Sunday, April 24, 2022

Harlequin Opal

Another finished quilt!  this is a long-overdue wedding present.  When I asked for colors I was asked to use jewel tones.  I chose batiks since they have such rich colors.  Besides, I find it easier to work a paper pieced pattern when I don't have to worry which side is up.

The pattern is called Icy Waters and I used a working name of Icy Colors as I blogged about it.  But that's not what I wanted to name a wedding quilt.  Did you know that harlequin opal is a gemstone that has colors similar to this quilt?  I stumbled across that while searching for a good name.  Google it! It's pretty.  And a great name.  So may I present Harlequin Opal:

It took a long time for this quilt to take off.  I loved the colors of the fabric I bought, but not how they looked together.  After two false starts, I swapped the single color from the pattern with lighter greens, blue and pink.  I changed my mind again once I started sewing them together, but stuck with what I was doing.  I liked it, then hated it and freaked out over it.  For better or worse, that's how my creative process works... so I plunged on.  I really like how it turned out in the end (and so do the recipients!).  I'm glad I persisted.

In addition to the jewel tones, I was asked to work in a little something from Minecraft.  I thought the light green was good creeper color, so I made a handful of them for the back.  I happily found a bolt of red batik cats (my friend has a collection of red cats).  I was disappointed not to use it on the front of the quilt, but it added some symmetry to the backing - some stuff for her, some stuff for him along with a few orphaned blocks from when I changed the color scheme.

I finally finished piecing front and back, but how to quilt it?  This sat for months while I considered a big pattern?  A little pattern?  Different color thread?  (Have you seen the gorgeous quilting of the original Icy Waters?)  

I moved onto piecing other quilts and quilted Shady Lanes before inspiration hit:  I would use a single colored thread to do a different pattern on each color fabric.  I had 13 different fabrics, so I picked 13 patterns and repeated them throughout the quilt.  

I love the effect.  The light grey gives texture on the lighter fabrics and is more visible on the darker colors.  You can "see" the blocks on the back by following the quilting.  I had a sheet of paper taped to the wall matching color to pattern, but once I did a few I could reference the quilt itself.  I constantly got skipped stitches quilting over the medium green - I probably stopped and started in more green blocks than the whole rest of the quilt!  Other than that, it moved right along.  

My first block has one tiny piece of purple that is nowhere else on the front of the quilt.  I changed the color scheme halfway through assembling it and didn't want to pull it apart for that one little piece.  So it has it's own quilting pattern - it says "love".  Can you find it? 

I bound the quilt in a few different colors from dark to light to dark again.  It blends in nicely.  

It was a challenging quilt for what looked like a straightforward design.  It was hard to envision how the colors would look.  I wasn't sure how to blend them similar to the original layout.  Unlike a lot of my quilts where I can make a bunch of blocks at once, I pieced this from one corner to the other, putting them up on the design wall as I determined how to place colors in the next block.  I'm happy to have had the opportunity to make this.  I'll know better what to consider if I tackle another quilt like this.

Sharing with:
Wendy's Quilts and More - Peacock Party
Love Laugh Quilt - Monday Making
My Quilt Infatuation - Needle and Thread Thursday


  1. Isn't that gorgeous?! Wow! And your quilting is amazing, too, Sally. I always enjoy following your process. Harlequin Opal is a lovely wedding gift!

  2. Gorgeous. LOVE the colors and the new name. You're right icy waters just doesn't sound right for a wedding quilt. I love that you quilted different patterns in each of the colors. Gives such a nice texture look, and I'm sure feel to it.
    Sandy's Space

  3. Harlequin Opal is the perfect name for your exquisite quilt dancing in jewel like colours. Incredible quilting! A most amazing quilt! The couple are going to happily dance when they receive their splendid gift!

  4. Love the colors in this one. And the quilting is amazing. Great job.

  5. I finally managed to get a few photos on a dry, sunny day, and I still don't think they do the quilt justice! It's so beautiful. Breathtaking, really. I appreciate your hard work so much, and I'm so lucky to call you a close friend. Thank you so much for this. It's one of the most precious gifts anyone could receive because the effort that goes into it is phenomenal - true art! You are so talented. <3


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