Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Best Tips for Choosing Fabric for a Quilt

Happy Wednesday! Today's post is all about fabric...specifically choosing fabric for a special project.

I'm really looking forward to quilting along with the Farmer's Wife 1930's quilt

along, and I've decided to use Denyse Schmidt fabrics along with my favorite low-volume fabrics from several different designers and companies. I'm really excited about using these as I've got left-overs from a lot of different quilts and even some fat quarters that I've hardly used from her collections over the past 6-7 years.

But what I really want to talk about today is why I decided on a scrappy mix from a lot of different designers and companies (actually most of the backgrounds I'll be using are from either Moda or Robert Kaufman with a few other prints from other companies and designers).

Begin with one collection and then add in other fabrics.

One great way to start a project is to begin with a collection in mind and then add in other fabrics to give the quilt more "sparkle." A lot of designers talk about this principle...Joanna of Fig Tree calls it the 80/20 rule. I've always had success in following this over the years, and I usually love the quilts the most that have a mix of more than one collection.

Have a specific color scheme in mind.

My red and white quilt features fabrics by a lot of different MODA designers. And even though some of the reds seemingly don't play well together when right next to each other...they really work in the Moda Modern Building Blocks sampler quilt.


Use fabrics from a variety of collections by one designer.

Several times I've created quilts using a variety of fabrics by one designer--my Jumping Jacks quilt which uses Fig Tree fabrics from quite a few collections is one of those. One of the great things about using a variety of collections especially with a project like this is that if a new collection comes out before you finish, you can sneak it into your project at the end.

 My blue and cream quilt featured all fabrics by Minick & Simpson...a great idea would also be to use all fabrics in one or two colorways by a variety of different designers as I did with the red and white quilt.

 I used Sandy Klop--American Jane--fabric for my APQ quilt along quilt from 2014. This is another one of my quilts where the fabrics were from years of hoarding collecting fabrics. When I finally used them, I definitely wasn't sorry...this is another of my favorites.

 My first Farmer's Wife quilt used all Fig Tree...again from many different collections...

 And another of my favorites features Bella solids...

If you are picking fabrics for a favorite quilt design, here are some things to keep in mind:
  • Start with a collection you love and add in other fabrics for interest.
  • Choose to use one designer as a starting point.
  • Begin with a color scheme in mind--anything goes in that colorway.
  • Be open to change...if something doesn't seem to be working, go in a different direction.
  • Your border fabric (if you use one) can tie everything together and make one colorway stand out more than others.
  • Don't worry about everything being perfectly matched...background fabrics will go a long way in evening things out.
  • Consider background fabrics that will add more visual interest to your quilt: low-volume or tone on tone prints can add depth and character to your project.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful...what fabrics are you planning on using for your next big project?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


PBee said...

Thanks for the fabric selection tips. I'm going to use true vintage fabrics from my grandmother's stash and spark them up with my leftover fabrics from the Farm Girl Vintage quilt along.

Sigi G said...

Thank you for these tips. I still struggle in that area - maybe because I'm trying to 'slip' in older fabrics, from long ago :)!

Janet said...

Great tips as always :)

Janet said...

Great tips as always :)

Hildy said...

Thanks for sharing thiese great tis and for the help with the FW quilt-along! Goodto know that you're doing the easy blocks first hope my book will arrive soon! Oh, and thanks of course for the Vintage Tulip love:-)
For my FW quilt I will choose a color range close to Farmhouse but with a bit pink thrown in instead of the tan. I will use a few Farmhouse fabrics but mostly fabrics from my stash. I recently bought some fabrics from FQS and there was a bit Hello Darling and Heather Ross in the mix, too, and I'll use these. And I'll use some low-volumes as background, too, mainly because I have a few in my stash and I don't wanna buy a lot of new fabrics for this sew-along.
Love the fabrics you choose (Denyse Schmidt is great!) and I'm glad someone beside me is using other fabrics then 30's (although Denyse and Fig Tree and B&C and Heather Ross fit in the vintage fabric range, too:-)

em's scrapbag said...

Some really good ideas here. Loved seeing your quilts again!

Helen L said...

Great ideas: thanks for sharing and reminding us! I have that same Farmhouse stack and have been trying to find the yardage that I ordered to supplement it: Grrr!! I loved seeing all your quilts: so fun!! Who did the quilting on your Farmer's Wife quilt: that's quite a work of art!!

Tracey Holzer said...

What a gorgeous collection of quilts! Wow is all I can say. You're so talented.

AnnieO said...

These are all excellent tips. I rarely buy collections but do have favorite designers. The 80/20 rule is a good hint to remember. All your quilts are a really good scrappy mix so you obviously are great at mixing fabrics!

Chrissy said...

Thanks for such a helpful post.
I will have to practise the 80-20 rule. I am not good at adding different fabrics to a collection because I feel they look out of place but all your quilts look amazing so I will have to try harder to make it work.

cozy kitten quilts said...

Great advice! My problem is always limiting my color pallet when doing scrappy quilts. I may start out limited, but then want more colors. Mine may just be an all out scrappy look like they did in the 30's. Use everything and waste nothing. Kay

Cathy J said...

Ummm, your quilts are blowing my mind. BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks so much for this post!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...