Welcome to the 10th edition of Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd. For this version, my mind couldn’t come up with a great plan. These past few weeks find me preoccupied along with missing my regular sewing machines, I was unsure what to share. Then, it came to me – choosing fabric for a sample – which I am doing right now! A new sampler is coming into my life; it begins the first Monday in November and is called Women of Advent. I am using stash for this one, so that is always a challenge!
1. Choose a favorite fabric or one you love to use as a guide.
For some time, I couldn’t get the idea of basing this sampler on a Kaffe Fassett print out of my mind. I am hoping that I can use this one as a lattice. No matter what, this fabric will help pick the other colors. My background for the blocks is either white or a gray or low volume prints (TBD and it may not be from stash).
2. Look at the selvege and the color separations.
There are 18 colors available to regularly printed fabric (digital prints have many more available). This particular fabric has 12 colors. Some are variations on the theme.
3. Begin picking fabrics.
I selected some of the basics, and I am only shopping my stash. Now, I know there are more pinks/purples in my other stash as I just took them all to that studio, so you won’t see many in this selection. Exact matches are not needed. In fact, Jinny Beyer always said to choose fabrics one or two shades lighter or darker when coordinating with fabrics. It helps not get them all in the same tone.
4. Consider the “why” of the quilt.
This quilt is about biblical things. I know that there will be some specialty fabrics required – maybe some greens needed for plants, or golds for a goblet, etc. This next batch adds in some surprises, too that may be needed and some that I long to use but haven’t had the chance or old favorites (the Paula Nadelstern on the end) that I would like to use again.
Funny, I was thinking Grunge would be great for this, but what do I have in my stash that could be equally fun – ombre called “Silent Inspirations” from McKenna Ryan (how fitting). However, I may buy a grunge for the background as I only have whites in yardage and I’d really like a more varied background. I could also buy a group of background fabrics which might be fun.
5. The end may be different than the beginning.
Sometimes the fabric we use to coordinate the quilt drops away, it no longer works. Maybe it goes on the back or maybe it gets put aside for something else.
This first sampler was one I did when I taught a beginner hand piecing class. I went with a colorway that was not my usual. The border was picked at the end. I think I wanted spring colors and the multicolor fabrics in the card trick and Ohio star block were probably the ones where I started and then pulled from them. Balancing the color in the blocks comes as you construct the quilt. If you have only one block with yellow, be sure to add a few more. You can’t do this in the beginning, but only as you begin to see the quilt unfold.
As I went through this quilt, I thought I should have decided colors for each of the vases first, then pulled the colors for each block from the vase. I am not sure what my fabric was that inspired this quilt, but I remember having difficulty with it because I didn’t have a guiding theme or fabric or unifying approach. Don’t get me wrong, I love this one, but it is part of what we learn as we continue to quilt.
I hope this helps some of you who struggle with picking fabrics. It is one of the things about quilting that I love!
To find past tips see:
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Pinterest Tips and Tutorials Board.
Lots of fun to be had with last months tips. I am thinking of whipping up some of those triangle scarves for some presents!
You can always see them on the linky party on my blog posts with the original links OR on Pinterest on my “Tips and Tutorials Board”.
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Coming Up on the Blog:
TGIFF – 10/23
QAL by the Sea Block 11 – 10/17
From the Heart Blog Hop – 10/28
QAL by the Sea Block 12 – 11/3
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I’m so close to joining in on this QAL. It looks like a fun one! Great tips on choosing fabric, too!
That’s the same method I use and have taught my students over the years, Kathleen. Best of luck on your new quilt!
Hi Kathleen! You’ve shared great tips on how to select fabrics for a project. I believe it’s one of the hardest and most important steps in the whole process. ~smile~ Roseanne
Great tips on fabric selection, Kathleen! I love the idea of the Advent quilt along and Bible Study, but I have so much going on that I can’t join at this time. Hopefully I can get in on one next year! Thanks for sharing your process.
Kathleen, I am delighted that 2 of my projects – DT Mop head creations and 3 bottle cap creations was included in your Gems of the Month. I can’t tell you how honored I am feeling. Thanks again hon.