Happy Fourth of July, friends!
I was tempted to name this post “Sparklers” because the pattern I taught at this year’s back-to-back Pine Needle quilt retreats — Idyllic by Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts — reminds me so much of fireworks. When you look at the quilt blocks below, tell me if you see starbursts in the sky too.
The blocks were made by quilters in the first of two groups I taught last month on Hood Canal in Washington State. If you follow me on Instagram (@dawn_at_first_light_designs) you’ve already seen photos of the first blocks going up on the classroom design walls. Before I show you the blocks, let me show you the makers:
Isn’t that a happy looking group? Geri Grasvik, organizer of the retreats and owner of the Pine Needle, is in the second row, far right, in a black T-shirt. I’m in the top row, far right, also in black.
Here’s what the group started with:
This block looks great in two colors and in a variety of fabrics for a scrappy look. In terms of construction the pattern is all about precisely made star points made from Flying Geese units. I taught students how to make four Flying Geese units from two squares using a method that’s been around for quite a while but doesn’t seem to be very well known. A couple of specialty rulers made squaring up the units fast and easy. You won’t find any star points cut off in these quilts!
And now, in no particular order, here are the blocks and their makers . . .
First up is Frances, whose outfit perfectly complements her blocks:
Here’s Patty, who chose bright florals and prints against solid green for her quilt background:
Donna’s more limited but very colorful palette with aqua for the quilt background is equally striking:
Carol’s version includes different neutral fabrics for each block background for an extra scrappy look:
Roxanne is making a two-color version but is actually using two pink fabrics. Her quilt background and sashing fabric is a pale pink Fairy Frost that is going to make her quilt practically glow:
Check out Carolyn’s three blocks on the left, noting how the solids and subtle prints she chose for her star points are set off by the lively batik print of the quilt background:
See Lynn’s middle block? She used a blue batik instead of white in her corner blocks by mistake. We all liked the effect so much (and so did she) that she decided to keep it!
As someone whose favorite color is green, I was struck by Coeta’s choice of greens for the block and quilt background fabrics:
I can’t wait to see her completed quilt! (By the way, check out Coeta’s T-shirt. It’s just like the ones Geri and I are wearing in the group photo above but you can’t see the logo on ours.)
Diana’s quilt is going to be so dramatic! The bold graphic batik print she chose for the quilt background is the perfect foil for her star points:
The deep metallic red Denise chose for her block background sets off these other Asian prints beautifully:
Denise changed her mind about her quilt background fabric so she concentrated on creating the centers of the blocks instead.
Lana did the same thing. Her scrappy version is destined to be a fundraiser for her grandson’s school:
Peggy’s soft version is highlighted by light and medium-value aquas:
The bright colors in Claudine’s Idyllic blocks look wonderful against the neutral gray:
Gale chose beautiful William Morris prints for her soft muted version:
Mary went with batik prints in the same color family for her star points and a lovely sage print — not a batik — that works perfectly for the quilt background:
The medium dark brown Pat is using for her block background emphasizes the octagonal shape of the Idyllic block and looks so dramatic against the green of the star points and print in the block background:
Until she got to the retreat, Missy didn’t realize her fabrics were designed by Corey Yoder herself! These are from the “Pepper and Flax” line Corey designed for Moda fabrics:
Susan is incorporating a print with a border stripe into her quilt, with very striking results:
While most of the students were working on Idyllic, a few were working on other projects — and that’s perfectly fine. The whole point of being at a retreat is for quilters to work on whatever their hearts desire.
Kim was working on a queen-size version of Jacob’s Ladder using gorgeous batiks:
We all loved watching her blocks on the design wall multiply.
Janet was making Flying Geese blocks not for Idyllic but for a different quilt:
And Cynthia was enjoying being out on the deck while binding this quilt:
She originally planned it as a quilt backing but it clearly deserves to be on the front.
I think you can tell we were all having a lovely time. Spectacular setting, delicious food, and all the time in the world — for four days, anyway — for each quilter to to sew to her heart’s content. Just what a retreat should be, wouldn’t you say?
The blocks my second retreat group made are equally sparkling. Please stop by in a few days to see them.
I love seeing all the color choices and how different they all look. I can’t wait to see the ones from the second retreat.
What an enthusiastic group of quilters! Not sure why I always want to pick a favorite, but it was very difficult here because each was SO unique. Nevertheless, Diana was my pick and not just because of her name! Her use of the batik background fabric was simply wonderful. Congratulations to all of the quilters for their outstanding work.