The Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker focuses on color with a section called “Color Me Creative.”
One of the quilts patterned is Color My World by Elizabeth Dackson of the popular blog “Don’t Call Me Betsy.”
I chatted with Elizabeth by email about color, her creative process and her new Block of the Month.
First of all, who is Betsy?
In short, Betsy is me! If you ask my mother, that is. I was born Elizabeth, and as a baby, my mother nicknamed me Betsy. My older sister lobbied for calling me Beth, but my mother insisted that I was a Betsy. She still insists that to this day, and she’s one of the few people in the world who is allowed to call me Betsy.
- Elizabeth Dackson of Don’t Call Me Betsy
For a while I went by Liz, but it wasn’t until college that I started to go by Elizabeth, which feels like the right name for me. When I was attempting to name my blog, I thought that perhaps it could tell the story behind my name, in a fun kind of way, and that’s where the name comes from.
This quilt seems to be all about color. What are the most valuable lessons you have learned about color on your quilting journey?
One of the things that I’ve learned about color is that just because I don’t enjoy a color personally, like in my wardrobe for instance, doesn’t mean that I won’t like it in a quilt. I very rarely wear orange, for example, and have always thought that I disliked it, but I’ve discovered that I’m perfectly happy to use it in a quilt!
I think it’s important to give colors a try, even colors that you think you don’t like, when you’re quilting. Speaking of color, I find that I tend to work more often than not with tonal or two-toned fabrics, rather than wild multicolored prints. Tonal or two-toned fabrics are much easier to fit into a color scheme, than riotous prints with seven different colors.
I’ve also learned a lot about color theory as a quilter, and I rely a lot on that as well as the color wheel when selecting colors to work with.
Having an understanding of the different ways to put colors together harmoniously can really help you create color combinations that pop in your quilts.
What do you like about this quilt specifically?
One of the things I love about this quilt is the quilt block itself. I really enjoy quilt blocks that create interesting repeats or effects when you put them together, and this block is a great example of that.
I love the octagons that are created by the solid fabrics when the blocks come together.
I also love that this block builds upon a classic snowball block and adds a modern twist to that.
The Simply Color fabrics by V & Co for Moda Fabrics in this quilt are high on my favorites list at the moment—I love the deep, saturated colors, and I adore the shade of dark blue used in this collection.
It’s not often found in modern fabric collections but it’s one of my favorites!
What’s your favorite part of the quiltmaking process?
I think my favorite part changes pretty frequently, but these days my favorite part is the planning: the sketching, the picking out the fabrics, even the quilt math. My high school geometry teacher would never in a million years think that I’d be doing geometry every day of my life now – I’m quite sure she didn’t think I was even capable of geometry in the first place back then!
Planning out the colors and fabrics I want to use in a project is something that gives me a lot of joy as well, especially when I get to shop for fabric! I’m a complete fabric addict, so I love adding to my stash or picking out fabrics for a project.
Is there a part you don’t enjoy?
I truly enjoy just about all of the parts of the quiltmaking process, with the only exception being basting. Basting is just not something I enjoy! I’ve been spray basting now for the last year and a half, and it it definitely saves a lot of time and crawling around on the floor when compared to pin basting. But basting is still still a process I find tedious and I tend to dread it.
Tell us about the Lucky Stars BOM.
The Lucky Stars Block of the Month Club is something I’m really excited about for 2013. It’s a subscription-based foundation paper piecing block of the month club that I’m hosting. I really enjoy foundation paper piecing, and I’ve met many quilters who are frightened of it or have had a really hard time with it.
I can remember my first few paper piecing projects, and the amount of frustration I dealt with—including the time when I threw the template across the room with a grunt and several choice words. That’s really what inspired me to create a block of the month club for 2013.
Now that paper piecing is something I not only enjoy but understand, I wanted to share that with other quilters and make paper piecing more approachable and less intimidating. The way the club works is very simple: club members receive a new PDF block pattern from me via email every month, with templates for creating the block in two sizes, 6″ and 12″. You can then create a star sampler quilt with all of your blocks at the end of the year.
There’s no obligation to keep up throughout the year or anything, just sew along when you can, or save up your blocks and sew them all in one weekend, whatever works for you. Right now, we’re only two blocks into the quilt, with both a January block and a bonus practice block available for club members, but there are new subscribers every day.
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You’ll find the pattern for Color My World in the Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker.