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Today we have a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers, Katy Jones from I'm a Ginger Monkey.  I'm not sure how Katy finds the time to get SO many beautiful quilts done but I love seeing her do it.  If you have never read her blog you need to get over there and spend all day looking at all her projects.  You will be truly inspired.  Her projects make you want to tackle things like English Paper Piecing and she makes it easy for you to learn and gives lots of encouragement!  Okay, I could go on and on about how cool Katy is or you could see for yourself... :)

~Brenda

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Hi, I'm Katy and if you don't know me, I blog at I'm A Ginger Monkey. When Brenda asked me to be one of the judges for the Fall For Solids contest I was super stoked. My main reason being that I struggle with solids a little. I would be lost without them but I don't use them exclusively all that much.

In fact if I am completely honest with you I have only made a handful of solids only quilts, I tend to be a crazy print type of girl and my quilts reflect this. The quilts I have made with solids I thoroughly enjoyed making, it's fun to push yourself a little when you make a new quilt, and to step outside of the comfort zone. For me, using exclusively solids is pushing myself to the limit.

80s BatWing Sweater

80's Bat Wing sweater was a quilt I made for Fat Quarterly. It's a simple quilt using a single over sized churn dash block which used just 2 colours of Robert Kaufman kona solids. Konas are my go-to favourite solids. I love them - the choice of colours and the amazing colour fastness makes them a winner in my book every single time. I never struggle to find the perfect colour for every project with Kona cottons, and I usually have to make the difficult decision between more than 2 or 3 colours because of the fantastic range available.

PaintBox

Paintbox was a quilt I made as a commission for a new baby. The brief was for something modern and gender neutral, and the baby's parents were very design conscious and hip. It was fun picking out the solids for this, I used a kid's paintbox as a guide and chose colours that were bright and fun and used a white background to create the biggest contrast I could possibly achieve. One of the solids I used was an inferior quality, and not a 'designer' fabric. Even though I pre-washed it, twice, the colour still ran a tiny bit into the white. It taught me a valuable lesson - only use the best solids and to stick to what I know. Trying to save what is really only a few pennies in the long run can be a costly mistake and if you're not careful you can ruin your work.

plain spoken in progress

My third, and final quilt made from solids only is still a work in progress. I have all the pieces cut and ready to sew, but I just haven't managed to sit down and get it stitched together. Maybe I should pull my finger out and get this one done, because now I'm looking at it again I realise how much I love those neapolitan ice cream colours (which are all Kona solids again). This pattern is from the book 'Modern Quilt Workshop' by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle. Do a quick google images search for Plain Spoken Quilt and check out all of the amazing variations people have made. It's such a simple pattern and works best of all in solids, whether they are relatively low volume and pastel like my version or beautiful bright rainbow colours. The Modern Quilt Workshop book is a fantastic book too, it's not new but it's something you should own. Add it to your wish list, or treat yourself. You won't be disappointed!

Solids can also bring order to a chaotic quilt. Take my scrap vomit quilt as an example. It's made using literally whatever scraps are to hand - including the ugliest ones imaginable. You need to forget that vomit is an ugly word with this quilt - think of it as potentially beautiful, your scrap box has emptied it's contents and this is what you get. (Maybe scrap explosion would be a better name? The original name just stuck, sorry!) Without the solids giving your eyes somewhere to rest it would a crazy postage stamp style quilt. My version was based on a quilt from flickr that was from an issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. Melanie's true to the pattern version used over 3,000 tiny squares - mine uses slightly bigger squares, so I could use up old jelly rolls strips and charm squares that I had hanging around looking sad and lonely.

Scrap Vomit - for me

I already feel so inspired by the projects I have seen over in the contest pool. I'm itching to get a new solids only project made, and I'm going to get that plain spoken quilt finished too!


Written by Brenda Ratliff — November 05, 2012

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