Friday, May 11, 2018

What Shade Are You, Mr. Peacock

Say Hello to Mr. Peacock. He was made for the What Shade Are You Blog Hop hosted by RJR fabrics. You can see the original post at

For those of you who don't know, I quilt in a small town - Lake City, SC - and we just got our lake last month! It is a small lake, but then again Lake City is a small town, but what it lacks in size and population it makes up in charm. Especially every April when it is host to one of the biggest art competitions in the southeast, Artfields, which awards a total $120,000 to artists across 12 states. The art submitted ranges from prints and paintings to 3D artwork and sculptures. There have even been a few quilts entered over the years. I have yet to enter a quilt myself, but after working on the What Shade Are You Blog Hop, I have been inspired to give it a try next year.

I’ll admit I was a little nervous about what I was going to make. I wanted to make sure I could make something beautiful enough to showcase the lovely solids from RJR fabrics and I wanted it to be original.

I decided to start by answering the question, “What shade are you?” I love red, it is my favorite color and if you ask anyone around my house they would tell you red is definitely my shade, so my first thought was to make a quilt with different shades of reds, but as long as my mind stayed fixed on a red themed quilt no inspiration would come.
As I was mulling things over trying to come up with an idea the question, “Can you make a peacock quilt?”  kept popping into my head. A co-worker had asked me that question a couple years ago when she noticed all the quilts I’d been making for the weekly challenges of Project Quilting. Why that question from so long ago kept popping into my thoughts I didn’t know, but it would not leave my brain. So I decided to go ahead and draw something up.
I used the notepad on my cell phone and made my first rough sketches.
I drew a couple renditions and then added color. I started with blues and greens and a few purples but no red.  I really didn’t want to let go of having red in my project, but peacocks didn't have red in their feathers. I was about to totally give up on the idea of having my favorite color in the quilt when a phrase from the movie Toy Story 2 popped into my head, “You’ll like Amy, she’s an artist!”  Right then and there I decided to put red in my peacock quilt. I put it right at the tip of the feathers. After all, I told myself, I am an artist and artists can make their peacock feathers be any color they want.

From there I added several other colors.  I ended up using the following:

Pickup Truck 415  (The Red)
Orange Crush 412
Persimmon 413
Cantaloupe 209
Citron 337
Sour Apple 346
Turks & Caicos 292
Bora Bora 328
Proud as a peacock 289  (Couldn’t pass this one up)
Lake 427
Violet 423
Hydrangea 214
Schooner 392
Robin's Egg 391
Lucky Green 406
Spring 405
Royal Blue 126  
Optical White White 33
Black 34

As I was drawing the feathers loaded with triangles I decided to construct the quilt using foundation paper piecing.  That way I could be sure to get all my points nice and sharp.

To make the pattern, I taped several large pieces of paper together to get an idea of the finished size.  Then I made master copies of the feathered sections, duplicated them 9 times, and got busy sewing.

Once I knew the final paper piecing layout of all the feathers I drew the bird’s body.   Following the lines of the inside part of the feathers helped make the process easier.

 The cotton supreme fabrics are so vibrant and smooth to the touch. They were lovely to work with and created such a fun quilt.  It even looked lovely from the back side.

I'm still loving my new quilting machine. It makes quilting so much more fun. Especially my large quilts. No more laying on the floor basting and no more struggling with large quilts under a small sewing machine.

Make sure you follow they will have a new quilt a new quilt every Friday showcasing what you can do with solid color fabrics.

I am so grateful I was able to be part of this hop. It has inspired me to keep on creating and made me excited to submit a quilted entry in the Artfields competition next year.