I made a hasty post last Sunday showing the finished "Little Opal". Some kind people asked where this quilt had come from, so I thought I would talk about its origins.
At the Quilt Festival in 2006, I purchased a charmingly packaged stack of about 110 2.5 inch squares, hand-dyed by Wendy Richardson. It was kind of a non-standard purchase for me &, I think, my very first purchase of pre-cut fabric. The colors were so pretty that I fell in love. Well, not far from her booth, I came across a booth that was selling Oakshott fabrics. They make absolutely beautiful cross-woven solids, plaids and woven stripes; they are silky, the colors are gorgeous and being a company based in the UK, they are a little hard to find in the US. Their colors coordinated so nicely with my new little hand-dyed squares that I bought a bundle of subtle woven stripes. I lovingly stroked and gazed at my purchases until that Christmas, when my Mother-in-law asked for a package of Thimbleberries charm squares. The colors were perfect for my nascent project, so I bought a pack for her and a pack for me. Fairly quickly, Opalescent was pieced together.
"Little Opal" happened because I now always visit Wendy Richardson's booth at Quilt Festival. I think I got my second pack of 2.5 inch squares in 2008; I also got a stack of larger squares. The booth selling the Oakshott fabrics was there again, so I got some solids this time. (No, I had not (and have not) used up the previous purchase -- I just wanted more, OK?). At the Art Gallery Fabrics booth I got several colorways of a kind of Asian, dahlia-like print. Later, I found a cheap woven stripe from a chain store. This quilt was slightly more of a challenge -- for one thing, I had to keep it 'different' from its big sister. But it was pieced pretty quickly, though I struggled with the quilting.
I like charm pack and jelly rolls, it is a fun challenge to come up with something unique with the very strict limitations of the fabric size. I really like these two little quilts -- no, I *love* these two little quilts. But they are really very similar and I think it is time to move away from the muted-color charm packs!