Sunday, August 28, 2022

Whimsy and Onyx—a fabric blender dynamic duo

Whimsy and Onyx. Sound like names of comic strip characters, don't they? 

In the quilting world, Whimsy and Onyx are two blender collections from P&B Textiles. And I'm using this dynamic duo for the 100 Days 100 Blocks 2022 sew-along.

Fat quarter bundles of Onyx (far left) and Whimsy from P&B Textiles.

What's to like about Whimsy and Onyx

When Whimsy was first introduced as a P&B basic, I was immediately drawn to it because:

  • it covers the full color spectrum without being overwhelming—there are 50 pieces in the collection.
  • the collection includes a range of grays—with both cool and warm grays.
  • there is a variety of prints with a 21st century aesthetic—ditzies, florals, and geometrics.
  • these small-scale prints are well-suited for "supporting cast members" to coordinate with larger scale designs and other focal prints.
  • however... the designs are unique enough to stand on their own!

Onyx is a tonal black-on-black basic that also offers a variety of designs—dots, lines, bursts, grids, geometric and organic patterns. This collection definitely provides a contrast and counterpoint to the colorful Whimsy.

Onyx is a black-on-black blender collection from P&B Textiles.

In addition to the 12 different designs, other characteristics of Onyx are:

  • the base cloth is dyed black—check the "wrong side" of this fabric! There won't be any white threads or whiskers showing when cutting, piecing, doing fusible appliqué, embellishing, or quilting by hand or machine.
  • because it's black throughout, you can use the back side of Onyx if you're in need of a solid black.
  • the collection's versatile designs. This blender can be used in traditional quilts, contemporary/modern quilts, college and T-shirt quilts,  and "guy" quilts. Several of the designs are geometric or gender-neutral.
  • and who doesn't love an accent of black—or black and white—to add sparkle and zing to a quilt???
Not having used much tonal black-on-black fabrics as a major part of a quilt, incorporating Onyx into the 100 Days 100 Blocks project this year is a challenge I set for myself. (So far, it's going well.)

Making 100 blocks with Whimsy and Onyx

The 100 Days 100 Blocks sew-along started August 1 (but anyone can jump in at any time!). My first blocks were pieced with the cool colors from the Whimsy line with accents of Onyx

Whimsy and Onyx blenders with Bloc Loc half-square triangle and flying geese rulers.

A sampling of the cool color blocks on the design wall...

33 patchwork blocks of the Kinship Sampler quilt. Blocks are 8.5" square and 4.5 x 8.5" (unfinished).
Whimsy and Onyx fabrics from P&B Textiles.

As I approached cutting pieces for Block 50—the halfway point—I dipped into the warmer hues of Whimsy.

Warm yellows and oranges from Whimsy and black-on-black Onyx.

A sampling of the warm color blocks...

Several blocks using the warmer hues of Whimsy.

Batch processing

For efficiency, I create the blocks in batches—ahead of the posting schedule. I cut a bunch of blocks... piece that batch... photograph that batch... and format the photos for the Instagram posts. Then I post the block on its appropriate day.

This is an example of a stack of blocks ready for piecing.

Batch cutting the blocks.

There is a 100 Days 100 Blocks tracker available for the program. I haven't kept up with filling in the "post" column, but it's fun to color in the other activities as I do my batching processes.

100 Days 100 Blocks 2022 event tracker.

Make it your own—throw in a little Onyx

The Kinship Sampler pattern is shown in three shades of blue + white to give a sense of the patchwork. Sometimes I follow the value [lightness or darkness of a fabric] placement provided in the pattern... sometimes I don't. 

Sometimes I use leftover pieces (or mis-cuts) from previous blocks. And sometimes I remind myself, "Hey, throw in a patch of Onyx!"      Zing!

Onyx (top) and Whimsy blenders from P&B Textiles.

Whether these 100 blocks make it into a single quilt, two or more smaller quilts, or something else... the Whimsy and Onyx blenders from P&B Textiles are producing dynamic patchwork results for my Kinship sampler blocks. 

Ask YLQS [your local quilt shop] for these fabric collections. They should be on everyone's color wall and in every quilter's stash.

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