It’s been a while since I’ve explored a new color/pattern option for the quilts I sell. My standards (Classic Americana, Warm Earthtone, Cooler Neutral/Soft Pastel/Beach Colors, Funky Random, Cottage Chic and Spring Green) have been selling well the past several years.
But, lately, I have been itching for a color scheme that evoked a lighter, simpler quilt experience. I like the bright primary colors in the Classic Americana–a LOT. So, I took that style and “lightened” it up with some beige and white offsetting squares.
I started by pulling some bolts of light fabrics, with small prints, from my shelves.
From each bolt, I cut 5″ strips across the width of the fabric and then cut 5″ squares from those strips. I have created a box of squares especially for this color scheme. It will be the Americana Offset box. (Every color scheme has its own box. I am constantly adding 5″ squares to all of the boxes.) I then added Classic Americana 5″ squares to this box.
Squares are sewn to each other in strips. Half of the strips end up with the light fabrics at the end and other half has the light fabric in the middle. The 9-patch blocks are sewn together with a similar pattern–half have the light squares in the corners and half have the primary prints in the corners. Ironing a stack of 9-patches gives me a lot of peace and serenity.
When I started making quilts for SecondSanctuary, I needed to develop standard, interchangeable parts, so I created the SIXER. A SIXER is a unit comprising six 9-patch blocks sewn two across and three down. I use four SIXERS for a lap quilt, six for a picnic/double quilt, six (plus 13 9-patches) for a queen and so on.
I like to use a bright red backing fabric for any of the Classic Americana quilts, including this newest version, the Americana Offset. I need just over 3.5 yards of backing fabric for a lap size quilt. Then, I mount the backing, some cotton batting, and the top of the quilt onto my log-arm quilting machine and do rows and rows of a loose meandering stitch design to keep everything together.
I like my binding strips to be scrappy, just like my quilts! I have a huge pile of 2.75″ strips in one corner of my sewing studio–I’ve chosen five strips that will match the Americana Offset look. I stitch the binding to the back of the quilt first and then bring it around to the front for a final run through the machine. I do this so that my label ends up on the front of the quilt.