Most people take a quilt class to improve their skills and to spend time with friends. Both are excellent reasons to take a class, but there’s another, often-overlooked reason to take a class: you get to see how other quilters approach the design. And it’s not just the students in my classes who enjoy this—I do too!
Not long ago I taught Pick-Up Sticks, from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color , at The Quilt Crossing in Boise, Idaho. The 8” x 8” finished-size blocks are cut and sewn improvisationally, but I designed the pattern so that you can make four blocks at a time that are not identical. It is a real time-saver! Here’s my quilt:
Here are many of the blocks made in class:
As the Pick-Up Sticks blocks come together, a secondary design forms. You can see it in Linda’s blocks, below. The black sticks are a very nice touch. They give your eyes a place to rest as you take in the other bolder colors.
Cheryl used a variety of gray background fabrics, rather than using the same background fabric throughout. Her original idea was to make each individual block with one background fabric. As she worked, we both got the idea that it might be better to mix it up.
The result is that the different fabrics read together as the background. The exploding design of the sticks is prominent. If each of the squares featured the same background fabric, you would notice the individual blocks first, which would lessen the impact of the overall design.
I made my own quilt using only one background fabric. I had not considered the best way to use multiple backgrounds. Now I know, and you do too!
Pick-Up Sticks blocks can be set in a variety of ways. This setting Debbie used reminded us all of hard rain or sleet.
Before I sign off, I want to introduce you to Lucy, who celebrated her 88 th birthday during class. How cool is that! She is an active quilter who is in the shop often.
Some of her other Piece O’ Cake quilts were hanging in the classroom. I was very impressed! This is Lucy’s version of My Whimsical Quilt Garden :
I think we all want to be just like Lucy, who has no plans to stop quilting any time soon. With that thought in mind, may you all have many happy stitches!
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