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Dec 5, 2016

Chocolatier BOM 2017 - Selecting Fabric

Dec 5, 2016
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The Chocolatier Block of the Month Club starts January 1, 2017 right here.  Are you joining us?  Thinking about it?  One of the best parts about starting a new project is picking out your new fabric palette.  Today I'm sharing with you how I selected fabric for the 3 delicious color ways you have seen floating around the internet AND... I'll give you a peek at the new version I'll be making in 2017 along with you.

-->Sign up for the BOM here.  It's a one time ($25/$28 fee) for a year of colorful fun.<--

First, here is what the original Chocolatier Sampler quilt looks like.  This is the quilt that is featured in the patterns.  That means that all the diagrams and instructions are based on this color way. 
Modern Milk Color Way (Cotton Supreme Solids on an Aqua Polka Dot Background)
Modern Milk mixes solids with a polka dot background.  Unless you are looking closely, the background of this quilt reads white.  It is actually a precious small aqua polka dot on a snow color fabric.  Of course, you do not need to use solids on this quilt.  Fabrics that would work well are small prints - fabrics that are either tone-on-tone, tone-on-white or those that read as one color will work best.  

CHOCOLATIER FABRIC SELECTION GUIDE
If you want to mimic the fabric selection used in this quilt, here are the design concepts I used to color all 3 versions of the quilt.
  • Chocolatier is based on using 8 colors/fabrics.
  • Choose a Light and Dark Major Color.  The Major Color appears in 4 of the 8 petals of the LeMoyne Star.  You will need a Light shade and Dark shade of the Major Color.  In the example, Chocolate Brown is the Major Color - called out as Chocolate (Dark) and Caramel (Light).
  • Choose 2 Light and Dark Minor Colors.  The Minor Colors appear in 2 petals of the LeMoyne Star.  Again, you will need a Light shade and Dark shade of both the Minor Colors.  In the example, Aqua and Pink are chosen as the Minor Colors - called out as Deep Pink and Light Pink - (and) - Dark Aqua and Light Aqua.
  • Choose a Background.  White/Aqua Polka Dot in this case.
  • Choose an Accent color for block work.  (Gold above)
If you look at both the Dipped Strawberry and Cherry Cordial color ways of the quilt, you can see this same color theory in action.  I love having all 3 of these color ways to show you because each one demonstrates this coloring method in 3 distinct styles of fabric (solids, traditional prints, batiks).  You can use any style of fabric you like!
Dipped Strawberry Color Way (Jinny Beyer Palette)
  When you purchase a subscription to Chocolatier, an Introduction document is emailed to you to help you get started.  It contains all the details on the BOM, along with fabric requirements (detailed with fabric skus and yardage for all 3 color ways, AND a diagram for you print out of this quilt so you can play with your own color arrangement.  For those who are curious about the needed fabric quantities, I'm listing them below.
Cherry Cordial Color Way - Malam Batiks

CHOCOLATIER FABRIC REQUIREMENTS - MODERN MILK 72" x 72" (6" finished Blocks)

4 yards White/Aqua Polka Dot background
1 1/8 yard of each of Chocolate and Caramel solids
1 yard of each Deep Pink, Dark Aqua, Yellow solids
2/3 yard of each Light Pink and Light Aqua solids

4 1/2 yards Backing 
5/8 yard Binding

*Yardages vary slightly for other color ways.  Everything is detailed in the Intro document with purchase.*

Now of course, in making this quilt for the second time around (I made Modern Milk and a lovely team of sample sewists made the other two),  I naturally wanted to change things up a bit.

Crazy as it may be, a LeMoyne Star begs to be made in a rainbow.  So for my 2017 Chocolatier, I'll be thinking of Skittles perhaps, in a wonderful fruity ROYGBIV color scheme.  
For this version, I've collected 16 - 1/2 yard cuts of RJR's Cotton Supreme Solids.
If you like this palette, I am using:
RJR Cotton Supreme Solids
#217 Hot Pink
#181 Rhododendron
#209 Cantaloupe
#159 Mandarin
#337 Citron
#326 Sunny Delight
#249 Sprout
#347 Grass is a always Greener
#274 Riviera
#354 Horizon
#330 Tickled Pink
#333 Bougainvillea
#356 Moulin Rouge
#110 Red Wagon
#313 Carolina
#251 Anemone

I'll be using a Cotton Supreme Solid white as my accent color.  I'm not quite sure exactly what shade it is since I pulled it from my stash.  And for my background, I'll be using a super cool stormy grey with speckled flecks of silver from Flaurie & Finch's collection for RJR, Shiny Objects, called Flurries in Winter Storm (2792-02).
I can't wait to see what fabrics you are using!
Let me know if you have any questions or if I left any details out.  Sorry for the wordy post, I hope this helps you in thinking about your selections.

