By Patricia Belyea
WAUCONDA WA Split Rail Block, three equal strips, rotates up and then across, then up, then across. I love the simplicity of the block but I don’t like how the resulting stairstep pattern dominates the quilt design.
Playing with vintage Japanese yukata cottons and contemporary solids, I manipulated Split Rail Block to avoid the stairstep.
The three quilts shown are 36" x 36" with 6" finished blocks. Each uses one yard of three different indigo and white yukata cottons.
In Owlette Quilt, I used a solid for the outside strips in each block. The solid strips flank a geometric yukata cotton bordered with yellow. This approach made the center strips float in a background of pale taupe.
Three blocks feature an owl motif with a chunk of the yellow solid.
Genji Wheel Quilt again centers strips of geometric yukata cotton in the Split Rail Blocks. But the outer strips change from horizontal red to vertical orange.
Nine blocks of an indigo yukata cotton scatter across the quilt.
Iris Quilt also floats strips of yukata cotton in the center of the Split Rail Blocks. The solids, lemon-lime and mint, don’t populate the quilt in an orderly fashion.
The six iris blocks share one-third of their real estate with a mauve solid.
All the quilts are backed with a contemporary printed cotton. For the 36" square size, I bought 1 1/4 yards of each pattern.
When I photographed the quilts, I had three small-fry chipmunks helping me. Mostly they raced around but they were good company.
ABOUT US: Okan Arts, a petite family business, is co-owned by mother-daughter duo Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone. Patricia and Victoria sell Japanese textiles online, host creative quilting experiences, and lead quilting & textile tours to Japan.
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