Welcome back guest blogger, quilt designer, and author Wendy Sheppard. Wendy’s new quilt, Village Square, combines piecing and applique to make a warm and wonderful queen-size quilt. The kit includes 15 different fabrics from the Hamilton collection by Williamsburg for Windham Fabrics and the quilt pattern has step-by-step instructions for all three blocks. You’ll find the first part of this series quilt in the McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017 issue. We’re happy to have Wendy here to talk about her quilt!
Hello again Quilting Friends,
It’s good to be back on the McCall’s Quilting to talk about my designs with you! Today, it’s all about my quilt featured on the cover of the McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017 issue. I hope you like it!
Village Square is extra special to me and I’m excited to share some behind-the-scenes snippets with you about the final design of this 94″ x 94″ bed-size quilt pattern!
Here are SIX fun facts about the design process for Village Square:
1. I have always liked house quilt blocks (any house quilt blocks). A quilt with house blocks just conveys a sense of security, love and home to me. When I designed Village Square, I decided I didn’t want the houses done in solids because I had already made an Amish house quilt in fresh solids. So, I explored the effect of using florals for the houses, and I was delighted with the results. One thing led to another and I ended up with a mix of floral and tonal houses with a scrappy look.
2. I had originally thought to use identical Irish Chain quilt blocks as the alternate/secondary blocks, but that ended up giving a caged look to all the houses–not a very welcoming feel to the “village.” To open up the final layout, I used a mix of floral wreath blocks and a larger chain block in muted colors to frame the quilt center. To balance out the scrappy house blocks, the secondary floral wreath and chain blocks all use the same fabrics.
3. After the quilt center layout was decided, it was a matter of adding border strips. When I have many fabrics in play in the quilt center, as is the case for Village Square, I often bring all the fabrics back in a pieced border to add more interest to the final look. For Village Square, because of how the two secondary blocks play out amongst the house blocks, the quilt center almost takes on a “diamond” medallion look (see the area framed by the large chain blocks). I took the feel of the diamond peeking through and used diamond-in-square blocks in one of the inner borders. A floral print outer border finishes off the quilt nicely. At this point, I feel as if the outer border gives my “quilt story” the perfect ending with all the loose ends tied.
4. If you have read my previous blog posts on my other quilts, you will notice that the blocks in Village Square aren’t difficult blocks. Exploring different settings with simple blocks often gives the illusion that the final quilt is difficult and complex. I use this tried-and-true trick in cooking too–ha! I often serve simple, but “dressed up,” meals for my family since I am not that crazy about cooking. I’d rather be quilting on any given day!
5. The red, white and blue colorway I used is a nod to all who serve valiantly in our country’s armed forces, as well as their families!
6. Incidentally, the fabrics used are from Windham Fabrics’ Hamilton line. You can find a few more fun tidbits about the fabric line on my blog.
I hope these snippets give you a glimpse of who I am, not just as a quilter, but a person. A quilt is like a literary work and the quilter is the author. So much is conveyed in the story presented by a quilt! My quilting friends, you aren’t just making a quilt, you are writing a book for all to read (albeit in a different format).
I hope you will enjoy making Village Square. And, happy quilting to all!
Thanks so much, Wendy! Wendy would like to give away a Windham Hamilton fat quarter bundle! Leave a comment below before midnight May 11, 2017 and you’ll be entered into our random drawing to win. The winner will be notified by email with subject line beginning YOU WON.
Thank you for participating — a winner has been picked! Keep an eye out for future guest blogs and your chance to win a giveaway!
If you’d like to make your own version of the Village Square quilt, and don’t yet have a copy of the McCall’s Quilting May/June 2017 issue, you can order print and digital versions in our online shop. The County Fair quilt pattern is also available separately as an instant digital download.