A Detour, Short and Sweet

by Christine Barnes

I’m home from my teaching travels, and after so many weeks on the road, my own bed never felt so good. (Naples was wonderful—thank you Judy and Linda! I’ll write about it in my next post.) I’ve been working away on the project quilts for the retreat. One of them is based a block that is so versatile that I just had to try it with transparency.

The block is known as “Antique Modern,” which seems a bit of an oxymoron. And here’s my quilt top, which I’ve named “Aerial,” after the name of the sashing fabric. If you don’t follow my newsletter, you can click here to see the April issue and read the story behind choosing the fabrics.Every time I looked at the block, I thought, “I wonder if . . . .” So yesterday I took a quick detour from my “Crazy Anne” quilt for the retreat to play with the design.

I fell in love with this mini harlequin print when I was at Rosie’s in San Diego in April. The three pink solids you see are from the width of one ombré, which I folded to show the color and value range. I know, I’m a broken record, but ombrés have SO much potential.The result isn’t quite as transparent as I had hoped. Some ombrés aren’t that successful because they tend to be too opaque. Never mind—the center fabric carries the day for me, and the black-and-white “stripe” makes it even more modern.Then I asked myself, “What would happen if I eliminate the center square?” Instead of rectangles surrounding a center square, you see a large, open area with a whole new set of possibilities.For this version I needed three fabrics—a light parent, a dark parent, and a child. The lightest fabric is actually the lighter area of a yellow-green/olive ombré. The dark green is the wrong side of a Grunge. (Hey, all’s fair in love and quilting.) The “child,” a Loni Rossi print, looks like a combination of the two parents, as if the light and dark colors were combined but not completely blended.I layered and glued the cut pieces to “fool the eye.” The real thing, when sewn, is much more convincing because it’s flatter. (This pic was taken in the evening, so the color is off.)

The finished mock-block.

That was fun, like reading a few chapters in a novel when you should be studying for finals. Next week it’s back to my retreat projects and full speed ahead on Zephyr. As always, thanks for looking and reading. I hope your summer is off to a great start—and that it includes a little color play with fabric you love!

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