Playing with blocks of colour

Inspiration for a patchwork quilt inspired by Peru. Applique circles. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Oil barrels in Aguas Calientes and needle turn applique circles inspired by them

I’ve been pondering: what do you do when you want to design a patchwork block, where do you start? Colour? Shapes? Pattern? There’s always one big driver for me: colour. In most quilts I notice colour before anything else, it’s the thing that ‘sets the tone’: fresh, traditional, modern, warm, bold and so on. If the colour and colour combinations aren’t right it doesn’t matter what the blocks or pattern are like, or how perfectly it’s been pieced or lovingly hand quilted…colour is king and if it doesn’t excite me I’ll probably just turn my nose up and walk on by!

Oh go on, admit it, I bet there’s something that irks you too if it’s ‘not right’!  What’s your hang-up, do tell?! (There are plenty of people that are turned off by sloppy piecing… *stuffs large quantities of badly stitched patchwork into Tesco carrier bag and hopes no-one notices. Slopes off quietly* 😀 )

Sample quilt block in colours inspired by Peru. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Not enough of that lovely terracotta colour


Sample quilt blocks in colours inspired by Peru. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Too busy

I wasn’t remotely happy with the two diamond blocks above.  Way too dark, way too busy and too square. And because I was so focussed on colour I made them in the most awkward way possible too: not with half square triangles as you might think, no that centre diamond is a quarter square triangle and the outer ones just fudged on! Nothing like making life easy…

Inspiration for a patchwork quilt inspired by Peru. Peruvian Manta and daimond patchwork. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Diamonds with black stripe

Int his photo you can see the antique Peruvian manta I’m using for the diamond inspiration here. Still not remotely happy, although that shaped diamond is better.  The colours don’t show too well in this photo, but it doesn’t matter, it’s not ‘right’!!!

Inspiration for a patchwork quilt inspired by Peru. Peruvian Manta and embroidered circles. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Embroidery on the manta where two strips of weaving are joined – I absolutely love these and I really want to feature inspiration from them in the final quilt

Inspiration for a patchwork quilt inspired by Peru. Peruvian Manta and embroidered circles. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Needle turn applique circles and straight stitch embroidery

I think some of the fabric scraps I’ve collected are in the right palette, but it definitely needs some refining.  My stash is non-existent so to get the palette I want is going to mean some investment; at the moment it’s like trying to paint a picture with three tubes of watercolour when you really need 20 to get the subtle variations you want. So far I’ve played with a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, the shot cottons and stripes, but I’ve barely got any left and at the moment I’m imagining the quilt made entirely from them…shopping needed!!!

I wonder if there are any other shot-cottons you’d recommend? These ones are particularly soft, which is great for texture, but not so brilliant for trying to applique perfect circles as it’s fairly ‘stretchy’ too.  If you’ve used any other designers/brands please let me know what which you think are best, obviously I’m looking for a good colour range too!

To change the subject a little, it’s been a bit of a quiet week on the blog as I’ve spent a couple of days making something for a soon-to-be-bride (next weekend in fact)…and I had a bit of a disaster with it which I’ll share in another post; I’m still recovering from the trauma!!! (It’s something she plans to wear on the day, but not the dress, thankfully!)

It’s a beautiful spring day here in Cornwall today, the perfect day for a walk, but I won’t be walking anywhere as a trip to my gp’s earlier this week means I have to go to the hospital for an x-ray on Monday, with a likely break/fracture to the metatarsal bone in my left foot!!!  I’ve been hobbling about for weeks, hoping it would just go away – not a good plan, haha!  I don’t really know how I did it, but the most likely time was when I went for a tumble over some rocks when I was out jogging on the coastal path a few weeks ago.  I’m always falling over (a necessary part of being active in my opinion) so I didn’t think much of it , just proudly displayed my black and blue knees and shins to anyone passing!!!!

Whether the x-ray reveals a break or not I still won’t be walking for some time, so it’ll be the perfect opportunity to get on with more sewing, yippee!!!

Hope you have a fab weekend, happy sewing!

Follow on Bloglovin


2 replies
  1. Susan Owenby
    Susan Owenby says:

    Ugh. Sorry to hear about your foot. Since I rarely do anything twice, I dont really have a place that I commonly start. I tend to just try things like you have here and make decisions on instinct. I try not to keep too huge of a stash either. While I like the idea of them, its just not my style to have things hanging around. Looking forward to seeing what you made for you friend!

    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      I know what you mean about having a huge stash (storage could be a problem for me) but at the moment I’d love to be able to pull stuff out to play with, rather than have to plan what I think I might need, knowing that a week or two down the line I’ll have changed my mind! Hope you’ve had a good weekend Susan – look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to 🙂


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

I'd just like to say...