We love seeing what quilters create using our fabric, and when we saw this beauty, we knew that we needed to share it with all of you! Mary Louise Gerek designed her Seashell quilt using Ro Gregg's Marblehead Global Brights, and she recently learned that the quilt had been accepted into the Denver National Quilt Festival. Congratulations, Mary Louise!
Q. What attracted you to the Global Brights fabric?
Mary Louise: I had already designed Seashell before the Global Brights were released. When I first saw them, I knew they were just what the design needed. I really like working with the bright colors and textures of the Marblehead Global Brights. The fabric is high quality and has a wonderful hand.
Q. Can you talk about your block design?
Mary Louise: I started the block design by just drawing lines within a square. I then started adding and subtracting lines to see how it would work. I focused on straight-line piecing and what secondary patterns appear when the blocks are rotated and/or flipped.
The block consists of two half-square triangles, each with asymmetrical patches. All of the seams are straight lines. The final seam is the one diagonally down the middle where you only have to match two seams. The block does require accurate piecing of acute angles. That is the skill building part of the pattern.
Q. Why do the Global Brights, as a mottled type of fabric, work well for your Seashell pattern?
Mary Louise: The variation in the colors within each fabric results in very similar, but not identical blocks. I really like that kind of texture added to a quilt.
Q. Can you tell us about your border and cornerstone design decisions?
Mary Louise: When I looked at the quilt as a whole, it needed some boundaries. I also wanted to make the pattern variable in size to fit different size beds. By varying the width and number of strips in the border, I was able to accomplish that easily.
I originally tried putting four small blocks in each corner, but that was too much of the same thing. The points aiming toward the center brings the eye back to the center of the quilt. The points are a challenge and some
people may prefer paper-piecing the cornerstones. I do include a paper-piecing foundation in the published pattern.
Q. What do you like best about this quilt?
Mary Louise: I like the color and the secondary patterns that appear. It is a fun block to put together, and working with bright colors on a rainy day definitely makes the day brighter.
Q. What is one surprising thing about this quilt?
Mary Louise: Most surprising to me is people's reaction to it when they see it in person. The pictures show you what the quilt looks like, but the color really comes alive in person.
Q. Can you tell us about entering the show and your reaction upon being accepted?
Mary Louise: I really entered the quilt in the Denver National Quilt Festival on a whim. It was one of those "why not?" moments. I entered it with three days left in the entry window. So, I did not have to wait long. And, I really forgot about it. When the email came on April 3, I was really surprised. This is my first acceptance into a national show.
Q. Where is this quilt headed after the show?
Mary Louise: Seashell will be part of the Trunk Show that goes along with my lecture "Playing with Blocks." I use it to illustrate what can happen when you start playing with lines and asymmetrical blocks. The block is part of my
class, Polish Your Piecing, where I work with students on piecing acute angles, piecing curves and working out the best order to piece your patches for any given block.
Make this quilt yourself!
You can find Mary Louise's Seashell pattern here.
Browse Ro Gregg's Marblehead Global Brights collection here.
Find out more about Mary Louise, including her lectures, classes, and patterns, here.