From "24 Quilted Gems" by Gai Perry. (I was able to find the book online at a discounted price. Gai graciously autographed the books for us.)
Had I lost my mind? Had I slipped on fabric scraps, fell into the Black Hole of Projects? What on *earth* was I thinking when I actually signed up for a class????? Yes, it's true, I succumbed to the irresistible lure of a drop dead gorgeous quilt, taught by the author of the book, no less.
The quilt is on the cover of the above-mentioned book and is a series of 6-sided lozenges radiating out from a central cross. I couldn't resist it, so I didn't. :-) (I am saving my strength for other battles of the will). The author, Gai Perry, used in live in Walnut Creek (omg .. who knew??) but moved about 5 years ago to Davis, CA .. about 45 minutes northeast of Walnut Creek. The local quilt store is the Pincushion Boutique, which is where the class was held.
(plug for the store: the owner & daughter have the most unbelieveable, incredible color sense. They put together coordinated packages of fat quarters that they call Sweet Treats. You could put every Sweet Treat package in a bag, pick out any one blindfolded and you simply would not be disappointed with the color selection ... they are ALL that good.)
Using a technique that I either figured out for myself (or more likely, heard at some point in time), I culled a focal fabric from my stash and used the colors in it to help me pick out coordinating blenders. Why go thru the nosebleed of color theory yourself when the experts have already done it for you? :-) Besides, my color selection process is long, tortuous and not always completely satisfactory. :-) The focal fabric shows lots of little chocolates in shades of pink, cream, brown and tan. Although pink is not my all-time favorite color, I was quite surprised to find I had quite a selection in my stash. How *did* they get there? Because the focal fabric features chocolates, I call this quilt, "Liquor is Quicker .... but candy is still dandy!"
With this sort of quilt, a widely varied color palette is a good thing .. in fact, more is better and showing off your collection is best. :-) I was able to cull a HUGE amount of the above-mentioned colors so I would be able to have a good selection of colors & patterns. I didn't use all the fabric I brought up, but was very glad I had the variety to choose from without having to augment from the store. (Besides, I wash all my fabric before I use them and if I had bought fabric at the store, I would have had a mix of washed & non-washed fabric in the same top. I'm not sure if that would make a big difference but I'd really rather not find out.)
The technique used for this quilt is that you absolutely, positively need a design wall for it. You cut and place each lozenge on the design wall before you ever sew a stitch. The sequence of stitching them together (without any "Y" seams!), starts out the outer edge ... so you simply can't sew as you go from the center out. Having a design wall to see all the colors being used is invaluable. It's easy enough to swap out lozenges when they are merely stuck to the design wall. You may end up having extra lozenges when you are finally done, but you never know which colors fit it at any particular point until you look at the whole design from a distance. (I learned later that a Ruby Beholder, which helps you see the color value of your fabric rather than the color itself, would have been invaluable for a project like this. But, alas, I had no Ruby Beholder at the time, so if any color jumps inappropriately out at you, it's because of my lack of confidence in my color placement ability.)
Once the class was over, I finished the top and packed it away. I needed to return to other more pressing deadline-specific projects!
Flash forward to March 2006. I was on a roll to get some of my many tops quilted. This one also got delivered to Janna Bailey of the Quilting Company. She put feather motifs in the corner triangles, a decorative all-over scroll design in the center medallion, and a delightfully original motif in the brown sashing and more feather scrolls in the outer borders.