”This is the week of the release of my latest book with C&T Publishing, Diamond Traditions. The cover is SO cool and I am just thrilled with this book! It is another fat quarter book and with this one, I use fat quarters as backgrounds for some quilts and a single fabric for the background on others. There are 11 different quilts and most have multiple sizes.
The quilt on the front, “Blue Heart Diamonds” (above), was pieced by my friend, Peggy Drake and quilted by another friend Danette Gonzalez. This is one of the quilts in the book that uses a scrappy fat quarter background.
In the book, I also provide instructions on using either my rulers or the traditional piecing method.
Are you wondering where the name of the book came from? Well, as I was designing the quilts, I saw a diamond theme emerging in each of the quilts and it went from there!
One of my favorite quilts in the book is “Marquis”, pieced by me, quilted by LeAnne Olson, and pictured above. I love the way the simple block, a combination of quarter square triangles and courthouse steps blocks, makes a more complicated pattern. Again, this is all fat quarters except for the borders but you can certainly use one light fabric. Can you see the diamond shape in this quilt? They remind me of Chinese Lanterns.
“Square Cut” (above) was pieced by my friend, Kathy Rosecrance and again quilted by LeAnne Olson. The diamonds are not as subtle as they are in some of the other quilts because the black really makes them jump out!
My design process starts on the computer. I use my quilting program to create the blocks, then add my colors so I can see how they look together. I play with the design, rotating the blocks, putting them on point, adding sashing or pieced borders, or I alternate blocks until I am satisfied with the overall look and secondary designs.
With “Square Cut”, I rotated the blocks and added the strong black to really make the diamonds pop. Once I get it designed, I choose my fabric and make 1 to 4 blocks depending on the quilt. For “Square Cut”, I made 4 blocks so I could see how it looked together. Once I have the blocks made, I can then make multiples of the blocks.
All of my books with C&T Publishing are fat quarter books and when I pieced them and wrote the instructions, I figured out how many blocks I could get with a pair or a set of fat quarters and, if used, a main background. I try to use as much of the fabric as possible so there is very little waste. With the price of fabric these days, who wants to waste!
Then, when I piece, I work in sets. So, if I can get 4 blocks from a set of fat quarters, I make 4 blocks. If it’s 3, then I make 3. Most of the time I like to use the same fabrics in a set of blocks. If I want to make it really scrappy, like in “Diamonds are Forever” (below), I make multiples of the unit using the same fabric. Then when I make the larger block, I scrappy it up. It helps me to be organized and keep things together.
To win a copy of Diamond Traditions leave a comment on this post telling us if you love working with diamond shapes! The winner will be randomly selected on May 16th and added as an update to this post. International winners will receive the e-book. Good Luck!
5/17/13 UPDATE: Vidya is our winner – congratulations!