OK - here is a photo of 2 of my Shakespeares (purple is #2 and blue is #3)... the 1st one I made - well it looks alot like the blue one, but the photo isn't as clear and besides - that photo is on another computer. So, just imagine 3 ok? And now... I am cutting out my 4th Shakespeare. Pattern by Judy Martin, by the way.
Here are my fabrics. I had a plan for these fabrics, but the ruler I need isn't here. And honestly, this is probably enough fabric for 2-3 quilts. So, I'm cutting into it and whatever is left over can be used for my original plan. This quilt won't have as much contrast as my others, but with careful cutting, I think the pattern will work.
Here's what I do... Use the fabrics with the MOST contrast (the darkest and lightest) for the biggest pieces and usually the smallest pieces. I especially like the snails trail pattern to show up so I try to make sure I use strong contrast for those big outside triangle pieces.The medium contrast colors - you usually can get away with for the medium pieces. By the 3rd quilt I learned to use a little bit of zinger fabrics - they are fun for the smaller pieces. I used some ugly fabrics for the small pieces too - the ugliness gets lost in the design and that fabric is out of my stash and somehow transformed into a beautiful quilt!
OK - here we go! To stay organized I label a bunch of freezer bags A-K and line them all up. As I cut - I put the pieces in the correct bag. To get a good variety from each fabric without cutting it all up, I start with a bigger size piece (you don't need as many large pieces as small pieces), cut the big piece and then move on down to a smaller piece and cut those with what is left-over from the strip after cutting the big piece. Usually you can cut a few different sized pieces from 1 strip.
I use the pattern in my Quilter's Newsletter Magazine Jan/Feb 2001 (No. 329), but never fear - if you don't have this issue the pattern is also in one of Judy Martin's books. It is not a hard pattern to make, trust me! It just takes a bit of time to cut out and yes, some of the pieces are small, but it all goes together perfectly and if you save the big parts of the snails trails for last... well toward the end you will think that this quilt just flew together! Because those snail trails go together fairly quickly. Just cut it all out and then chain piece away.
So, that's what I am working on. I am interested to see how these fabrics will work out. Not shown is white - I can always use white fabric if I have to... as the saying goes... nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Edited to add: I have had so many e-mails about my Shakespeare quilts that I thought I would add this information. I now know that you can find the pattern in Judy's book, The Creative Pattern Book. If you want to make this quilt, I would recommend a rotary cutter (if you already have a cutter - put in a new blade!), cutting mat and a variety of rulers to make the project easier - all of which you can click on in my links below! It is not a difficult pattern, you just have to keep track of all the pieces and go step-by-step.