Sunday, September 17, 2023

Transaparendo Sewalong - Week Two

 Hi everyone and thanks for joining us today. I am really excited to start sharing our sewalong posts with you. Over the next 15 weeks, Verena from einfach bunt Quilts and I would like to setup a supporting community with tips and tricks and well as soon good old fashioned quilting fun with our Transparendo Sewalong (#transaprendosal). Are you looking forward to it? We are too! This week's hashtag is #transparendosalw2 for Week Two. Please sign up for our newsletters to keep on top of the sewalong.

The Pattern Book

Today is our second week of the sewalong. If you don't have the pattern, you can order from my Etsy webshop - Transparendo The Transparency Sampler Quilt from Karen Ackva - If you live in Germany, you can also pick up some great coordinated fabrics packs especially curated by Verena for the sewalong - einfach bunt Quilts. We highly encourage you to get the book! There a lot of helpful ideas listed including coloring pages to color your own design.

Digital Alternative

If you don't want to purchase the softcover version of the book, you can pick up the digital version split into 15 sections. After purchasing the sewalong subscription pattern, look forward to receiving one section (15 sections in total) each week for the duration of the sewalong. It is a fun way to know exactly what to be working on for the next seven days. Receive a new assignment each week!

Sewalong Schedule

What is in store for you over the next fifteen weeks? Take a look at our line up. Each week there is a fun, new assignment to complete. The blocks accelerate in skill level with each new block and build upon previous blocks. Learn all types of new skills such as flying geese, nesting and twisting seams, and cutting extra-large pieces of fabric for squares and triangles.

Post your progress on Instagram with the hashtags: #transparendosal and the week -  #transparendosalw1 (week one, etc.) for your chance to be entered into a drawing. If you don't have instagram, you can send me a photo with your fabric selection at 72 dpi with a resolution of 800 pixels or less. The following Sunday, one lucky recipient will be chosen at random. Our sewalong is open internationally, so get out those sewing machines ladies (and gents)!

Weekly Prizes

The second week, we have a set of Taylor Seville Magic Pins, 1 x Fork Pins and 1 x Extra-ong Pins sponsored by Steidl & Becker (Wholesale Distributor) and a fabric pack specially curated and sponsored by me with an array of fabrics I will be using in my new Transparendo quilt.

Last week we would talked about your fabric selection. The original pattern uses a two-colorway selection of pinks and grays in a range of light, medium and dark as shown below. I was undecided between the to fabric selections below. Read more about the use of color and color value in the Transparendo book.  


I really wanted to see how these two fabric selections would work together, so I mocked up the colors with EQ8 - the quilt designing and planning software from the Electric Quilt Company.

This is what the quilt would look like if using the blues and yellows from the first image of fabrics above. I used the fabric colors provided in the program as a reference instead of actual fabric swatches provided by the manufacturer. This is a quick way to see what a quilt colorway can look like.

I really wanted to use a fun print or two, so I took the fox print and the dotty print to see if they could be fun together. This was a suggestion from my son; he thought the dark petrol was too dark for the quilt and preferred a softer look. My son has a very great sense for colors!

I couldn't find an image from the manufacturer with the original fabric, so I photgraphed the fabric myself. Next I imported the fabric to my program, applied a crop, then resized the image to 72 dpi from 300 dpi to become a workable image file. Then I added it as a fabric swatch to the program.

This is a quick preview of what the quilt would like with the dotty yellow/turquoise fabric. It uses both the dotty fabric and that cute fox fabric from Riley Blake. As you can see, there just isn't enough contrast due to similar colors in the prints. Although this would look great in other quilts, for this transparency quilt, it won't be enough difference to make me happy. I love contrast!

So I combined the fabrics from each image above and came up with the rendition below. It reminds be of a beautiful composition of both the sample quilt with dark black & blue as well as the pretty pink Transparendo cover quilt. What do you think?

Remember, you should have adequate amounts of contrast in color value to achieve the block transparency effects. This is achieved through the light, medium and dark fabrics as well as a contrast in color. Read all about that in the Transparency book

Week 2 - Love Birds

Now that I have my fabric selection mapped out it is time to start cutting the patches. After taking the photos, I realized that cute fox print was not used. Hmm. Should I break it back out and use that one instead? What do you think? Should I bring it back?

Here is the breakdown of the fabric placement using those five fabrics plus one background fabric.

Do you see the transparency in this block? I created a quick animated illustration of how the transparency filters overlap the original block and the final outcome. Even if you don't use fabrics that have gradient colors a shown in the final filter, you can "fake" the effect by using color value to fool the eye.

Love Birds - Block One in Transparendo Sewalong - #transparendosalw2

The fun thing about this block, is that you can audition your fabrics for contrast, value and interest. If you don't like the way it looks, you can start again. The patche sizes are all the same, so this block sews up with little effort. Press your rows in opposing directions. Press with a warm iron after all rows are sewn together. You should be able to sew this block together in one hour or less. You got this!

This Week's Tip

When I was younger, I just wanted to jump into a project especially when using pre-cut fabrics. If you choose to use precuts, you won't want to wash them due to the large amount of shrinkage. If you use yardage, as this pattern does, please wash your fabrics and test for color safeness. You don't want to invest the effort into making a quilt to have it bleed. So please, wash your fabrics on a gentle cycle with a gentle washing detergent. Use a color catcher too. It may prevent the colors from bleeding. Dry the fabrics in the dryer if you have one or if you think your final quilt will be put in the dryer as well. Otherwise, air dry. It will allow your fabrics to shrink properly. And lastly, iron your fabrics with steam and starch to get them crisp and flat.
  • Wash your fabrics.
  • Use a gentle detergent.
  • Use a gentle cycle.
  • Use a color catcher.
  • Dry for shrinkage.
  • Iron and starch.
I hope you are starting to have fun planning and sewing your Transparendo quilt together? I am definitely looking forward to sewing together the next block.

Main Mega Sponsor

The wonderful folks at the Electric Quilt Company are sponsoring our Finale Prize of one full version of EQ8 at the end of the sewalong Week 15. To enter your finished quilt top with all blocks and borders, photograph and forward to me or post on Instagram. If you would like to purchase the program, we have a PROMOTIONAL CODE to receive 25% off the software. Enter EASYPATCHWORK25 at checkout. If you live outside of the US, you will be sent a physical item in the mail. After you receive the package, you will be informed how to download and install the software on your system. Please follow the Electric Quilt Company on Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter for other great deals. 

The winner of this week's drawing is Freia! You will be contacted shortly about how to collect your prize. Thanks for participating. 

Please participate in next weeks drawing. Take a photo and post for all of us to see on Instagram or send to me with a resolution of 72 dpi no larger than 800 pixels. The giveaway is open internationally. Good Luck to all. Thanks for joining us!


Next week we will be working on Block Two - Hovering Hawks.

Please leave a comment below about anything you would like to share with us. We would love to hear your thoughts. Take care of yourself and keep on sewing happy.


  1. The animated illustration really helped me understand how the transparency works.

    1. Thanks for the feeback. The filter overlay is featured with each block in the pattern book. I will try to make more animations for the sewalong if time permits.


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