Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Calling all chocolate lovers!

Where does chocolate rank on your list of favorite things? If you're like most of us, chances are both chocolate and quilting are pretty high on the list. 

Good news! Designer Tricia Lynn Maloney's latest project in Easy Quilts magazine uses chocolate and caramel shades of Marblehead fabrics to combine the two. 
"Chocolate Bar" by Tricia Lynn Maloney;
featured in Easy Quilts fall 2013
We asked Tricia, a fellow chocolate lover, to tell us about her delicious-looking quilt design.

What drew you to the Marblehead prints?
Tricia: I was immediately drawn to the Marblehead fabrics when one of the local shops that I teach at-- Homespun Treasures-- ordered the entire collection last year.  I really loved that every time I looked at a specific print, I saw more and more subtle color variations and textures.  As a designer, I also rejoiced with how well the fabrics played together.  The colors were so rich and vibrant -- I couldn’t wait to design some projects with those yummy fabrics. So far, I’ve used Marblehead fabrics in two magazine projects – Chocolate Bar for Easy Quilts Fall 2013 and a wall quilt for the Quilter’s World Winter 2013 issue, as well as a gift for my sister for Christmas this year. Shhhh! It’s a secret!

Why did you choose to use the browns/beiges?
Tricia: I really liked the way the brown and beige prints worked together, especially with surprising hints of other colors such as green, gold, orange, and purple. I find brown fabrics to be so very warm and inviting, don’t you?

Did you name the quilt?
Tricia: Yes, I did name the quilt.  Sigh. . . I must admit that I am a chocolate fanatic.  LOL! Once I had the design and I decided on the Marblehead browns and beiges, the quilt practically named itself because it looked like a giant piece of chocolate! 

Can you talk about your design--how you decided what to do with the fabrics?
Tricia: I created the quilt design and the original block design using Electric Quilt 7 software before I chose the fabrics.  I really like designing simple quilts that are fast and easy to put together.  Then I like to add fabrics in unusual ways to make simple into awesome.  I chose a dark brown print as well as a light beige print and then added four medium prints for just the right balance.

What do you like best about the quilt?
Tricia: I really like this quilt because of its simple design and warm fabrics -- it just literally begs to be used . . . or cuddled . . . to wipe away tears . . . or to give comfort.  It’s also a quilt that’s suitable for anyone.  This is not a quilt that will be hung on a wall or folded away in a chest.  

What do you think makes this quilt so appealing--both to look at and to sew?
Tricia: One simple block makes this quilt very easy to assemble.  It’s so quick that there is no time to get bored with it.  Of course, who can resist working with the colors of rich and creamy chocolate?

What is the challenge of working with a monochromatic color scheme?
Tricia: You have to add enough different shades and/or tints as well as different prints or textures so that the quilt doesn’t become flat and predictable.  Using fabrics like the Marblehead prints are wonderful to work with because of their subtle changes in texture and color.

Tell us about the machine quilting.
Tricia: I free motion quilted the quilt from edge to edge in a large meandering design reminiscent of tree rings.  It’s really a very simple design – basically a cross between a spiral and a stipple.

If all this talk of chocolate bars has your awakened your sweet tooth, try this recipe for Classic Chocolate Brownies from Ghirardelli. Yum!

And...just for fun...
Check this out!
A USB flash drive cleverly disguised as a chocolate bar

See the entire Marblehead collection here.
Learn more about Tricia here
Find Fons & Porter's Easy Quilts here.

Also, Tricia would like to invite everyone to check out her second book – which is literally hot off the press -- A Russian Journey in Quilts: The Story of Nicholas and Nina Filatoff. 
She says: "This book is truly a labor of love and is based on one of my favorite childhood 'fairy tales.'  A Russian Journey in Quilts tells the amazing story of Nicholas and Nina Filatoff through fifteen quilt projects ranging from table runners to a large bed-sized sampler quilt.  The sampler quilt, called A Russian Journey Sampler, incorporates blocks from the smaller projects, and would make a fantastic Block of the Month program, especially with the Winter Olympics coming in February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  There is even a free BOM guide to download from  

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