Our latest issue (March/April, No. 132) features a calming quilt by Julie Herman called Cornflower Fields on page 52. The Nature’s Notebook fabrics are from Moda Fabrics, and are available in local quilt shops.
A while back it was my job to find an alternate color scheme for the quilt which would create what we call a “color option.” You’ll see color options near the end of most Quiltmaker patterns, and they’re meant to expand your vision for a project by presenting a completely different look using different fabrics in the same pattern.
An interesting thing happened as I was thinking about another way to present Cornflower Fields.
Instead of the usual colored quilt diagram (above), I had a diagram with only the lines of the quilt, and no color (below).
I was surprised by how much this opened up the possibilities! Jumping right off the page were trees, trees and more trees. I couldn’t see anything but trees. And so began my inspiration for Hoo’s in the Forest?
A search through our fabric room, which is well-stocked with the latest fabrics from many companies, brought me to Robert Kaufman‘s “On a Whim” owl print. Perfect! I wanted the owls to take center stage, so plenty of tone-on-tones from Robert Kaufman’s basic lines such as Mixmasters Dot to Dot and Fusions fit the bill. For the border, a fun plaid with all the right colors from Flower Child framed the quilt nicely. I left off the border sections in this version, which made it a “design option.” A design option goes a few steps past a color option by changing not just the fabrics, but also how and where they are placed.
I started thinking about how often I look at colored diagrams or even photos first, and I’ve decided that I’d be much more open to the infinite possibilities if I’d look at only the lines. In a future post I’ll expand on this idea and show you more examples.