In the past week I have gotten 3 emails asking me how I pick the fabrics and colors for my quilting and sewing projects. The writer and for that matter many of my students are often vexed when it comes to putting colors and patterns together for a quilt and often end up relying on quilt kits or doing exactly what the pattern says out of pure fear that they are going to get it ~wrong~.
As a rule I am pretty free-wheeling when it comes to colors and patterns that I will put in a quilt. To me all colors go together and it is more about the mood or the feeling of the quilt when I am selecting fabrics. The stack of fabric in the photo is an example of of how I think about fabric.. to me that fabrics need to tell a story and that story needs to be set in a certain time. To mix certain times or theme often feels discordant, and if that is what you are going for then rock on!.. but if you are looking for something that works together but still has a lively feeling to it you will want to hit certain "notes" to make this happen.
In the stack of fabric above the colors are a major player along with the pattern but the thing to note is that they all have the same general intensity in that they are slightly grey'd down. And even though the colors are rather intense they are not shocking or hard on the eyes.
The other thing they have going for them is a " bridge color" that runs through them.. in this case that sort of mustard yellow tone that links them from top down to the Faux Bois print fabric on bottom that I picked as the background of my project.
The other thing I would point out is that of the three folded fabrics there is a deep, a bright and a recede ( one that almost melds into the background)..this gives visual depth to a project and keeps it from looking flat and uninteresting no matter how simple a pattern you use.
The last tiny note I would like to make is to make sure not all of your fabrics are from the same collection no matter how wonderful it is. By adding at least a dash from another collection you will add more life to any project.. try it and see!
You can see the project these fabric were used for HERE and soon you will see if quilted since it is on my longarm right now!
How do you pick fabric for a project?