Wagon wheel quilts are a favorite of mine, but I have not yet made a “successful” one. Many years ago I took a class with Mary Mashuta. She uses a lot of Japanese fabric in her quilts and since I lived in Tokyo, I have a nice collection of said fabrics. This is my favorite of hers. This striped fabric is wonderful and though I started this quilt right after taking her class, I have never been happy with it.
Another quilter who has done this pattern with entirely different fabrics is Becky Goldsmith of Piece O’ Cake designs. I am a big fan of her color sense and here is one of hers I like. And here is the one I started to mimic hers. I don’t like it either and did not piece too much before I put it away in a project bag… Can you see where both of my designs are headed in the wrong way?
Sometimes one can use too many fabrics, and as I was photographing these UFO’s before we moved, it was so obvious. Too busy! Way too busy! What I like about the wagon wheel patterns is the graphic nature and in order for that to shine, there has to be less use of fabrics. So the background probably should be one color in the Japanese stripe. I do think I can make the multi black and white background fabrics work, but each wheel should be the same color.
A few months ago, Becky Goldsmith started selling English Paper Piecing patterns for Wagon Wheel and I bought a pack of the smallest ones. I have been eyeing them as I need to do something new. I’m choosing fabrics soon and am determined to do a wagon wheel quilt that works!