A Special thank you to RJR for providing fabrics for this Chocolatier Block of the Month Club.  I can't wait to get sewing! Pin It

Nov 16, 2016

Chocolatier Block of the Month Program Available Wholesale

Nov 16, 2016
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Attention Shops....

Thank you to those of you who attended the Chocolatier Schoolhouse session at Quilt Market.  I am overwhelmed by the response to the program!

All of the patterns are in and now shipping.

If you are interested in purchasing the Chocolatier Block of the Month for your shop, please send me an email [annemarie@genxquilters.com] with the title "Wholesale Order Request".  Please include your shop name, location, and web address.  I will email you information on making wholesale pattern purchases from Gen X Quilters Wholesale Shop.

Also note there is a CHOCOLATIER SHOP GUIDE to assist you in ordering fabric for the program and cutting monthly kits for your customers.  

KITS:  RJR is kitting the Modern Milk Colorway of the quilt (shown in the middle below).  Kits contain 9 1/4 yards of fabric + one Chocolatier 12-Pattern Set.  They include the fabric needed to make the quilt top plus binding.  See your local RJR rep to place a kit order.

PATTERNS:  Chocolatier Patterns are available direct thru me or at distributors (Checker, Brewer and E.E. Schenck).

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Nov 7, 2016

Announcing the Chocolatier Block of the Month Club for 2017

Nov 7, 2016
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I am so excited to bring you Chocolatier, my newest BOM program! I must confess that I actually have TWO stashes in my sewing room.  One is a collection of FQs, half yards, and yards of neatly folded fabric sorted by color.  The second is hidden inside drawers, cups and bins.  It's my stash of dark chocolate I keep secret from my kids.  ;)  Don't mess with a woman's chocolate!

Chocolatier Block of the Month Club (starts Jan. 2017)  Celebrate your love of chocolate in the Chocolatier BOM. Enjoy piecing traditional skill-building blocks set in a LeMoyne Star destined to look like shiny wrapped chocolates.  An argyle compass emphasizes the star's beauty and it's all framed with a beautiful bracelet border. 

I will be hosting a quilt-along here on the blog for the Chocolatier Block of the Month Club.  It is so much fun to see others sewing along and colors choices.  I am bringing you this pattern in print (hard-copy) and PDF.  So you can choose whatever you prefer to participate. 
I am excited to bring you this pattern in 3 color ways.  Modern Milk (solids), Dipped Strawberry (traditional), and Cherry Cordial (batiks). I love that each version demonstrates the Chocolatier pattern in 3 different styles of fabric.  They are delicious.  If you like one of those, the pattern lists the suggested RJR Basics.  Or fill up your chocolate box with your own favorite fabrics using the Chocolatier Quilt Coloring Sheet that comes with a pattern purchase.
Modern Milk Color Way (Cotton Supreme Solids on an Aqua Polka Dot Background)
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Here are all the details for the Chocolatier Block of the Month Club, starting in January 2017.  I hope you'll join me!
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PDF Subscription: An annual subscription for the BOM is available here on sale for $25.  All patterns are PDF downloads, automatically emailed to you each month on the 1st of the month.  When you subscribe, a Chocolatier Introduction PDF (Fabric Requirements and Coloring Sheet) is emailed right away.

