It's week 1 of the Harken QAL!
Welcome! I'm so happy you decided to join this QAL and sew this quilt. Thanks for being here. I look forward to sewing with you each week. Please remember that you are only eligible for prize drawings and the weekly newsletter if you are officially signed up for the QAL. Sign up will be open through Sept 9.
This week we'll be reviewing the pattern, choosing the Classic or Scrappy version to make (I'll be making one of each for demonstration), talking about color palettes, honing in on our fabric pulls and doing a little deep dive into the Harken Quilt block.
I'll be creating 2 Harken Quilts for this QAL - yes, perhaps a bit ambitious but I really wanted to share each version with you all. Let's hope I can pull it off!
My goals for you during the Harken QAL:
Polish up some of your basic skills... and have fun doing it.
Learn some new tips and techniques (beginners).
Finish a quilt/top that you love and want to share with others.
Make new friends and lasting connections.
Come away from the QAL with an excitement to begin your lifetime quilting journey or continue it with an inspired sense of commitment.
So here's the important info to know about this QAL!
- Each QAL week will start on a Thursday and end the following Wednesday.
- We'll be creating the lap size 67" x 67" quilt, either Classic or Scrappy.
- In order to be eligible for the weekly prize drawings, you'll need to post by Tuesday of each week.
- Use hashtag #HarkenQal in all of your posts and don't forget to tag me @bloomingpoppies.
- Make sure you're following me on Instagram. There will be weekly newsletters and many posts on IG. I may decide to go live here and there, so stay tuned.
- There is a private FB group HERE (only open to QAL participants).
- Most importantly, I hope this will be a little gift of sewing time with friends that you allow yourself each week, not another box to check off your to do list. Be good to yourself and if you get behind, don't stress, you can always catch up in your own time (week 7 could be a catch up week if needed).
Okay, so let's get started, shall we?
As for the pattern, some people like to work straight from their device and just look at the pattern from there. If you have a printer and would prefer a paper version, you can certainly print it out. This allows you to mark on it and make quick notes in the margin. If you don't wish to print the entire pattern, you may want to at least print out copies of the coloring sheet to help plan.
After reading through the entire pattern and optionally playing with the coloring/planning sheet a bit, you'll choose which version you'd like to create.
Attn: I have made some slight changes to the original pattern that was released on June 29. Your version may differ slightly from the one I refer to. This will not effect the outcome of your quilt.
The Classic is a two (or three) color design that is very clean and modern yet maintains a timeless charm. All the blocks will be identical and the fabric selection is straightforward. The pattern includes several mock up examples of this version.
The Scrappy version is well suited for the slightly more adventurous quilter who enjoys playing with color and print and feels comfortable with less structure. You can use existing scraps if you have enough, or your favorite fat quarters/fat eighths for this version. The pattern includes lots of mock ups of this version as well.
What to post this week
In order to be entered in the drawing for this week's prize, please post a lovely photo or reel of your fabric pull for your Harken Quilt. Don't forget to tag me so I know you posted and use the #HarkenQal hashtag. This week's prize is a $50 gift card from The Grey Finch Co.
Have you seen her gorgeous bundles? Lori is amazing about helping with your individual fabric needs and has a great color sense. She's also just a really nice person! Post photos by Tuesday, Aug 22 to be eligible!
So Let's Talk About Color
Color selection is a very personal yet important part of your quilt. For me color conveys a mood and a feeling, so my color choices are often dictated by a current season in my life.
For example, in my color choice for my Classic version I think it's clear that I'm feeling energized and in a happy, upbeat place. It's summer, the days are hot and the lemonade is cold, flowers are blooming and life is good!
My palette is vibrant, bright and full of saturated, happy colors. I can't wait to see how they look all sewn together!
The palette for my Scrappy version is just simple, pretty. Inspired by summer bouquets of flowers from the garden, it has many of my most favorite colors and lots of varied prints.
As you can see I'm letting pinks and blues take the lead, with gold and purple as strong accents and I may even decide to throw some greens in there. These colors just make me happy.
So what colors might you pick? Maybe you have a go to palette that you like to stick with, sort of your signature color grouping. You can definitely do that here. Likely you would have plenty of scraps of those colors if so.
Or maybe there is simply a group of colors that you love and want to see in your next quilt. Perhaps you've been inspired by a photograph, a piece of art, another quilt, or maybe a puzzle you recently purchased (loosely where my scrappy inspiration came from). Those are all great ways to help choose your color palette.
Let's look at color in the mock ups
The Classic version is great for using monochromatic fabrics like this gold and turquoise... and will always be a limited palette.
It is also perfect for high contrast combinations, like this ultimate classic, black and white, or the green and white (with the optional third color) from my cover quilt.
The pull for this one was straight forward and easy to visualize right away.
As for the Scrappy version,
well the fun part here is that really, anything works! It can really be as simple as combining colors you like and want to see together.
Or maybe your palette is determined by the colors you have in your scrap bin.
A few suggestions might be to stick to one color but use a variety of shades. For example, blue. Use all the blue scraps you can find. That is assuming you have enough to make the lap size we're making here.
Or how about picking a palette you like, and then using all the scraps, both prints or solids that fall into that palette. Purples, pinks and golds/bronze for example a would look amazing scattered throughout a light background.
You can keep the palette limited to mostly one color just bringing in a limited amount of shades...
or expand it using more shades of each or some of the colors.
There are just sooo many ways to go with color. I hope some of these ideas have been helpful. Looking forward to seeing your fabric pulls this week.
The Harken Quilt Block - A Closer Look
Let's take a quick look at the block itself and then we'll wrap up this post!
As you can see, its a very basic and beginner friendly block. This is what makes it so straightforward for the classic version and so playful for the scrappy version.
In the Classic version, you'll be making all the Fabric A squares the same color. And, unless you choose to add a third color, the small sashing strip square in the centers, will be that color as well. So simple, so fast, and so perfect for any level.
If you choose to add a third color, that small sashing strip, center square, will simply change to incorporate that third color. Keep in mind that that same third color will also be used for ALL the small squares (including sashing) throughout the quilt.
For the scrappy version, as I've said, just about anything goes. I personally think it looks best when the small center sashing square (Fabric B) is a consistent color throughout the quilt. But the rest of the Fabric A squares are free to be whatever color you like. Keep in mind, the scrappier the block, meaning the more variety of color you choose to work with, the more the individual block can look a a bit random on it's own. When they are all together in the quilt however, they look really pretty. Trust me!
One last thing I want to mention, is that for those who are more advanced or up for the minor challenge, and like to be a bit more controlled with their scrappy factor, you can choose to keep the inside larger squares the same color throughout the quilt and for each block.
Or just consistent within the block but a different color in each block. For example, the one shown above uses the same peach squares, the next block might use the same purple for the inside, the next one might use the same pink, etc.
There are really just so many gorgeous and fun possibilities within this quilt. Regardless of which one you choose, Classic or Scrappy, I have no doubt it will be amazing and that you will love it!
I am so excited to get to know you all and to share this process with you. Thanks for reading what might be my longest and most involved post of the entire QAL. Whew, definitely packed full of lots of info that I hope you find helpful.
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Maybe take a minute to introduce yourself there and tell us which version you plan to make. Also, please reach out with questions as you have them and I'll do my best to answer. You can reach me through DM on instagram or by email at: email@example.com. For those of you on Facebook, there is a private FB group. Go HERE and request to join. Bear with me as I'm not that skilled with FB. My hope is that this group will be a place where we can all share ideas, questions and support. Open to offical QAL members only. To sign up for the QAL just click here. We'd love to have you!
Happy fabric gathering!