For my next quilt, I decided I wanted to use some great handprinted fabrics from Umbrella Prints. I purchased three of their trimmings packs from my local shop, Nido. I tried to select three with similar colors, and it was fun to get home and look through the packs to see what I got. I wasn’t sure what type of pattern I wanted to use, so I put the trimmings away for a while. Then the other day I decided to just go for it and see what it turned into. I took a few photos along the way –
So it started with these prints. These are just a few of them, since I failed to get a photo of the whole selection, But I pulled out all those that were gray, blue, neutral and green.
I thought I’d pair them with these solids.
I found that I had 4 pieces of the gray heart print, so I separated the prints into four groups, each with similar colors. I had just put away one of these quilts I made years ago, so I started thinking that I could do something similar with four blocks and some negative space.
Then I remembered this quilt from Jacquie and Katie’s Quilting Modern book, and thought that perhaps I could make something similar using my selected prints and solids.
I started making blocks, using the gray hearts as the center of each.
(Auditioning fabrics for the next rings)
And another block. I tried to keep the fabrics in a similar order in each block, starting with the gray hearts, surrounded by the gray solid, then white, then blue, etc. Here I thought that the next ring would be the gray, followed by green.
(3 of the blocks in progress). At this point I still wasn’t quite sure where this was going, if anywhere! And based on the size and shape, I no longer thought that these blocks would work with the Tunnel Vision quilt.
After studying it for a while, I decided I disliked that outer gray portion, so I removed it. Then I decided to ditch the green altogether.
Starting to get somewhere! Now these are looking a bit more cohesive and I finally felt like this would turn into something.
So now I had my four blocks and as it turned out, they ended up being rectangular in shape, so I turned back to the Tunnel Vision quilt and arranged my blocks in a similar pattern.
I surrounded each block in white similar to their quilt and then tried out two colors of Essex yarn dyed solids. When I first made my fabric selections, I included the Essex in flax, but after eliminating the greens and adding in more blues, I found myself more drawn to the Essex in the black.
While my version doesn’t have the same visual impact as theirs (and no tunnel effect!), I’m pretty happy how things ended up, and how I was able to use all these fun Umbrella Prints pieces. I think it’s interesting to see how it evolved and changed along the way — even though this wasn’t my original vision, or even original color selection, I’m pretty pleased with the finished quilt top, which I’ll show you next week!
By the way, Umbrella Prints holds an annual Trimmings Competition, and this is their fourth year holding the competition. I've always enjoyed seeing what people make out of these prints, and I was thrilled to be asked to be a judge this year! You can find all the details of the competition over here, and you can purchase your Trimmings packs from their Big Cartel or Etsy shop.Projects need to be entered by the end of May, so there's plenty of time to buy yourself a trimmings pack and stitch up a little something!