Paper Pattern Subscription: An annual subscription for the BOM is available here on sale for $28.  All patterns are Paper Patterns (hard copy), automatically mailed to you via USPS each month on the 1st of the month.  When you subscribe, a Chocolatier Introduction PDF (Fabric Requirements and Coloring Sheet) will be emailed to you right away.  This will confirm your enrollment in the paper pattern subscription and is the only time a pattern will be electronically delivered.
Dipped Strawberry Color Way (Jinny Beyer Palette)
The Chocolatier Blocks.
Most months participants will make 2 blocks as you work your way around the LeMoyne Star.  In order to make the magic happen, there are some months where we will need to make more blocks to complete the design.  In addition to working on traditional piecing techniques (half-square triangles, Flying Geese, Hourglass, Rail Fence, Diamond-in-the-Square), this BOM will challenge participants to tackle skill building blocks with strings, curves, templates, strip piecing, basic paper piecing and applique.
Cherry Cordial Color Way (Malam Batiks)

The Design.
Make classic skill-building blocks, then set them in a fun and funky way.  This is truly what I love. As you probably know by now, I love to break out of the normal sampler grid.  I love putting traditional blocks in fun settings.  This year's theme is a LeMoyne Star destined to look like shiny wrapped chocolates.  Each petal of the star reminds me of a brightly wrapped truffle.  An argyle compass emphasizes the star's beauty and it's all framed with a lovely bracelet border. Oh my gosh, I wish I could tell you my favorite part of the design, but I can't.  I absolutely love the way all of these elements combine together.

Frequently Asked Questions.
1.  When are the new block patterns released?  Each month in 2017, a new block pattern will release on the first of the month.  If you are a subscriber, the pattern will automatically be emailed/mailed to you on this day.

The Chocolatier BOM will contain:
  • An Introduction - all important information, fabric requirements and coloring sheet (only available in PDF)
  • 20 Block Patterns over 11 months 
  • Instructions for Assembling the Quilt Top (Month 12)
2.  How long does the BOM run?  This BOM will run for 12 months.  January though November will have block patterns each month.  December will be spent putting the quilt top together and finishing the quilt.

3.  How many blocks are there in the quilt?  There will be 20 block patterns.  We will make 2 of each block during the month for most months.  

4.  What size is the finished quilt?   72" x 72" 
                
5.  What size are the blocks?  6"x 6" finished / 6 1/2" x 6 1/2" unfinished. 

6.  What skill level is Chocolatier?  Chocolatier BOM is an Intermediate level quilt pattern.  Chocolatier will build skills by working on traditional piecing techniques (half-square triangles, Flying Geese, Hourglass, Rail Fence, Diamond-in-the-Square). This BOM will challenge participants to tackle skill building blocks with strings, curves, triangles, templates, basic paper piecing and appliqué.

7.  What are the fabric requirements?  
Fabric Requirements for the Modern Milk Color Way
(SKUs for RJR Basics are given in the Chocolatier Intro document and Month #1)

4 yards White Polka Dot background
1 1/8 yards each Caramel and Chocolate Solids
1 yard each Deep Pink, Dark Aqua and Yellow Solids
2/3 yard each Light Pink and Light Aqua Solids
80" x 80" Batting
5/8 yard Binding fabric
4 1/2 yards Backing

(yardages for Dipped Strawberry and Cherry Cordial vary slightly)
    8.  Is this BOM available as a kit?  Yes, kits will be available using the RJR Cotton Supreme Solids/Home Essentials White/Aqua Polka Dot background I have used for the Modern Milk color way. Stay tuned for kit ordering details.

    9. I like the Chocolatier blocks, but prefer a more traditional setting.   Can I still join? Absolutely!  You are more than welcome to join the BOM.  If you prefer, set the blocks in a more traditional manner.  However, I will only be giving finishing instructions for the layout above.

    10.  It's already halfway through the year.  Can I still join?  No problem!  Block of the Month Clubs online are great because you can really work at your own pace.  No one is going to prevent you from skipping a block because you don't like it or working at your own pace.  All patterns to date will be sent to you upon purchasing a subscription.

    To me, quilting is fun and about interpretation.  I am providing you with the patterns as a guide.  Feel free to adapt them to your liking.  After all, YOU are the person who will keep the quilt or gift it to a loved one.

    11.  Is there a group or hashtag for this BOM?  Please join my Facebook Group to share your work.  It is more fun when we can share our fabric selections, progress and blocks with each other. Also, please use #chocolatiersampler to share your work within Facebook and Instagram.

    What do you think?  Sound like fun?  I hope you'll join me in making Chocolatier!  I am planning a new version of Chocolatier to make along with all of you.  I'm letting my kiddos help pick out the colors - and I'll share that with you soon.

    The first block instructions will be available on January 1, 2017.  If you have any questions, please leave me a comment.  I will try to address all getting started questions here in this post for all to read. 
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