Christine's Color Connection
A newsletter for quilters who love color
August 2021
Hot Summer Days = Time for Quilting
I don't know about you, but Fall can't come soon enough for me. I've been living in smoke from the wildfires for weeks, and we had two scary-close fires in my area in the last month. My Go Bag is packed, and my evacuation plan is in place. I am very grateful for my safety and for the brave work of first responders. And I'm so sad for the people (and wildlife) that have lost their homes and habitat. This. Is. Awful.

On a brighter note—we must find those—I'm hunkered down in my studio, AC and air filter on, with plenty of time to sew. Take a look at my latest quilt, Glacé, and see how it went from inspiration to finished project.
It All Started With. . . .
. . . a tea towel from France that features images and names for variations on ice cream—sorbet, glacé, gelato. I saw it at the American Culinary Institute in Napa Valley, CA, and I just had to have it. You know the feeling.
A closer view. Aren't these colors yummy? The dots are a home run, too.
The hunt-and-gather process led to a palette of Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink prints, plus semi-solids.
My plan was a loose interpretation of my "Black Opals and Ribbon Candy" quilt in my Gallery, which was itself inspired by another design, the traditional Churn Dash Block.

I began by making half-square triangle units. These measure 4.5 inches finished.
I started playing with the units, placing the prints at the center in one sample . . .
. . . and at the edges in a second sample.
I went with the prints in the center—the blocks seemed to read better. I also replaced the orange semi-solid with a blue Grunge. The orange fabric is luscious, but I didn't have enough. And I thought the quilt needed some cooler color.

Creating the circle units for the setting stones came next. They're cut from Kaffe Fassett's "Promenade" stripe; the background squares are from a light-value ombré by Caryl Bryer Fallert. Love the "creamy, dreamy" colors of this ombré!
On to setting options. I found a light-and-airy batik stripe to separate the blocks and circle units. Nine blocks and 16 circles would be the traditional layout.
But it felt crowded, too dense. How about 12 blocks, with four "spacer" blocks made up of the ombré squares? They're shown in gray here.
Using circle units, sashing strips, and blocks, I mocked up this asymmetrical version on my design wall, scattering the circles to air out the design. I decided to add an outer border, where I could drop in circle units for a more expansive effect.
Here's the finished quilt, masterfully quilted by Sandra Bruce in a modern-wave design.
(I took the shot above recently, and unfortunately, the smoke gave it a yellowish cast. The mock-up in the previous photo is more accurate in color.)
Sandra's quilting really "tamed" the strong color in the triangle squares. (Thanks, SB!)

Before I leave you, remember that I said my quilt design is related to the Churn Dash block? Below I've isolated, in my quilt, what would be the traditional block structure. I simply shifted the units over and up in the nine-patch design to make the secondary pattern (where four blocks would meet) the primary pattern. The circle unit you see here would be the center of a traditional Churn Dash block. (Notice that seams were eliminated in the process.)
So now you know what I do in my spare time: I look at traditional blocks for opportunities to make secondary patterns primary. I hope you will too . . . and share what you come up with!
My Fabric Is Available on Spoonflower!
You can now get my gray-dot fabric on Spoonflower! Type christinebarnescolor in the search bar on the SP site to get to my studio. The dots come in light and darker gray; the fabric here is the darker colorway. The price? $10/yard. You must prewash the fabric (follow Spoonflower's directions). It softens to a very nice hand.
That's it from me. As always, thank you for reading and looking at my latest project. I'll be in touch next month. In the meantime, keep up the good work—of quilting!
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Christine Barnes
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