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!
It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter!
Use BOTH sides of one red Christmas fabric on a snowy bed of winter fabrics.
This little red truck is dashing through a snowy lane.
“Merry” quilt pattern is available in my Etsy shop: HERE
More Christmas patterns:
JOY – Use BOTH sides of ornament fabric, toy motifs, stars, snowflakes, pine motif fabrics…or many other fabrics for this joyful tree. The gifts beneath the tree are made using the reverse side.
Pepita – every year there are many, many poinsettia fabrics on the market – you likely have at least one in your stash – turn it over and see if the reverse would make a beautiful pot for your own poinsettia quilt! Super fun to arrange and goes together quickly! Pepita is named after the little girl in the The Legend of the Poinsettia.
“Holly” is made using BOTH sides of two panels OR BOTH sides of Christmas motif fabrics! This quilt was designed for Hoffman California Fabrics and is featured on the cover of their Winter Projects 2019 catalog!
In the heart of Indiana is a bright yellow door. Open it to find a cute little quilt shop filled with fun, beautiful fabric!
It’s the Yellow Door Quilt Store!
Located in Nashville, Indiana, south of Indianapolis, the Yellow Door Quilt Store carries unique and mostly bright fabrics – maybe a bit of a modern flare, but something for everyone!
I met the owner, Mary Beth, when I popped in to her booth at the Paducah quilt show – I knew right away her fabrics would work beautifully with my patterns. We hit it off and she now carries many of my designs!
Mary Beth’s fabric lines/books/patterns include: Kaffe Fassett Collective, Marcia Derse, Kathy Doughty, Jane Sasseman, and Alexander Henry and many more.
Here is Flora made with BOTH beautiful sides of a QT Fabrics floral:
It was Mary Beth’s idea that I make a pattern of a sugar skull using both sides of one focus fabric. My first shipment of “Flora” patterns now reside (temporarily) at the Yellow Door Quilt Store! #usebothsides
Visit Mary Beth online HERE or in her quilt store!
Visit my Etsy SHOP to see more BRAND NEW patterns and all the favorites that #usebothsides of beautiful fabric!
Do you remember the quilt design of a vase and bouquet using Kaffe Fassett fabric? I mean it was only…(counting)…20 #usebothsides patterns ago!
“Kate” was made using both sides of Japanese Chrysanthemum by Philip Jacobs for Kaffe Fassett Collective. Kate’s Bouquet also uses the same fabric (different colorway) and only two other fabrics for this large, striking look!
Shop “Kate” HERE. Kate is a 36 x 36 inch quilt made using only one focus fabric for the vase (reversed), bouquet (broderie perse) and binding on a scrappy background.
Kate’s Bouquet finishes at 64″ x 64″, making her a lovely statement in a home. The negative space gives her a modern appeal. And the best part: you only need three fabrics to make this quilt! Use BOTH beautiful sides of the focus fabric and table fabric and get one fabulous fabric for the background!
Here’s a pic of my friend, Linda’s quilt, she calls “Rose”. Her version has a calm feel about it and goes perfectly in her newly decorated living room.
Just imagine, you could have a background that mimics wall paper or old plaster walls. So many options!
And, of course, there are always fabulous floral fabrics on the market for designing your own bouquet!
This week’s shout-out is to Margie, owner of Margie’s Sew Much Fun!
Located in the Florida panhandle, in Crestview, Margie has been serving her community since 1971.
Offering over 3500 bolts of fabulous fabric (awesome patterns, too – #usebothsides) and both Bernina and Janome machines, you can be sure Margie will show you a fun time!
Margie is a “repeat customer” of #usebothsides patterns and she is a delight to work with. You can tell from the name of her quilt shop and our delightful phone conversations, I can just tell she’s got a fun shop YOU really need to visit!
When our daughter landed her first job out of college, we had no idea that her new adventure would become one for us, too. I especially didn’t expect it to influence the quilt patterns I’d design!
(If you wonder why I said FIRST job…she’s a musical theatre actor – there is always (ideally) a new job in this line of work!)
Because she’d landed the lead role and we’d never been to South Dakota before, we took a road trip last summer. Of course, along the way we stopped at quilt shops. That’s how I met the owner of the Quilt Shop in Chamberlain, SD. It was just on our list and close to the highway! See South Dakota Quilts & More and OKLAHOMA Backroads in South Dakota .
