I am thrilled to get to share a bit of secret sewing with you today! Oh Happy Day is my contribution to the Modern Quilt Guild’s Quilt of the Month (QOM) program and is the featured design and pattern for November.
Oh Happy Day is a playful exploration of traditional blocks in a very non-traditional layout. The design aims to create a feeling of transition from the upper left to the lower right with a sense of movement and dissonance along the way. The quilt offers an opportunity to practice precision piecing, and the graphic two tone design allows for easy adaptation to individual tastes while offering plenty of quilting space.
I named the quilt design Oh Happy Day as a tongue in cheek gesture at the beginning. Flying geese are my piecing nemesis, so I set out to use flying geese and other related block shapes in this design. Along the way, I used that tongue in cheek name for additional design inspiration. I used bright colors that made me feel cheerful (the quilt uses Kona Solids in Shell and Mango, which were supplied by Robert Kaufman Fabrics). And I learned that Robert Kaufman was renaming two of their solids in the process. What used to be called Pale Flesh is now Shell – Oh Happy Day!!
When thinking about how I wanted to quilt this design, I thought a lot about how to compliment the overall design while featuring the two toned piecing. When the quilt top is pieced together, the seam lines and piecing techniques appeared very obvious to me. Not that I want to keep the peicing a mystery or secret, but I wanted my original graphic design to pop out as the first impression when the quilt is viewed. With that in mind, I decided to go with straight line quilting but in different directions for each of the colors. I think the choice really has the intended effect of having the quilt design be what stands out more than the piecing techniques.
The benefit of having the Kona Mango as a solid backing for the quilt is that it also shows off the quilting and graphic design in a much more subtle way. I used 50wt Aurifil #2420 (Fleshy Pink) to blend with the Shell and #2220 (Light Salmon) to blend with the Mango, and I matched the bobbin thread to the thread on top.
In closing, when I created this quilt design back in June, I had know way to foresee the future or when this pattern would be released. I think it is fitting to be shared right now. We all need a Happy Day. And what better thing than a quilt to spread love and hugs when it is needed most. Regardless of what you are sewing or doing, I hope you are able to find something to claim your own moment of happy today.
If you are a Modern Quilt Guild member, you can log into the Community portion of the MQG website and download the pattern from the Resources tab.