Sparkler Block
quilt along

Sparkler {Summer Sampler 2019}

I’m pretty sure no one is surprised about the skill that I discuss in this week’s Summer Sampler 2019 block that I designed: transparency. I have focused a lot in the past on evaluating fabric in a monochromatic sense. But what if you want to move around the color wheel?

Sparkler Block by Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl

Sparkler Block by Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jetgirl

Before I talk about moving around the color wheel, let’s role back to fundamentals for a moment. There are two things that are needed for effective transparency:

  1. The right design elements (overlapping shapes), and
  2. convincing fabric choices.

The Sparkler block takes care of the design element, so today I want to talk more in depth about convincing fabric choices.

Fabric Selection Photo Comparison

Fabric Selection Photo Comparison

One of the best tools available for evaluating fabric selection are photographs and the ability to quickly convert photographs into grayscale (note: grayscale is not the same as applying a filter, although if your only option is to do so, choose B&W or Mono). Getting the right photograph of your fabric selection is also a key element. My tip is to strive to have the photograph look as close to what you see with your eyes before converting the photograph to grayscale.

In the comparison above, I set my fabric in an area with indirect sunlight. The photo in the upper left hand corner had the fabrics oriented such that the light was coming across them at an angle, leaving the colors a bit washed out. By simply rotating the fabrics 90 degrees on my work surface and taking a second photography, I was able to capture a photograph that much more closely matched what the fabrics looked like to me.

The grayscale of each photograph is directly below the original photograph and note how much easier it is to see the relative value difference between each fabric in the lower right hand corner.

Sparkler Block: Alternate Colorways

Sparkler Block: Alternate Colorways

Note that not all transparency fabric selections require a change in value. For example, when moving around the color wheel or color blending, such as mixing blue and pink to create purple, if the pink and blue fabrics are both light in value, the best purple fabric selection will also be a light value.

Sparkler Block: Alternate Colorways - Grayscale

Sparkler Block: Alternate Colorways – Grayscale

When in doubt, pull out your crayons, coloring pencils, or watercolors! Mix colors together to get a feel for what colors you will be looking for in your stash or while shopping.

Sparkler Block

Sparkler Block

This week Americans will be celebrating the 4th of July, and I designed the Sparkler block to be a nod to my favorite 4th of July firework: the sparkler. To achieve my design, I created Sparkler block as a paper pieced design, which I felt also compliments the Piecing Bootcamp theme of the Summer Sampler 2019.

Sparkler Mini Quilt

Sparkler Mini Quilt

By combining 4 Sparkler blocks, a sizzling 24″ square mini quilt can be created!

The above photograph was taken by my husband along the Dempster Highway at the south border of Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon, Canada. I’m crouching down and hiding behind the quilt (which was not an easy feat, as my lower back is still reminding me)!

Sparkler Mini Quilt

Sparkler Mini Quilt

I opted for walking foot echo quilting on my Sparkler mini quilt using 50wt Aurifil colors that matched my selected Kona Cotton fabrics:

  • Kona White | 50wt 2024 (White)
  • Kona Canary | 50wt 2115 (Lemon)
  • Kona Mango | 50wt 2214 (Golden Honey)
  • Kona Flame | 50wt 2277 (Light Red Orange)
Sparkler Mini Quilt

Sparkler Mini Quilt

I added hanging tabs in the upper corners of the mini quilt, which are also great pockets for slipping hands into while holding up the quilt for photographs… unless the quilt is backwards!

I can’t wait to see the Sparkler blocks that are created as part of the Summer Sampler 2019. If you are like me, be sure to check the IG hashtag #summersampler2019 to follow along. Looking for how to join the Summer Sampler 2019 to get this block design? All the details can be found here!

I’ll be back soon to share the solutions I came up with for quilting while finishing this mini quilt and living in a tiny (75 square foot) space!

17 thoughts on “Sparkler {Summer Sampler 2019}

  1. vivian383 says:

    Beautiful quilt sparkling in the sun against a gorgeous backdrop ! It would make a striking full size quilt as well. I can’t wait to see how you quilted this in the motor home.

  2. Julie J Vogel says:

    I love watching your journey through transparency! The Sparkler is amazing in yellow and orange. I also like how, when viewed from the back, it looks like stained glass! Thank you, as always, for sharing.

  3. Linda Martinez says:

    I missed something, where can I get this pattern, I love it.

  4. What a fun quilt and great teaching tool! The walking foot is the perfect solution for this kind of quilt. Its a perfect block for the summer sampler!

  5. I knew this one would be challenging, but it’s such a stunner! Hoping I can do the transparency concept justice!

  6. This block is stunning. The shades you chose of yellow and orange are really gorgeous Yvonne. Just love it. Agreed with Julie above, the shot from the back is really cool!

    I was thinking of you and your travels. Did you carefully curate your projects and bring fabrics just for those? Or, are you shopping as you travel to have the right pieces for the next quilt? That must have been a challenge for you.

  7. What a beautiful finish, Yvonne, and interesting to know where it was photographed. It was fun to see this show up in my Feedly feed–a terrific quilt, using all your design talents. YES! Show us the how-to’s of this quilt in your Wabi-Sabi. I can hardly wait.

  8. Jayne says:

    This is a beautiful block Yvonne! I love the colors you picked, but can see so many other combinations in my mind!

  9. Suzanne says:

    This is gorgeous! Your transparency effects are always amazing.

  10. sue says:

    Very nice!

  11. It just radiates sunshine! Excellent job!

  12. Elaine says:

    Thank you for this great block. I love paper piecing. And all your instructions and photos really help, I’m color challenged. Now the fun begins.

  13. thedarlingdogwood says:

    Wow, Yvonne, this is gorgeous! This may be my favorite of your designs. Oh, except for maybe the Christmas tree, I do love that one and want to make it some day. The colors in this are amazing!

  14. Bonnie S says:

    Gorgeous! Would not be my usual choice of colours, but I really like it – thanks for expanding my colour choices. Any chance this block is available as a pattern?

  15. Kaja says:

    This is so pretty! It’s interesting to read about how you approach choosing your colours. I find things often look different from greyscale. In colour my brain makes lots of assumptions about what my eyes are seeing but taking that colour away sometimes shows me things more clearly.

  16. alys says:

    Fabulous! Any chance you’ll have this as a pattern in your shop once the Summer Sampler program is finished?

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)