Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!
If you like to play it safe, are in a time crunch, or have run across a line of fabrics you adore, choosing fabric and colors for your next quilt can be a simple, quick process.
I find that every now and then, I want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.
Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!
There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.
Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.
Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.
I challenge you to look around you today and collect some fabulous fabric ideas from the nature around you!
SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!
Christmas is a season filled with tradition. It’s the things you do every year, without fail. Like rules, you don’t break tradition.
But families change. Kids grow up. Holidays are shared. Traditions (rules) might have to (wait for it)…change.
What does this have to do with quilting?
I always took pride in our Christmas traditions. There were certain categories of gifts and each had to be filled. Certain music had to be played…movies watched, cookies baked, old recipes fixed. I actually used to think I had to use every decoration we owned each year.
A few years back, aqua became the new Christmas color…wait, what? Not red and green? It took me a moment…but only a moment, to embrace the idea…to throw that red and green tradition (rule) out the window.
Last year I realized that the beloved tradition I’d started at our old house of making St. Lucia Bread, hadn’t risen properly one time at our new house – ten years in a row!(I’d tried all the yeast tricks, too.)
Side note: the tradition started when our girls would dress up like their Kristen (American Girl) dolls in their white gowns with their St. Lucia crowns to serve us some coffee-like substance and “cookies” on Christmas morning – it was adorable!
I wouldn’t use my red and green Christmas quilts anymore – and I had to make new ones with all the pretty blues!
I think a lot of people embraced the blue Christmas – for one or two seasons…but for me it was a NEW tradition!
My original “JOY” quilt pattern was made using a vintage ornament fabric that was very classic Christmas colors. But, in a need to show how a variety of fabrics could be used for this pattern, I had to make this blue one – from both sides of a beautiful, aqua Hoffman panel! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Fast forward to grown kids, job schedules, tight budgets, and limited time together, we are considering changing more Christmas traditions this year. We are brainstorming about how to make our time fun and meaningful. What’s interesting is that the more we talk about setting aside our old traditions (rules), the more creative we have become in our brainstorming. It’s as if a weight is being lifted.
Seriously, how is this post about quilting?
When I first started quilting, I was all about the rules (traditions). I wanted to learn every single one of them. Some were paramount to good technique and skill-building and very important. Others were just plain silly. I didn’t realize the difference until the day a wise quilter suggested that rules were meant to be broken.
It was then I realized I had ingested each one of those rules, not realizing that some rules (traditions) were limiting my joy for quilting and my creativity for fear of breaking them.
I’ve noticed now that I watch for the rule-breakers in quilting. Their work excites and inspires me, regardless if the technique is traditional or contemporary.
If you know me personally, you know I embrace tradition. If you are familiar with Lutherans, I am a “page 5 of the old, OLD hymnal” kind of gal!
Don’t let your need for tradition RULE your world…whether it’s Christmas or quilting.
I wanted to make a little Christmas gift out of our dad’s shirts for my sister. I couldn’t come up with ideas, so picking the brains of my Lady of the Lake (LOL) quilting buddies proved quite helpful!
Sitting around the table, we ran the gamut of ideas…a bear, a quilted Santa, an apron, a journal cover…whatever I could make from my dad’s old shirts – but it needed to be just right. One friend suggested framing a pieced/ quilted shirt quilt – she was on to something. It often takes a period of mulling…or percolating for me to round out an idea…instead of a frame, make it a shadow box… and add vinyl lettering to the inside of the glass…
I have to say, this little piece came out sweeter than I expected!
It’s not a big, fabulous quilt, but I really like how it turned out- and hope to one day make for myself one day–or maybe the gift to me was the cutting, stitching, and remembering that came with making this for my sister.
I used small amounts three different shirts. Once quilted and trimmed, I glued the quilt to the back of the box. Using Scan N Cut (click HERE for more info.), I added our dad’s name in vinyl to the inside of the glass (remember to reverse the lettering). I penned a short message on the back of the box with a Sharpie.
Do you gift your quilting for Christmas? How do you find ideas?
Please share in the comments below.
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galations 4:4-5
Pepita is the name of a new #usebothsides quilt pattern AND the little girl in the legend of the poinsettia.
Pepita was a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present to the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. The story goes that as she and her cousin Pedro walked to church, he tried to console her by saying, “Pepita, I am certain even the most humble gift, given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” Pepita gathered up a bouquet of weeds from the roadside to give as her gift. Her spirits lifted as she entered the chapel and approached the alter. She laid the weeds at the feet of the Christ Child. Suddenly, Pepita’s common weeds burst into brilliant red blooms! This was considered a miraculous event and was named the Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night).
Today we call these flowers poinsettias, after Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first ambassador to Mexico, who first brought the bright red star-shaped flower to the United States.
Pepita is made using both sides of one poinsettia focus fabric on a scrappy, fun background.
You can use your neutrals and accents strips from your stash to make this easy quilt. It’s great for gifting because the fast technique and stunning look!
I used to avoid poinsettias plants because I thought they were poisonous for pets. In my research about them, I’ve learned they are only mildly toxic, causing a stomach upset if ingested. But if you are concerned, make up this beauty and you can have poinsettias in your Christmas décor every year!
Pepita Quilted Wall Hanging
Click HERE to see other Colorful Petals series quilts!