I am going to be working on the design of a queen size quilt based on a beautiful multi-colored stained cocoa leaf light fixture. Thankfully, I have access to this fixture in person, and I was able to take my Kona color card over to color match earlier this week.
I particularly love the strong lines of the veins in the leaves, and I like how the leaves do not necessarily come to a point along the sides of the drum. If you have been following along my blog, you might know that I have a slight aversion to curved piecing. I don’t know why. I have successfully sewn circles together before!
To explore the possibilities for design inspiration, I decided to make a mini quilt to see if I could do a reasonable job mimicking theses beautiful cocoa leaves. To start, I pulled out a rainbow of Kona solids from my stash (they don’t match the light fixture, but are a good enough approximation for me right now).
I had the least amount of orange, so I cut all the fabric down to match the stripe of orange fabric I had on hand, and I pieced together strips to make a set of rainbow gradients.
From there, I decided to use pure white as the background, and I cut swooping curves into one of the rainbow strips at the same time cutting the arc into the background fabric. I then sewed them together, and it worked really well! I am pretty happy with how flat it ironed out. Basically, I read several tutorials by Lily’s Quilts and Red Pepper Quilts about cutting and sewing free hand curves and it worked out very well for me. I will say that I used an over sized background fabric (extra long compared to the rainbow stripe) to be on the safe side in terms of not trimming away all of one of my rainbow colors.
Using an off-white Aurifil thread, I quilted the rainbow leaf to have a strong center vein and then offset branches. I quilted loose, meandering spirals in the background of the white beside the leaf.
The Cocoa Leaf Mini Quilt finishes out at 21″ wide and 22″ long.
It took me just under 3 hours from start to finish. Well, I still need to put the rest of the fabric back in my stash, but clean up doesn’t count, does it?
Yes, I quilted some insanely small meandering loops up the center vein of the leaf. I actually quite love them and like how they play with the meandering loops in the negative space surrounding the giant leaf.
I always love how quilting pops out on a solid fabric!
This was a really great exercise for me. I do not really plan on making the cocoa leaves rainbow stripes for the queen size quilt, but it was a fun exercise for me to play with the colors and make something that I can take to my customer to discuss potential design options. Have you ever made a sample piece like this before as a tool to discuss design and as an exercise in skill building? I have one more rainbow stripe left over, and I am debating whether I should make a second mini quilt with it or set it aside.