The owner, Sonya, and I brainstormed pattern ideas for her clientele and soon I was designing bison and other wildlife patterns. She carries LOTS of fun fabric with beautiful reverses!
This summer our daughter landed Sophie in Mamma Mia and off we went again! If you get a chance, stop in Chamberlain, SD – its simply loaded with fabric and has wonderful local art and craft as well.
We were able to visit again and drop off some new designs.
Here’s a big shout-out to Sonja in Chamberlain…and many thanks!
Watching quilts come to life is tons of fun – especially when each one has a personality of it’s own. That’s what happens when everyone chooses a focus fabric for class.
The Heartland Quilters’ Guild has a “Quilt Away” where they retreat for days of classes, stitching, and fun. It’s a beautiful setting for a quilt retreat. I was excited to kick off their weekend with the Grace Quilt Class.
Take a look at how these “Grace” quilts each take on a unique look – it’s all about the fabric and the “floral” designer (quilter)!
Hope to see these quilters again soon and hear more about how they #usebothsides!
Their name is intriguing and their guild is a lot of fun! The Twilight Stitchers Quilt Guild of Blue Springs, Missouri hosted me as their program speaker and class teacher last month. One of my many new friends from Blue Springs, Vickie, made the trip extra special for me with her care for details and accommodations – thanks, Vickie!
It’s alway fun to see how other guilds operate – from how they run their meetings to how they interact with one another and their communities. I try to note those things I think would be fun to introduce to my local guild – especially the ideas that don’t cost a dime – like “Quilt Angels” (pssst – someone from my guild ask me about this)! A special thank you to my Quilt Angels for the night!
First, here are some pics from our opening selfies – they appear to be a rowdy group!
The “Grace” quilt class the following day was fabulous – I tend to give LOTS of pre-class guidance for choosing fabrics to bring and I was so delighted to see that they were all well prepared! AND sew creative! 😉
As you can see from the pics, they choose varied fabrics and their bouquets were unique, even presenting the quilters’ personalities, I think! One gal used ties and other out-of-the-box fabrics and was going to design her own vase to fit her bouquet!
I wish I’d gotten a pic of my first husband/wife duo – but she slipped off before I could snag her pic – busy lady. Their quilts have “related” but different focus fabrics and will hang together in their home! Hope they’ll share them with us using…wait for it…#usebothsides !!!! Yes, they all learned about hashtags during the program!
I hope to get to see the Twilight Stitchers again soon! You just never know where quilters will cross paths! See Quilts at the Beach to see how I bumped into a quilter, from Warrensburg, Missouri (a hop, skip, and a jump from Blue Springs) at Pensacola Beach!
I’m happy to announce another trip is on the horizon! This year our daughter will be in Sherwood, – the Adventures of Robin Hood, she will play Annelle in Steel Magnolias, and one of her bucket list roles…Sophie in Mamma Mia.
Needless to say, she’s quite excited to be able to work again in such a beautiful place–but, even more, she’s happy to be able to work at what she loves to do. What might seem a glamorous occupation to some or even a frivolous choice to others, professional performance is not an easy road to take.
Between roles there’s the down time, the work of researching roles, the honing of singing, dancing, acting and auditioning skills, the doubts, the endless auditions…and along with auditions come many rejections. Landing a job is a big deal. When it’s over, you start all over again… but this time with another line on your resume. You don’t land a job to keep for the next 10 years…and future roles DEPEND on each role you land NOW and the contacts you make.
I watch both of our girls struggle to work at what is their passion – and I wonder at times where they get the courage. Yes, I make jokes that we let them play too much dress up and not do enough science fair projects, but truly I am glad they can give it a whirl…and, in this case, go where the buffalo roam.
Buffalo Moon is made using BOTH sides of a fabulous focus fabric (say that three times fast!) on a scrappy, nighttime background. Spotting the bison roaming the Black Hills was an incredible experience. Having also learned about the Legend of the White Buffalo, saying YES to this focus fabric was easy! Unlike most of my other patterns, the difference in value between the front and reverse of the focus fabric are subtle, but still noticeable. Choosing dark background fabrics was a change of pace and a lot of fun!