My sister and I like to attend craft fairs. Especially ones with pottery, wood working and painting. These artisans are incredible in what they can imagine and turn into reality with their hands. They are true crafts people who know and love their art. There are quilters like this, who imagine something wonderful and then create it. The National Quilt Museum houses some of these quilts. More are created each year and on display at the top quilt shows.
Many artisans work in a particular design area until they have exhausted the possibilities or become bored. Let’s look at Ricky Tims. He has reinvented his art several times – Rhapsody, Kaleidoscope, Caveman, and landscapes. He also expanded into different media – quilting, photography, music, and literature.
How do people get to that level? Some have an innate talent that is just waiting for the right media. Others start young, like athletes, and hone their craft over years. Most of us aspire, but will never achieve that level. The important thing is that we keep learning and trying.
What does this have to do with Whimsy Squared? First, I am in the experimentation mode with Whimsy. Many of my quilts are in the round and I decided to change it up a little and use a square and keeping the checkered center. I often admired marquetry, which is wood inlayed artwork. The use of different types of wood and stains create amazing images. I wanted to use different shades of brown to create a quilt that looked like marquetry. Second, we improve through practice and experimentation. Whimsy Squared was created for just that. It is a border quilt using simple quilt assembly methods: strip piecing, half square triangles, quarter square triangles. and simple applique. These are repeated multiple times to build and perfect your skills.
Of course, there needs to be a little experimentation, so the borders are interchangeable – put them in the order you like. This also means that you can choose the size you like: 60″ square (3-pieced borders), 75″ square (4-pieced borders), or 90″ square (5-pieced borders). If requested, I could even add a 105″ version! Because of the repetition and variety, this is a great quilt for a confident beginners class. It also is a good quilt for experienced quilter to hone their skills. I have learned that it never hurts to repeat the basics!
Whimsy Squared is designed for “wood tones.” My go to fabric for this quilt are the Hoffman 1895 Watercolors (page 40 of the catalog). The batiks offer the richness often found in wood. However, you can modify the colors to fit your palette. The trick is to have a light, a dark and three complimentary medium shades. With almost 400 colors in the the Hoffman 1895 Collection, you are sure to find colors you like. If you need help, I am always glad to try some colors out for you. I have experimented with greys, pastels, brights, cools, and warms. All were fun in their own way.
The Whimsy Squared pattern is available in our shop for both wholesale and retail. We hope you check it out!