I am so excited to bring you the newest TCJ pattern, Color Chaos. This pattern actually was self drafted by me back in 2017 to participate in a blog hop with RJR Fabrics. They did a monthly project called What Shade Are You? I was able to pick any solid fabrics from their collection and make anything I wanted. This was back at the very beginning stages of my quilt design journey and I actually made a two sided quilt. The one and only time I've ever done that.
Here are a few photos of the original quilt I made. All of my math and design sketches were on grid paper with the final idea in Illustrator. Because this was a project for fun, I didn't do anything to streamline the process. Designing a pattern out of this project was never in my mind. I truly worked color by color, block by block.
The other side of the quilt I made a gradient courthouse steps quilt. Maybe one day I will tackle writing that one. We actually were able to go celebrate my 30th birthday in Hawaii and we brought this quilt with us for the blogpost photos.
For the last five years, this has been one of my absolute favorite quilts. I haven't ever wanted to sell it or use it. It is one of those rare ones where I'm like "DON'T TOUCH IT!" ha.
It wasn't until earlier this year that I thought "hey, it's been five years, maybe I could write a pattern for this one now". I found all my old notes with measurements and cuts and old Illustrator file. The problem though was that I didn't do anything consistently. So there wasn't much information for me to look at that was like "oh yeah... that's what I was thinking!" So I knew the general idea I was going for, color moving through blocks, column by column. I knew how to make the single Split Quarter Square Triangle (SWST) but other than that, I had to start fresh.
I played around in Illustrator and grabbed all of the Ruby Star Society basics fabrics I had on hand and jumped right in. The problem with this is, I assumed my Illustrator file was correct. I thought I had figured out how I wanted the blocks to be sewn together. What I didn't realize was my Illustrator file was wrong. When you make SQST, you create a couple exact repeats of a block and a couple mirrored repeats of the same block. I did not do that properly in the file. I only realized I had messed up when I sewed half of the quilt together wrong. Que SCREAMMMMMMMMM.
I really had that crazy creative frenzy happening in my body. I didn't double check anything. I didn't make one test block to try out all the math. I should have. But I didn't. I mean, this fabric was too yummy to let just sit in a pile.
So much seam ripping happened that day. I cried and cussed a lot. But I took some deep breathes and was determined to figure out how to salvage what I had sewn. Luckily, I didn't have to rip apart every individual SQST but I did have to take them all apart from each other. Column by column, block by block.
The one benefit of this mistake is when I sat down to figure out the new final design in Illustrator, I stumbled upon a new design idea. This gradient Color Chaos uses 34 fabrics and really is an explosion of color. As I was building my updated mock up, I was just copying and pasting the blocks in a single color way (3 colors) before I colored them in correctly with all 34 colors. But, I stopped and saw this gorgeous bold modern design. The quilt looks SO different and amazing in only 3 colors. So that is how the Modern Design Color Chaos option came about.
So with a newly formed mock up that was correct AND a new design option I could provide, I was actually in high spirits. Happy accidents.
I ripped apart and resewed the 18 incorrect blocks. And then I kept moving forward sewing the final half correctly.
I actually did this on a random day in April when we had 6" of snow drop here in Portland. So Everett was home from school and playing out in the snow and I was playing in my studio. The boys always come in to check on what I am doing and most likely ask for a snack.
Once my blocks were finished, it was time to sew them together into their columns.
This quilt was the one that really tested my patience or highlighted the fact that I am NOT patient. Did I sew together the columns incorrectly? Yes, yes I did. This quilt was a great reminder to slow down a little, enjoy the process and ALWAYS CHECK THE DIAGRAM.
The Color Chaos Pattern includes three sizes - Baby, Throw and Bed. All of the samples I made are in the Throw Size which finishes at 72" x 72". It is one of my favorite sizes, a nice generous quilt size.
I sent this quilt off to Kaitlyn of Knot and Thread Design. I knew that I wanted to do use the Swivel Curve 2 on this quilt top. And then Kaitlyn showed me neon yellow thread laying on top of the quilt and immediately I knew I wanted to do that! The quilt is SO good.
I backed the quilt in Starry Bluebell and Add It Up Citrine - both Ruby Star Society. I love how the binding matches the thread and how the back really adds that deep pop of color.
The texture of this pantograph always makes me so happy. I love the curve of the design against the straight angular lines of the design.
The studio we did this photoshoot in is my favorite I've used in Portland. It is called Sunbeam PDX and has the most beautiful lighting, big windows with green trees and lots of gorgeous furniture and props to decorate with.
The Color Chaos Quilt Pattern is such a fun pattern to sew and make. For the throw size you can use either FQs or 1/4 yard cuts for the color explosion in the gradient. I hope you love sewing it up!