Saturday, January 7, 2012

ABC of Quilting Post # 6

Today's post is

Fun with Color : Fabric Selection for Quilts

And this, once again is brought to you by, yours truly...


Selecting fabric for a quilt is one of the most crucial decision you'll have to make... It is sometimes as easy as pulling out a bundle and starting work or sometimes it takes days (even weeks... hear more about it next week) to decide what you'll be using!!!

If you are so lazy that you dont want to select any fabric... Go buy a bundle! Let someone else do the thinking!

Pre-cut bundles are a great way to start when you are unsure about your skills... These bundles are usually color-co-ordinated and take the stress out of making a quilt! You can get them in a variety of sizes... Commonly sold in FQs, some shops offer larger cuts too! Just check with your shop before you order!

But there are other "interesting" ways of selecting fabric... Some might find them tedious, but I love this process...

Most quilt patterns are created by the contrast between light, medium and dark fabrics. The colors or patterns that you select will affect the overall quilt design. 

Not only will you have to think about the color but the shade, tone and tint of it!


Let me guide you to a color wheel... I found one that is simple to understand... Its highly self-explanatory...

It is not difficult to grade one fabric from light to dark, 

but the value will change when you look at it against other colors. 

Fabrics appear lighter when surrounded by darker or deeper shades and darker when surrounded by lighter ones!

You can also use the color wheel to decide on the color scheme of your quilt!

You could select a few adjacent colors to create a harmonious effect.

Or you could go for colors opposite one another for contrast.

Some of the most effective color schemes use three adjacent colors from one side and another from directly opposite for contrast.

The Primary colors create the most vibrant color schemes.

Three or four tertiary colors produce a more subtle effect...

When using printed fabrics, you have to think about the scale of the print along with the shade and value of the fabric! 

Small scale prints tend to look solid from a distance but add interest and create a textured effect when viewed at a close hand.

Medium prints are perhaps the most popular ones. But be careful when you use two of them together. Sometimes the pattern line is blurred and the desired pieced effect is gone!

Large scale prints generally become abstract patterns when the shape is cut. 

Or you can also fussy cut them to suit your purpose.

It is fun to combine large and small scale fabric for your quilt!

Wow! That was quite a post!!! Now let me leave you with some food for thought!

9 things to remember while choosing fabric!

1. Quilts are a good way to use scraps. So shop fabric from your scrap bins before you head out of the door (or to your PC)

2. The wonderful and yummy Fat Quarters are tempting, but it would be foolish to buy them before you have planned your quilt! You do not want to run out on a cold day just 'coz you were a 2" short of fabric for your quilt! Trust me, if that happens, no quilt shop in at least 10 miles radius will have that one in stock and you'll end up paying 10 times to buy it on etsy!

3. Even if you only need a small quantity, it is always better to buy a little bit more than you think you'll need. (If you feel you can do with a Fat Eight - go buy a Fat Quarter!

4. Think about using fabric from other sources - clothing for example!

5. Always use good quality fabrics with a similar fiber content for making a quilt!

6. Thin or worn fabrics will not last and batting will work through a loosely woven fabric to produce surface haze.

7. Choose closely woven fabrics, but not so tight a weave that they will be difficult to sew.

8. Visualize and plan the quilt on paper, then try out a single block to make sure the colors work well together (if you have doubts).

9. Have fun! Quilting is all about not just snuggling under the warmth. but enjoying the entire process.. So feel free to leave your inhibitions and my rules behind and just follow your heart! 

Remember, wrapping a quilt around someone is like giving them a hug!


1 comment :

  1. You are very inspiring. Loved your post especially the nine rules...I'll keep them in mind when I am shopping for fabric.


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