Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Northwoods Man

The holidays are fast approaching, and chances are there's a special guy on your list who would love a quilt. The trick is finding the right fabric and pattern. May we offer a suggestion?
Check out Terry Albers' "Northwoods Man" quilt, a bonus pattern in the November/December 2013 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting. 
Northwoods Man by Terry Albers of Hedgehog Quilts and quilted by Diana Napier;
featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting Nov/Dec 2013
We asked Terry to share the thoughts behind her design. Did you know she used a Marblehead pre-printed stripe in the blocks and second border? Great results with less piecing! Keep reading to find out more.
Q. What are the challenges of creating a "manly" quilt?
Terry: I’d have to say that the biggest challenge for me is using medium-dark neutrals without being boring. I like to have light and movement in my quilts but the men in my life prefer darker, earthy colors. Ro Gregg’s Marblehead Northern Woods fabrics have so much depth of color that they almost glow.

Q. Why did you choose to work with the Marblehead stripe?
Terry:  I knew right away that I could get the light and movement I was looking for without piecing elements of light colors into the blocks.
I started out using the stripe to see what kind of results I could get with the illusion of piecing strips together.  I got less bulk in lots less time. I love the way the stripes look so different as block components than they do as a border.

Q. Any tips about successfully using a fairly monochromatic color scheme?
I think that movement is the key here. The multi color stripe in the blocks keeps your eye moving. I used the black with stars to emphasize the separation of the areas. This keeps the colors from mushing together. 

Q. Can you talk about how you came up with the design and why you decided to set it on point?
The stripe was the source for this design. I tried this block in a straight set but it looked more like a rail fence without enough contrast. When I dropped the block into an on-point setting, the blocks seemed to spin just a little. Then I set them onto the trees background by using the trees as sashing and setting triangles.  It makes the blocks seem to float – not quite but almost – 3D.
Q. What's your favorite part about this quilt?
Terry: I love the fabric!  I also thought it was fun to start with the glowing center and add interesting borders to bring it up to the size I would need for my 6’3” son. The stripe border is my favorite element.
Q. Why was the swirly machine quilting design chosen?
We have lots of wind through the trees in our part of the country. It swirls the leaves in the fall and the snow in the winter.  So the swirls represent the wind and also provide more movement.
Q. What types of fabric attract you?
Terry: I love to work with Ro Gregg’s fabric lines.  She usually has lots of pieces and the colors flow well with each other. If I’m in the mood for dark or light or calm or busy…I can probably find it in the line. I don’t have to worry about hues that aren’t quite right.

Download the free pattern for Northwoods Man here.
See the entire Northern Woods Marblehead fabric collection here and the Marblehead collection (where you'll find the stripe) here.
Find the kit for this project here.
Learn more about Terry and her designs here.
Find Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting here.

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