Thursday, January 7, 2016

One fabric does it all

When you consider making a quilt like Shady Directions, shown below, your first thought might be to wonder how many different blues and reds you'll need. The answer? Just one of each! Lisa Swenson Ruble designed the Shady Directions quilt, featured in the Winter 2016 issue of Modern Patchwork magazine, using our Essential Gradations fabrics, so just one fabric goes from dark to light and back to dark again! 

Tell us about your quilt design.
I actually had designed this quilt without a specific fabric line in mind, and briefly considered making it from my stash, using scraps from light to dark. When I came across the Essential Gradations fabric, I knew I'd found a much better solution! 

What attracted you to the Essential Gradations fabric?
I love the value changes in the fabric. By carefully cutting the rectangles from dark, medium, and light sections of the fabric, I was able to create a sense of movement in the quilt. There are a bunch of different color options in the fabric line--it was hard to choose which to use!

Any tips for making Shady Directions?
Definitely do all of the cutting first, and start by cutting the lightest and darkest rectangles, since there's a bit more flexibility in the medium values. Keep your rectangles laid out and stacked in value order so you can see what pieces you still need. Note: Here's a digital representation of what the fabric looks like, selvedge to selvedge and in detail:

What do you like best about the quilt?
I love the movement that the directional arrows and the changing shades create. I also really like the subtle shading in the colored rectangles--at first glance, it's easy to think that the quilt was made using solids, but the shading adds richness to the design. 

Tell us about the quilting.
I wanted the quilting to enhance the angles of the patchwork design, so I chose to do diagonal lines. I don't like to mark quilts, so I marked only the first line and then used my walking foot as a guide for each additional stitch line.  

Click here to see the Essential Gradations collection.
Click here to see more of Lisa's work. 
Click here to find the Winter 2016 issue of Modern Patchwork.

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  1. I have some gradated (?) fabric that I didn't know how to use and this gives me some ideas. Neat quilt!

  2. Love the flow of color from light to dark.

  3. Fully rich, yet subtle. Truly stunning Lisa.