Welcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Wendy Sheppard. Wendy’s new quilt, County Fair, is a one-block design full of life and movement, an effect of the multiple colorways used. Try mixing batiks and prints, as Wendy did, to create depth and interest in the blocks. You’ll find this quilt in the McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017 issue. We’re happy to have Wendy here to talk about her quilt!
Some of you might not be aware that in my “former” pre-kid life, I had graduated with degrees in Chemical Engineering. In engineering, I always marvel at concepts/equations/projects/etc. built from the ground up, starting with the basics. I have sort of carried that concept over to my quilt designing process. I love to design with simple elements, and tweak them so that the final design is sometimes deceivingly difficult (which, in actuality, is not the case at all).
Pinwheels are definitely one of my go-to design elements that I have used in County Fair. If you look at the quilt block, I had started with the pinwheel unit in the center before framing it. I added flying geese units around the frame. To give the block the movement of the pinwheel, I split the flying geese units using two different fabrics and repeated that in the remaining flying geese units in the block. Having the blocks colored with different colors scattered all over the quilt gives the illusion of a field filled with spinning pinwheels.
In my quilts, I use a really great method to make my pinwheels. With this method, my pinwheels come out with accurately pieced centers. And this method, when executed carefully, will work down to the smallest pinwheel units! I recently made a few pinwheel units that finish at 2″ x 2″.
County Fair uses Moda’s Sweet Blends fabrics, and it is a mix of regular cotton and batik. I like using a bit of the batik in this quilt that pull in all the colors of the fabrics in one fabric swatch. I know many quilters make quilts strictly with 100% batiks or 100% cotton. Try mixing it up – you might like the effect.
It’s been great visiting with you. I wish you the very best in your quilting journey!
Thanks so much, Wendy! Wendy would like to give away her book, Creative New Quilts & Projects! Leave a comment below before midnight April 13, 2017 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win Wendy’s book. The winner will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
If you’d like to make your own version of the County Fair quilt, and don’t yet have a copy of the McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017 issue, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The County Fair quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.