Double Take Quilt-Along - Fabric Selection

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Color and Fabric Selection

I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of quilting is the planning! Picking out the fabric can sometimes be frustrating, but it's made a bit easier with software programs available these days that can let us preview the colors and fabric choices together with the quilt design we have in mind. I'll go through how I picked out the fabrics for this quilt. You do not have to follow the same strategy as I did, but I wanted to go through my train of thought for picking the colors and fabric.

For the quilt blocks in this particular design, I knew I would need four colors (plus white for the background). I started with two complimentary colors in mind. Complimentary colors are colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel. I chose a green/yellow and a magenta. Then I took the magenta, and picked two more colors from the same hue but with different values (value being the lightness and darkness of a color) - a pink and a deep burgundy. I finished it off with a white for the background color.

You can choose to use the same colors as I did, or pick your own. You don't even have to stick with complimentary colors. Some other options are split complimentary, analogous, even monotone. Just pick two colors and then vary the value on one of the colors to get two more. For my fabric, I chose to stick with solid colors, but you don't even have to do that - there are plenty of fabric lines out there these days that would work nicely for this design.

Once I had the fabric choices selected, I did a mock-up of the two different blocks. I used the light and medium values (pink, magenta, and green) for Block A and the deep value (deep burgundy) for Block B.

Once the blocks were complete, I did a mock-up of the overall design for the quilt.

As I mentioned, you can also choose to use patterned fabric as an alternative to solid colored fabric. These days, designers do a great job of putting out fabric lines that you can make a quilt exclusively out of. To see what a pattern option might look like, I picked out some fabrics from Sandy Gervais' Giddy line. One limitation to using patterned fabric from one collection is that the values may not vary as much as you'd like. The resulting quilt can be just as beautiful, but it may not have all the value changes you are looking for. You can see below there were basically two rather than three different values in the Giddy collection - just pink and red, but no burgundy. But I think the overall look is still beautiful!

Fabric Requirements

Here are the fabric requirements for the quilt top once the fabric selection is made. Keep in mind that this does not include the backing. The finished top will be 66" x 66".

Feel free to post your progress on the Flickr site!

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