This past September while at the Great Wisconsin Quilt show, I had some time to visit the vendors. I was especially intrigued by all the gradation fabrics I found there since I presented 3 lectures on the topic.
I was fascinated by this table topper hanging in one of the booths. It was made out of circles from a gradation fabric (it was orange, so I was immediately drawn in).
The owner of the booth told me it was a Cheryl Phillips pattern, but they didn’t have it available. Hmm, that name sounded familiar. So I did a search and found Cheryl’s site (click here to visit for yourself).
And on the site I found her Bonus Blossom pattern which was used to create the pretty topper.
So why did her name sound familiar? As I scrolled through her site I realized the “Phoenix” quilt I helped Renee put together a few years ago was Cheryl’s pattern. Here’s Renee’s quilt top and you can click here to read the story. I think Cheryl Phillips loves gradations as much as I do!
I recently shared my Gradation lecture and workshop with a guild in Eagle River, WI. The Cranberry Quilters are a delightful group, and we had so much fun playing with gradation fabrics that I couldn’t resist pulling out one of mine, while unpacking after the trip, and planning a Bonus Blossom topper for myself.
I took the fabric along on retreat the following week and cut 6 red/orange circles from one stripe, and 6 purple/blue/green circles from another. I sewed 1 circle of each, right sides together with a circle of thin batting, turned it right side out and repeated to make 6 turned circles. Then I used a faux cathedral window technique to sew the circles together. Here’s the back of my topper.
Once all my circles were connected I realized that I wasn’t consistent when I lined up the front and back fabrics. Do you see the problem? Here’s the front:
I think it’s really pretty, but it’s not consistent. I kept the greens along the outside edge on the front, while half the back circles have the orange on the outer edge and the other half ~ the dark red. It may not be consistent, but I’m choosing love my very original design. I’m certainly not going to take all those circles apart! The batting caused a bit of puckering on the front, but I’m choosing to think it adds to the blossom effect 🤣. I do love the way the hot colored gradation plays with the cool one. I’m not sure if I’ll use it as a table topper or hang it on the wall. Hmm.
A few days after I arrived home from retreat the grandkids came over. Mike came in from outside and told us we had to come out and see a tree in our yard. Amazing colors! The kids wanted to jump right in. It looks like a gradation tree to me!
Two days later the leaves were all on the ground. Glad we captured this colorful moment.