the calm of Whisper

Readers of Quilts Made Modern may remember that I spent 8 months hand quilting a quilt called Small Change made entirely with Cherrywood fabrics. Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics are more expensive than mass-manufactured prints, but have a softness that’s just not found anywhere else.

While the design thinking behind Small Change was the interplay among rich colors, Whisper is all about the subtle differences within a very desaturated — even drab — palette. We used all of the colors in the Potters’ Wheel Palette (part of the 8-step bundles that Cherrywood offers) and added a few other taupes as well.

Note that because the fabrics aren’t patterned and the colors were low in contrast we were able to use swirled stitching in the circles and a simple stipple in the field. The stitching really transforms a quilt when it’s this simple so if you make a quilt with Cherrywoods, it’s worth thinking through the quilting because it will really show.

I have to add that designing and making this quilt was a leap of faith for us. These are not colors that are considered “hot” in the quilting fabric industry. I once had a fabric sales rep tell me that we should only design and use fabrics that grab your attention from the second you set foot in a shop. It was painful to hear that. I didn’t want to believe that we had to scream all of the time. So I was particularly relieved and encouraged when one person after another at Quilt Market said how nice is was to see such an unusual palette. See. There’s room for quiet after all.

6 Comments

  1. Posted January 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I like Small Change because of its popping arrangement of colours & I like this because of the calm subtle combination of colours !

  2. Posted January 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy your quilts just the way they are. It’s too easy to let trends drown out your voice, quilting or otherwise.

  3. A
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    1. love the new book.
    2. Love this quilt!
    3. I love low contrast/light quilts – subtle & serene.
    4. I don’t know if you are on flickr or not, but there is a “fan of funquilts” group & I put my plain spoken that is “light” in the group.

  4. Kathy
    Posted January 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    There IS room for quiet… that’s for sure. Your quilt is one of the loveliest I’ve seen in quite some time. Who wouldn’t want to snuggle up under it with some Jane Austen and a cup of tea??

  5. Lorraine Field
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I love small change(made it in Queen size), and I love cherrywood fabrics. They feel so lovely. Everytime I walk into our bedroom I just go ahhh. I may have to make the Calm of Whisper for the loungeroom. Thank you for your designs, they are thoughtful, beautiful and treat to make.
    Hope to see you both in Australia some time.

  6. Glynis
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    This quilt is a place of calm in a crazy, stressful world. And much more accessible right now than braving the cold to sit by one of our Colorado streams! Seems like people are needing more tranquil moments! Thanks for reminding us of modern ways to create those moments!
    Glynis


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