Thursday, June 16, 2016

Color Study

One of the exercises from the class I took with Jean Wells Keenan earlier this year was to put together a strip set using her freeform curved piecing technique and whatever color palette appealed to us.  I had planned on using oranges and blues along with some creamy neutrals (as you may recognize from the other pieces I worked on in that class here and here) so that's what I used for my strip set.

When I got home from the workshop, I decided to try Jean's portrait finish technique, and turn my strip set into a finished mini quilt.  In her portrait finish, she quilts/finishes the central part and then stitches it down onto another fully quilted/finished background piece.   This is similar to how I did the dogs; her work was actually the inspiration for how I finished/mounted that piece.

I auditioned several background colors and although I wanted to love the brights, I settled on the navy on the far right.

After piecing in some colored strips and chunks of piecing to help the background tie in to the central panel, I quilted the background, faced it, and then stitched on the central panel. It's not very big, maybe about 16 x 22, but I thought it was a fun way to finish what would otherwise have turned into another orphan block sitting in a bin!  

Trying to figure out where to place the center panel was challenging, I moved it around a fair amount and settled on an arrangement which lined up some of the center piecing with background piecing.  However, this put the top edge of the central panel too close to the top of the background, so I wound up having to cut off some of the orange on the top of the center panel.  I wish I hadn't had to lose so much of the orange, I feel like it helped balance the top and all the blue, but it really looked funny with so little space between the top of the quilt and the top of the center panel.

Color Study, Shannon Conley c. 2016

What do you guys do with leftover blocks/class exercises?

I'm linking up with the fabulous Nina-Marie, click over to check out all the other fabulous arty things people are working on.


  1. Blue was the right choice. The brights wanted to steal the show. Are the pieces in the background from the part you cut off?

    I have never tried that finish...some day.

    I tend to put class projects away and think maybe someday . . . However I had an instructor say we should take a marker and write the date on them and the class, then consider them samples and not feel the burden of finishing. I've never done that though.

  2. Looks terrific, and the navy really sets everything off.

  3. I, too, think that the navy was the best choice and I like the way you incorporated some of the stripes into the background. It turned out t be a great little piece.