Let me tell you about The Paint Lake Quilt… it all started with some good ol’ colour inspiration!
Check out the Paint Lake PDF and Paper Pattern here.
One day in 2018, I was with my mom at my local fabric store called KTR Sewing Centre. They had a big wall display of Kona fat quarters in the shop, and I was feeling very inspired by all of the deep, saturated colours. My mom encouraged me to just grab all of my favourites, which isn’t the way I normally work at all. Usually, I start first with a pattern design, and then play with the colourways afterwards.
I never felt liberated enough to just grab random fabrics and colours and casually place them wherever in a quilt design. I have always admired colourful and scrappy quilts, but found them overwhelming to try and create myself. And when I tried anything similar in the past, those projects felt like huge flops to me.
But that day, this approach felt exciting and fun. So, I went through and picked out 18 different colours that I loved without having a clue what I was going to do with them once I brought them home!
Then it hit me! Why not challenge myself to create a pattern design that feels like a scrappy quilt, without the need for improvisation, AND includes all 18 fat quarters? And that’s how the Paint Lake Quilt Pattern was born!
While designing the pattern, the words “curated random” consistently directed my thought process. I began by creating a simple square of each colour in Illustrator. Then, I started grouping similar colours into sets of three, changing the shape and placement to create some curation.
I tossed around some design ideas with my husband, including these original concepts:
After playing around for a while, I finally felt good about the design and created the pattern’s cover quilt using all 18 fat quarters!
The Kona Cotton colours I used were:
Starting from a young age, I was always very interested in interior design. I had supportive and encouraging parents who gave me permission to redesign and redo my bedroom pretty much every year! They would give me a strict budget, but I would add some of my own allowance to get what I needed. I did a lot of the work myself, including spray painting, decoupaging, recovering and upcycling thrifted furniture.
One of my favourite stops along my redecorating journeys was the wall of paint chips at the hardware store. I don’t know how to explain it other than it felt like a wall of endless possibilities! I would stand and stare at the chips, choose my favourite colours, and pair unlikely combinations together to see how they made me feel. It was SO exciting!
To me, the Paint Lake pattern feels a lot like looking at that paint chip wall at the hardware store - lots of colours, with different shades in between!
So, why the name “Paint Lake”? Paint Lake is a provincial park just outside Thompson, Manitoba. It has countless islands and bays, with colourful views of the grand northern landscape around every corner. I went camping there with my family a fews years ago on an incredible road trip!
Next up, I made a mini-wall hanging version from my scrap bin!
Once again, I had the privilege of working with pattern testers for the Paint Lake Quilt. Look at their stunning versions!
From Tiffany @villageboundquilts
From Kasie @marmalademoodquilts
From Jennifer @penelopehandmade
From Coby @lifewitheleanor
From Sarai @sarai_hobbies
From Robin @seamedtobe
From Rachel @quiltsforallsparrows
From Emily @lemonyquilts
One day, my son Everett came to me and asked if I could make him his very own quilt. I agreed, of course, and he chose the Paint Lake pattern! I let him choose the colours he liked - with a little guidance from me! However, it's important to note, that my son is colourblind. So, when he began to choose colours from my fabric stash, it was no surprise that he chose only colours that he could see!
He sure lucked out, because most of the fabrics he chose were the softest Pure Solids from Art Gallery Fabrics.
I was supposed to attend QuiltCon 2020. I had registered for multiple lectures and workshops, including one with Carolyn Friedlander.
But in the fall of 2019, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer that required major surgery. Because of my recovery after surgery, I sadly wasn’t able to attend QuiltCon. So, I took my refund money and purchased a half-yard bundle of the newly released Collection CF by Carolyn Friedlander fabric from Studio 39 Fabrics.
Once I was recovered and able to sew again, I made myself a Paint Lake Quilt using those gorgeous fabrics. I sent it off to Ma Tante Quilting to be longarm quilted. This special quilt now lives on my couch and we use it almost every single day!
Are you a natural-born scrappy quilter or are you a little more hesitant like I was? Let me know in the comments!