This quilt was born out of a panicked need to get rid of evidence. Either that, or it was my way of justifying my actions and purifying myself from my transgression. Forgive me, I’m being a bit melodramatic. What happened was I broke a rule I had made. You know the one. It’s the rule where you say you are NOT going to buy any more fabric because you already have more than you will ever have time to sew with. Waaaaaay more. So much that you are completely out of places to store it. Those of us out there who sew know exactly what I’m talking about. The amount of amazing fabric out there and the inspiration that comes along with just walking down rows and rows of beautiful bolts gets the best of us all from time to time. So despite my good intentions I only made it through about mid-February for “Sew my Stash 2015”. I tried. I really did…Sort of.
When Cloud9 Fabrics came out with their line of Cirrus Solids last year I wanted them immediately. This line is a gorgeous range of cross weaves with a soft hand that not only has fabulous color, but also the texture I crave. Textural variety in my quilts is something of a priority for me. I rarely make a quilt out of only one single substrate. I’m also a sucker for solids. I cannot resist them. Especially when they come in pretty bundles. It’s like someone just handed you a palette of pre-mixed paint and a challenge. “Here, take these…see what you come up with. Make it work.”
I have always loved puzzles. Essentially, that is what designing always feels like to me. Either I am given, or I establish my own set of parameters and I move forward with intention to somehow “make it work”. In fact, I strongly believe that given enough time and thought it is possible to make any design idea work. This “anything is possible” idea is maybe what I love most about art in general. Setting design rules right off of the bat is always part of my process. It helps me focus. Too may possibilities and I get overwhelmed.
So longs story short. I made the rule. I broke it. I felt guilty. I needed redemption. Yada yada. The moment the bundle arrived in the mail I felt it needed to be purged from the stash to rectify and absolve my wrongdoing. I went to work trying to figure out a way to use the entire bundle up and be forgiven my sin. I sat down to my computer with determination to puzzle it out.
These were the parameters:
You must use all 21 colors in a single design.
You must use it all, or have only some scraps leftover.
I keep a file of design ideas on Pinterest as I’m sure most crafty people do nowadays. Awhile back I had seen a block similar to this as a method of using up small scraps only there was no rhyme or reason to the placement of fabric. When I saw it again in my search for ideas I became curious how the block would look if instead of scraps, specific colors were laid out in a pattern. So that was where I started, With the above parameters and block idea. Make it work.
I could not have been more pleased with the results. This seemingly complicated (it’s not at all) quilt top made of mostly 2″ squares finished at approximately 82″X95″. Another goal of mine throughout the making of this quilt was for the cutting and piecing process to be as efficient as possible. What’s more, is that there are almost no seams to match, and the ones that do are all background fabric. Also, since all blocks are essentially the same you do not need to lay out all the blocks to arrange them, or use a design wall. Despite its size and amount of fabric pieces this quilt top is actually a very fast make. I was so happy with how this quilt turned out that I decided this needed to be the first official pattern released from the Ginger Peach Studio. Release date for the Tumbling Paint Box is set for early June and will be available in both printed and PDF formats. Stay tuned for more info as release date approaches. Printed patterns are available now. (for wholesale inquiries please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org)
I do think it is a bit ironic that I fixed the first broken rule by setting more for myself. I guess some rules are made to be broken. I suppose it all worked out because imagine my surprise and delight when Cloud9 contacted me and asked if they could display the Tumbling Paint Box in their booth at Spring Quilt Market. This was the first time any of my quilts had ever been on display for the public. I was both flattered and proud.
I am so excited to share this quilt pattern with you and see all of the magical color combinations the crafting community comes up with. Now go forth and “Make it work.”