The EQ8 Block Spotlight for August is White Oak, an applique motif. Such an appropriate block given fall is just around the corner. Granted, it is hard to believe as the temperatures have soared to 100F. But, quilters are always trying to stay at least a season ahead, or the project tends to find its way to the UFO pile!
Personally, I like to play with motifs both in design space as well as on my quilts. They are free from the bounds of the block, allowing for so much more creativity. I also like mandala’s, which is pretty evident by the number of them in my collection! Therefore, this was the perfect opportunity to put them together for an EQ8 Block Spotlight.
The trick to making mandala’s in EQ8 is the use of the wreathmaker function in design mode. You can add an element, turn it into a wreath by selecting the number of clusters. I chose eight clusters for mine as I like the symmetry of 45-degree angles for spacing. Then, you can select the cluster spacing, which is how far apart the elements are from each other. This is a great feature when adding multiple elements. When you add an element, you can pick a wider spacing so it will form a ring around your last element. Finally, you can select the size of the cluster, which is the size of the element itself. In my case, I had to size a few elements down to make them fit neatly between each other. The trick with adding multiple elements is to add them one at a time. Wreaths work best when the initial element is located at 0-degrees or 12 o’clock and is oriented north to south. You can then adjust the wreath to have the elements exactly where you need them. If you don’t use the orientation indicated, the wreath may not come out as you envisioned. Sometimes, it may be a welcome surprise!
To make my mandala or medallion, I used acorns and a variety of leaves to complement the White Oak motif. The leaves tweaks of the ones found in EQ8: Maple, Elm, Sycamore, and Honey Locust. The medallion was built by adding one leaf type at a time, converting it to a wreath, adjusting the alignment of the wreath to fit around the previous wreath. Once all of the elements were in place, I used a fall color palette of reds, golds, greens, browns, and oranges. I am a bit partial to fall colors.
When the Autumn Oak Medallion was finished, it needed a little something extra, a border. Using the same elements as the medallion, I created an oak border with acorns and leaves. The colors changed along the axis and the elements alternated direction to keep it interesting. Then, a thin solid border was added as a frame. Again, I was looking for complements, not competition.
This would be relatively easy to make using fusible applique (granted the honey locust may be a little time consuming). For those with patience, it could be needle turned or machine appliqued. I am not that patient! The quilt is 87″ square as designed, but could be made larger with a few extra borders, or smaller by leaving out the applique border, which adds 12″ to the size.
What do you think of the Autumn Oak Medallion design? Should I turn it into a pattern?? Please comment to let me know.