I was drawn to Rachel Hauser’s Dear Dottie pattern when she first started sharing it on her blog Stitched in Color. I’d been inspired by lots of the curved piecing that other modern quilters were incorporating into their designs and wanted to have a go. Rachel led a Dear Dottie Sew-Along towards the end of 2019 but I knew I really couldn’t take on another project right then. However I bought and downloaded the pattern thinking I would make the time in the New Year…. Coincidentally an advert for the Classic Curves ruler by Color Girl Quilts had me succumbing to my ruler obsession (again!). I decided to use the ruler rather than the pattern templates to cut out my Dear Dottie fabrics, as a result my finished blocks measure 9½” rather than 6½” – hence my quilt being named ‘Big Dottie’.
Hum! Seasonal colours… Should be pretty obvs, right? Not to me, partly through trying this exercise right after lock-down was announced when my mind was distracted by the conflicts between ‘old normal’ and ‘new reality’ and partly ‘cos I do find playing with colour just plain hard! Which is, of course, why I am working through these Quilter’s Color Quest challenges.
As I started shuffling through the swatches from Rachel Hauser’s book, ‘Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’, I found myself going all indecisive: a season may have a color palette but that surely varies with the weather conditions and time of day? For instance my initial picks for Spring were very much coloured (ha!ha!) by the bright sunny weather we enjoyed most of last week: Bright blue sky, bright yellow daffodils, deep purple crocus, lush green grass… Not the softer pastel colours I’ve learned to associate with Spring. And that’s another thing! What about our learned expectations of seasonal colour? Deep greens and berry reds initially came to my mind when thinking, ‘Winter = Christmas’ but then my thoughts went to the beautiful, subtle colours of a Winter dawn: pale peachy-pink skies, frosty landscapes, a bit of mist…
Anyway! Above is my pick of color swatches for each season: the challenge was to pick a blue, a pink, a green, a neutral, a yellow, a purple, a red and an orange for each of the seasons. You can probably tell I was in a bit of trouble!
I felt happier using a few of my swatches from each season to chose fabrics for the Bear Paw blocks. Some of the fabrics are not perfect matches but I think they are fair representations of the colours I had in mind.
Still not sure anyone would instantly be able to differentiate between my Spring and Summer Bear Paws but hopefully the Autumn and Winter blocks speak for themselves 🙂 The Winter Bear Paw is my favourite.
Linking with Susan and friends for Midweek Makers and I’ll post photos of my seasonal Bear Paw blocks on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning using the hashtags #quilterscolorquest and #stitchedincolor and #quiltersfieldguidetocolor 🙂
Well! What a week! So many plans and events scrubbed from our diaries along with the pain of having to keep away from elderly and vulnerable family members and friends just when we most want to give and receive comfort from those we love. Here in the UK we have been told to expect this period of social isolation to last at least twelve weeks.
It’s been heartening to read positive blog posts written by other patchwork quilters adjusting to a change of life style and discovering silver linings. Bernie over at Needle & Foot has the joy of seeing photos of her new born Granddaughter, unable to visit her because of the restrictions Bernie is keeping busy delving into her UFOs to make charity quilts.
The online patchwork quilting community is a friendly place to be and a great place to stay connected with like minded creatives even in this period of physical isolation. This Saturday, 21st March, is (Inter)National Quilting Day. Many sewing get togethers will have had to be cancelled but do not loose heart, there are a whole host of quilt-a-longs and Quilting Day events being organised online. Anneliese Johnson is compiling a list of on-line
Last week Rachel Hauser posted the first in her series Quilter’s Color Quest to accompany her recent book, A Quilter’s Field Guide to Color. I used some Christmas gift money to buy a copy of the book. Rachel uses colour (I just can’t help reverting to the English spelling!) to very good effect in all her quilt designs. She deliberately doesn’t begin the book with an explanation of the colour wheel – that comes later. In the first section she directs her readers to explore colour through the subjective lenses of temperature, the seasons and our emotions. The Field Guide is designed to be a practical book. There are 150 colour swatches to cut out, these can be used to complete the challenges dotted throughout the book and also to select fabrics to make the Bear Paw blocks Rachel suggests we make to test our choices.
And so to the temperature challenge: shuffle the card swatches, select warm and cool shades of purple and green.