cf Mini QAL #1: Monochromatic.
Welcome to the Quilt Along and to Week #1! I’m so glad that you’re tuning in.
I’ve deliberately set this project up so that you can customize it to your own situation, interests and/or goals. My main goal is to encourage you along with creative ideas and challenges that you can use in your compositions each week.
Compositions are the perfect way to think about your work each week. Mini quilts are just little compositions of ideas, and for that reason they’re perfect for exploring your own creativity. Taking on something small is much more manageable and less stressful, freeing you up to have fun and to take risks. That’s a big reason why I love them so much. They don’t take too much time, effort or supplies, but the results can be freeing and inspiring.
Each week we’ll have a theme, and the theme this week is a great place to start–monochromatic or using just one color. The colors and patterns in fabric are maybe the biggest reasons we’re sucked into sewing–at least for me, but I also know that picking out what to use and how to use it can be overwhelming. By focusing on just one, we’re removing a little bit of that overwhelm.
Using just one color is definitely not boring! There are many options to consider. How dark or light is it? What are the different shades? How about the texture?
While pulling fabrics for my own project, I started to notice a growing pile of blue. Without even trying, I had a heap of blue that I knew was the way I wanted to go for this first week. In the picture above, you’ll notice that while gathering fabrics, I’m starting to organize them by color and value. It’s definitely a habit, but it’s also a helpful way for me to assess what I have going on. And coincidentally (/usually this happens), I’m discovering relationships between the fabrics that I want to explore. Like this one.
These fabrics (from Euclid and Friedlander Lawn) ended up together, and I became obsessed. They are close in that they are both darkish, but there’s an interesting difference not only in texture but also in shade that I really like. So I sewed up a few blocks to get started.
This week I’m working it out using Version A of my Lusk pattern. But with this week and all weeks to follow feel free to work from any of my recent patterns (Lusk, Davie and Babson). Each of them has a mini or wall-sized option that will be perfect for getting you started.
My coloring page and templates are printed out, and my design wall is up with my blocks being added as I make them. I always love seeing where something is going and reacting to it as I go. Depending on your own style and way of working you may want more or less specifics spelled out from the onset.
Whatever your way of working might be, grab a color–any color–and get playing with it. I can’t wait to see what you do! Share your projects on Instagram using #cfminiQAL so I can see what you’re up to.
Bonus sidenote: Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter, as I’ll not only be recapping the cf Mini QAL there weekly, but I’ll also sometimes include bonus visuals and sources of inspiration. Sign up using the subscription box in the top right corner of the site.
+ Pick a favorite color OR a color that you have a lot of (often the same thing…) and go for it! No need to get hung up on this first decision.
+ Pay attention to value contrast (how light/dark it is next to its neighbors) and the shade. Even within one color, you have TONS to play with.
+ Use the design wall (or your floor)! Try not to worry too much about the different variables at play. Dive in to your first few blocks with a few of the fabrics in your stack, and then throw them up on the design wall. What do you think? Pick your next pair based on what you learned/love/don’t love/are excited about after seeing what you just made.
+ And just because you’re working on something small each week, don’t underestimate where this can take you in 8 weeks. Not to skip to the end–but rather to give you something to think about from the onset–you might decide to turn your projects each week into finished mini quilts that can be a beautiful gallery all together on a wall, OR you could also think of sewing the challenges each week together at the end into a sampler showcasing all of the different ideas that we’re about to explore together. I say this not to say you need to do one or the other, but instead to offer up an idea at the onset that I have been considering myself. There’s no need to decide right now, but if a bug in your ear is helpful, there it is.
+ New to paper piecing? You can check out my paper piecing projects on Creative Bug. There I’ll walk you right through the process.