Scrappy Taj Featuring Cotton and Steel and a bit more...
First, I am going to start by saying I might gush a little about this quilt. I just really love it. You see I had been hoarding these fabrics in a ziplock bag in a box, waiting for the magical day when the stars would align and I would finally feel like sewing with them. It wasn't so much each fabric individually I loved. More like how they all played off each other. And to be really honest I thought it might be one of those situations where they never really got used and just sat for years waiting for the "perfect" pattern to come around when we all know it never would. Well, I decided it was time to bust open that bag and cut into the fabrics for a version of The Taj.
All the fabrics above are Cotton and Steel except the second from the left. Which I think is Robert Kaufman.
What do all the fabrics in this quilt have in common? I like them, that's what! I had been slowly buying these fabrics and setting them to the side. As you will notice most are predominately one color with white accents or small accents of another color. I really had no idea what I was going to do with them.
I think I have mentioned before that I am colorblind and have zero confidence matching fabrics or making fabric bundles. I did put this one together though. And then I asked everyone in my house who can tell colors if they looked well together. I have to say I was/am pretty pleased with myself. :)
In the modern quilt pattern, The Taj, I give directions on how many of each pieces are needed for each block so you can easily mix and match them into piles. This might just be my favorite part.
For this quilt I started by matching the single middle block to the middle fabrics. I laid all these out to make sure I liked how they looked. Then, I added in the outside fabric last which is also the most fabric in each block. Several times I had to make adjustments to the piles so each block looked evenly distributed in color. Because three of my fabrics are more blue I wanted to makes sure these were evenly distributed among all the blocks.
Directional Fabrics and The Taj
The Taj is a great pattern for solid or print fabrics. However, if you are one of those quilters who have to have everything matched up and all going one direction, this might not be the pattern for you. With all the piecing required for the main part of the block it's hard to line up the fabrics all in one direction. I haven't really tried, but it would be tough and require way more that the fat quarter of fabric the pattern uses to make the block. I don't mind the craziness of the fabric going different directions, but I know that isn't for everyone.Another option is making the Taj with all solid fabrics. I have made a The Taj in all solids and it turned out beautiful. I love the simple look of this quilt and how the pattern of the quilt really stands out. Plus, you won't have to worry about directional fabrics.
The Taj and It's Two Options
The Taj quilt pattern is written with two variation or options. I did this so you can choose the amount of work you want to put into this quilt. The second option is more piecing and work. But it also adds a whole other block and dimension to the quilt. I followed the first option when piecing this quilt.
Why option one? The fabrics I chose for the quilt all have quite a bit of patterns and busyness all ready to them. I didn't want to overwhelm the quilt by adding another block too it and more fabrics. The simpleness of this quilt with the cream background shows off the fabrics and the blocks without overpowering the quilt. It also keeps the design contemporary and clean.
The first option is also a much faster make than the second. The blocks are large so you don't have very many to make. A throw size only uses 9 blocks! The pattern has 5 sizes (baby, throw, twin, full, and king). This quilt is a throw size and measures 63 inches x 63 inches.
When I was making the blocks for this quilt I had a hard time deciding which was my favorite. Usually I have a favorite fabric and a favorite block in each quilt. But when making the blocks for this quilt I loved each block as much as the next. Which is really more of a testament the fabrics.
As I mentioned before I realized after I started this quilt, except for one print, all the fabrics in this quilt are made my Cotton and Steel Fabrics. I really enjoy their designs. I don't usually buy a whole line of their fabrics. However, they have beautiful basics and I love to pick and choose some of the more basic color schemes from their lines. The lines also tend to go together very well, which makes life much easier for the rest of us.
The Fabrics and Quilting
The quilting on this modern quilt is what really put is over the edge for me. The texture and quilting Kaitlyn from Knot and Thread Design did is amazing! I think it just adds so much beauty that my straight quilting never would have. I am so glad I sent it off to her. Her quilting fills the space in between the blocks with so much texture.
The backing for this quilt is a Ruby Star Society print that I had been hoarding for a while. I just love those cats or tigers or whatever they are. The bright color also goes well with the theme of the quilt.
The Taj quilt is a fun quilt to make. This isn't my last. I need to look in my stash and see what other fabric I have hidden away that I might have forgotten about. Also, don't be afraid to cut into that pile of fabrics you're saving for the special quilt. I am so glad I used these fabrics for this bright and cheerful quilt.