell us about your choice?
Again, it's for contrast.  The thread is a lime-ish green.  I thought that would complement the greens in the fabrics, and give a bit of pop to the gray solid.  It turned out just like I had imagined.  But, my luck isn't always that good.  I have had to rip out stitches before on other quilts!

See the entire Urban Oasis collection by Kitty Yoshida here (plus a free pattern for another quilt Wendy designed using this fabric!).
Learn more about Wendy's quilt and see it with a white background here.
Find Quilter's World magazine here.

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