Recently I shared this photo of some fabrics I’ve been collecting for a little while. Actually, some of my older American Jane fabrics that I’ve been saving for several years aren’t even pictured here, and I’m using them along with these for a very special quilt.
A little while ago I was asked if I might be interested in joining an on-line quilt along for an upcoming quilt in the American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. The quilt was designed by Lissa Alexander and appears in the February 2014 issue which debuts tomorrow! Be on the lookout for this issue if you’re a subscriber (or you may have just recently received it). My issue hasn’t yet arrived, but it seems that I’m always a week or two behind every one I see in blog land. The issue should also be available soon at your local quilt shop.
This quilt is one of those quilts…incredible…amazing…wonderful…the kind that goes on your quilting bucket list at first sight. And…it can be made using scraps–fat quarters, jelly roll strips, small pieces…even extra layer cake squares work with this pattern. I’ve certainly had a lot of fun collecting and assembling my fabric stack for this project.
Lissa’s quilt is named “Tone it Down” and features scrappy brights along with an equally eclectic mix of low-volume fabrics. Her quilt was quilted by the incredibly talented Natalia of Piece N Quilt.
I knew my American Jane reserves were the perfect place to start…and I’ve been happily cutting strips from a lot of different collections and mixing and matching bits and pieces. I’m finally using some fabrics that literally have been sitting in a drawer for more than 5 years…and they add so much variety and interest when mixed with the more recent American Jane fabrics (I even snagged a FQ bundle of the upcoming Ducks in a Row at Sample Spree knowing it would add just what I needed for this quilt).
The instructions in the magazine offer two different options: a strip pieced method of block construction and a “super scrappy” construction method. I found the best way for me to work was to use the strip piecing method for my brights. I was able to use a lot of layer cake pieces for my strips; however, I also cut into some fat quarters. The cutting went fast, and soon I had all of the neat little piles I needed to piece my entire quilt.
The next thing I needed to decide was what to do about the “low volume” or background fabric selection. And you know what…I happily found that there are a lot of American Jane “low volume” prints out there. I’ve been having a little fun on Ebay and Etsy and have ordered some of these prints from as far away as Alaska! I have a couple more pieces that should be arriving any day to add into this mix. For some of these low volume pieces I used fat quarters or ½ yards, but there were a couple that I purchased an entire yard of: the black dot on cream and the small floral on cream. I’ve also used extra charm squares, layer cake squares, and jelly roll strips of the American Jane low-volume pieces to cut my backgrounds.
I’m having a lot of fun with this quilt and can’t wait to share more of my progress. Now, there are quite a few others participating in the quilt along…
Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side
Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
Camille Roskelley of Simplify
Carrie Nelson of La Vie En Rosie
Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane
Kimberly Jolly of the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Jabber
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings
Lissa Alexander–Moda Lissa
and Jennifer Keltner, executive editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, at All People Quilt
I, along with each of these women, (I’m so honored to have been asked to quilt along) will be making a unique version of the quilt and sharing thoughts and tips on the construction along the way. We will be posting updates on our progress for you to follow along on our blogs and social media. I hope you’ll join in the fun in creating this wonderful quilt and use the hashtag #APQquiltalong when you post about it! So, are you ready to join in and Tone it Down?!