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Shades of Winter

20180101_202645.jpg                       (Shades of Winter designed and quilted by LaTawnia Porter)

I have never lived in snow country, until I moved to Montana just over a year ago. Who knew it could be so pretty? I mean, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but snow was something that I experienced only once in a while, whereas ice was another matter.

After a good snow everything here is black and white with hints of green and lots of grey. Being color blind, to me it’s perfect. Of course driving in all of that snow is another story. Let me just say, I don’t. I like my neighbors too much to run them off of the mountainside by my inept snow-driving abilities.

What has all of that to do with quilting? Quilts can be inspired by what you see in nature, in your home, your family or patterns of flooring in special places, just to name a few ideas.

My husband wanted me to think about making a quilt in black and white. I thought, that was kind of boring. That is until I started looking back at the pictures I took of my first winter here. 20161216_222847.jpg(This picture was taken from our porch. We had just moved into our home, Dec. 2017.)

If Ansel Adams could make a living taking black and white photos, surely I could come up with a quilt design incorporating what I perceived as shades of winter.

I had bought some fabric online, always a tricky thing since you really aren’t sure if what you are seeing is true color, especially for me. I had been saving it for some months, rolling the idea of a black and white quilt around in my mind.

Finally an idea for a design formed and I began drawing. Yes, by hand using graph paper and a ruler. I don’t have one of those cool programs to design with, yet. Maybe next Christmas. Once my pattern was finished I brought out that black, white and gray fabric to see how I would use it in my design. Also, I had to make sure I had enough of each color and wouldn’t need to order more.

Whew, I had enough, barely. If you are going to stockpile some fabric, try to make sure you have at least a couple yards of each color you think you will use for blocks and a minimum of five yards for backing for a small quilt. A quilt that is 60″x60″ takes 4 yards of backing that includes a 6 inch overage. By the way, here is a link to a great calculating tool. I use it all of the time to determine how much fabric I will need for pieces, binding, backing and batting. One more great place to use is Quilter’s Pantry. If I am working with a specific size of fabric, such as a fat quarter, this site tells me exactly how many pieces I can get from that piece of fabric and other great tips. How awesome is that?

Now it’s getting closer to Christmas, I had just completed a quilt I had designed for my six year old grandson (I will show the quilt and pattern design another time), and made a quilt for my daughter and her fiancé. I got both of those in the mail just at the cutoff time, barely. My husband was due home right at Christmas, so I had one week to cut, sew, quilt and wrap this quilt. He was due Christmas Eve, he got home on the 23rd. Yikes! One day early! Don’t you know I had that quilt in the dryer when he walked in the door! Good thing I had a box ready to put it in, I just had to sneak it out of the dryer and into the sewing room before he saw it.

Christmas morning arrived. I could hardly wait for him to open his present. Let me just say he loved it. It now is in the truck with him as he travels the highways and byways delivering cargo to various places around the country.

That about wraps up this story. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day and sharing it with me. I am now headed back to my sewing table as I am putting together another quilt I have designed.

Please check out my Designing Quilts page for more details on designing the “Shades of Winter” quilt and other quilts I am designing.

Until we meet again have a wonderful day,


5 thoughts on “Shades of Winter”

  1. Great article! Looking forward to more of them especially a entry about earthtones to go with the warmth of early summer.

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