In the fall of 2014, right before I launched Whole Circle Studio, I reached out to a friend (and talented professional photographer), Heather Liebensohn, to ask if she would take some photos of me, my studio and my quilts. I needed some promotional photos for my initial website. She was nice enough to come to my home studio and do a mini-photo session with me. As a thank you, I wanted to make her a quilt.
I knew I wanted the quilt to connect to photography. The result was my Aperture quilt design.
Aperture is an oversized foundation paper piecing pattern. The pieces of paper are so large, I had to tile the design and print them on lots of letter-size paper and tape them together.
I actually wound up making two Aperture quilts—one to give to Heather and one to keep. The one I kept was featured at American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
I really enjoyed the process and wanted to push the design further, so I developed my Shutter Snap pattern (formally named Paparazzi). I scaled the oversized block down (funny, usually it’s the opposite—start small and then enlarge) and made multiples. The first prototype of Shutter Snap is a bit of a hot mess. I foundation paper pieced the blocks, then trimmed them so they would touch and then needle-turn appliqued them on to a background. I finished piecing the top, but will admit the quilt is waiting to be quilted.
From there, it was back to the drawing board. After sketching by hand and adjusting the design, l developed a layout that I was happier with. Here is a shot of me fine-tuning the design later in the process:
After piecing, I used my walking foot to create lots of texture with the quilting. I completed the quilt in November 2015 and it appeared in Modern Patchwork magazine in early 2016.
Fast forward to 2017… Earlier this year, I met the lovely Chen (@mushyhed) at QuiltCon. Chen works with Alison Glass and mentioned that Alison was releasing her new handcrafted fabric collection with Andover Fabrics, entitled Chroma, and wanted to know if I was interested in working with it. I’ve admired Alison’s process and design for a while and while I don’t tend to use a lot of prints in my work, I have incorporated some of her collections in my work. I immediately told Chen “yes!”.
About a couple of weeks later, my beautiful Chroma fabric bundle arrived. It sat on my work table for weeks. I looked at the beautiful rainbow of colors every day, but was totally intimidated by it. I rarely incorporate an entire collection into a quilt and was totally stumped as to what to do with it. I’m glad I waited to cut into it because in late March, I figured it out (right about the time I was starting to get anxious that I would never have the right project). I decided that it was time to release my Shutter Snap pattern and Chroma would be perfect to make a sample with!
I went back to the original design and began drafting the pattern instructions (for 4 size options). I decided to make the throw size (55″ x 55″) with the Chroma. Once I was set on what I was doing, I LOVED cutting into the fabric. It feels incredible and was a dream to foundation paper piece with. I added Kona® Graphite by Robert Kaufman.
Once all eight blocks were complete, I had a generous amount of scraps left over. I sketched and calculated how to efficiently piece them and make the back.
And then, used EVERY scrap I had to make the binding. This quilt started my latest obsession with scrappy bindings.
While making my quilt sandwich, I documented my process for basting (without crawling around on the ground or using messy, airborne spray) and made a video tutorial.
I pieced and quilted Shutter Snap with Aurifil 50 wt. in various colors matching the fabric I was quilting (White 2024, Mist 2606, and eight other colors that coordinate with Chroma). I followed the blades of the shutters and quilted a radiating hexagon in the background using my walking foot as a guide.
Detail of the front:
Detail of the back:
I loved applying the scrappy binding.
I finished the quilt shortly before Spring Quilt Market and decided to bring it along with me to show Alison and her team in person.
Inspired and want to make your own Shutter Snap quilt?
It’s a fun quilt that is easy to customize. The design incorporates the repeat of a foundation paper-pieced block. Use my color selections as inspiration or customize the pattern using the supplied coloring sheet. This quilt makes the perfect gift for a photography enthusiast. Instructions are provided for four sizes: Wall, Throw, Twin and Queen.
Get the the Shutter Snap pattern here.
If you make Shutter Snap, be sure to send me a photo. I’d love to see what you make!
Looking to improve your paper piecing skills?
I’m teaching intermediate foundation paper piecing at QuiltCon 2018 and we’ll be making Shutter Snap blocks in class! I’ll walk you through all of the steps while demonstrating tips and tricks for staying organized, working efficiently and achieving precise alignments. Click here to register! (class FDP202-Shutter Snap on Friday, February 23 at 6pm) Hurry—there are only a few seats remaining!
Want to make your own Shutter Snap using Chroma? Buy the kit!
I’m super excited that Alison is offering my pattern along with the fabric you’ll need to make the quilt top and binding. You can purchase either the Throw or Twin/Queen kit here.
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I love getting the story behind the evolution of a design. It really feels like each design has its own story and I like how this one evolved smaller; it does feel unique that way! It looks beautiful in Chroma, congratulations on the release, and how fun to see where the scrappy binding obsession began!
Thanks Yvonne… for the most part my quilts do each have a distinct story behind them. It’s the graphic designer in me. I thrive on content/research. It’s what drives my design! This quilt was another “stretching beyond my comfort zone” project. I probably never would have picked up the entire Chroma collection to make this quilt on my own, but I’m in love how it came out!
Truly a beautiful quilt! For the shutterbug in all of us!
Thank you for your kind words Elizabeth!
Thanks Sherri! I was doing something similar on my dining room table with all the leaves & table pads on because I couldn’t do the floor either. I believe you have the easiest way of keeping all the layers straight. I’ll be trying your way. I’ll let you know how it goes, thanks for sharing your ideas!
Hi Peggy, Glad you found it helpful. Yes! Please let me know how it goes! –Sheri