Friday, September 29, 2017

The Red Project: Inspiration

If you've seen some of my earlier posts this month, I've kind of teased about a new project using red fabrics and involving Dresden Plates. Let's back up and see where that came from.

One of my goals this month is to prep something to work on at retreat next month. So it's okay to start a new project, right? It's not really totally new; it's been percolating in my mind and in several iterations in EQ for months.

Inspiration: Back in April at the Paducah Spring AQS show I was quite taken by a rich mostly red quilt that was made by Carol Sloan Brix of Byron IL.  She used a pattern called Chippewa Nine Patch by Minick & Simpson. Here's what the pattern looks like, and the quilt in the AQS show looked just like this, same palette.

The quilt was huge, and in the lighting of the show, the reds were very rich and deep. Very luxurious. What I particularly like, in addition to the palette, is the combination of diagonal and vertical movement around the quilt. I like the checkerboard blocks, too - that's a lot of piecing!!! - and the snowballed corners of the alternate blocks. Because I was so struck by the palette and the piecing, I honestly don't remember how it was quilted.

While in Paducah I started collecting red fabrics, mostly Civil War era reproductions, and a few blues and neutral prints to go with them.

I thought about ordering the pattern and making it as is. And I played in EQ. And I came up with this:

This is huge, 102" wide x 96" high, a large bedspread for a queen bed. What I like about it: the checkerboard blocks, the strong diagonals created by the alternate blocks with snowballed corners, the dark rich palette, and the simple construction with no on-point setting required. Special thanks to Minick and Simpson and to Carol Sloane Brix for the inspiration.

So now I've collected more fabrics (my stash report this month will take a hit!) and I've made test blocks. This will be sort of a BOM project; my plan is to make one checkerboard block and one Dresden Plate block a month.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm getting together with friends on the first Saturday of each month and we're doing our own BOM thing. Since I'll have to miss the October meeting, this post and the earlier ones this month about the red project will have to suffice.

This project needs a name other than just "the red project." Any suggestions?

Linking up with Whoop-Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict because having a plan and starting a new project is always whoop-worthy, right?!


  1. Or, maybe, The Red Plate. In our family we have a red plate that is used to show someone is special, like on a birthday. In fact, the plate says "You are special."

  2. I love your fabric pile! Since you have so much red in your quilt, what is your plan to prevent bleeding? I am new to using red in a quilt (I've only done it once) and it bled onto my cream fabrics.

  3. King Me! Ok, well, probably not a great name, but the checkerboard does stand out beautifully in your design. Checker Me Happy? The checkerboard blocks look like acres of land in the Midwest and the Dresden plates look like large, watered crop areas to me, too. I don't know if any of those thoughts or ideas will resonate.

  4. I like your design! We had a red plate for many years (Libby's comment) but sadly it was dropped one too many times and broke. As far as a name for your quilt - I would look at color names for reds and/or red flowers - zinnias and gerber daisies - big open blooms . . .

  5. I'm with Libby. The Red Plate Quilt.
    I love the little bit of gold and golden brown in your inspiration pattern. That breaks up the RWB a little and adds a richness to the reds. JMHO.
    It is going to be gorgeous.

  6. Oh, and as for the bleeding reds. I am looking for the excellent post about bleeding dyes. It was posted by someone who hand dyes fabrics, so knowing how to guarantee that they will not bleed is vital to her business. She says soak overnight in HOT hot water with Dawn detergent without scent or color. She has complete explanations of why adding salt, vinegar and other things does nothing. And Dawn is very similar to Synthrapol, but much cheaper. I used it on my Kona Red and it worked perfectly. I will continue to look for that post and send it along when I find it.

  7. Colorways by
    Stop my bleeding quilt

  8. I love your quilt design! The two alternating blocks look great together! I will look forward to following your progress.

  9. Those red focal blocks remind me of dahlias. How about Ruby Dahlia? Are the checkerboard squares 2" finished? Neat design!

  10. Beautiful design. No idea for a name though.