Three more blocks to go before I share the cute wall hanging, and instructions to make it, for these blocks! I hope you are enjoying making the blocks and also learning something along the way. If you are just joining us, you can still get all the block of the week blocks by clicking on the following links for each week: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5 and Week 6. This week, the quilting tips I share focus on choosing color fabrics for your blocks and quilts and how you can build a scrap quilt using these tips. Comment on the post and you will be entered into a drawing for this week’s pattern and also be in the drawing for the grand prize at the end! Let’s get started.
Block 7 – Starburst
This block is a great one use to play with color choice. That’s why I decided to talk about choosing color this week.
To get the instructions for this block, click here: 2021 BOW Block 7.
As you can see, color choice plays an important role in this block. The placement of the gold fabric makes it look like a “burst” of gold in the front of this Starburst block.
Here’s a few examples of how color changes this block:
In the example on the left, I switched out the blue and gold so now it looks like the the starburst is coming from behind. In the example on the right, I switched to two colors with a black background instead of tan. It completely changes the look!
Choosing Color & A Little Color Theory
Moving on to this week’s topic. For many quilters, choosing the right colors for a project can stop them in their tracks. I am here to tell you there is no need to find this task difficult! Also, some colors you don’t think would look good together actually do end up looking good. Especially in scrap quilting. So, here are some handy tips for choosing fabrics.
Tip#1: Decide in advance how many different colors you want to use in your quilt. This will save you time in the quilt shop. The time to decide is before you get there. When you are in the store, pull out the chosen bolts and stack them on a counter or table, view how they look together.
By doing this you can see how the fabrics work together before you buy them. You can pull out the ones that “stick out like a sore thumb” in your opinion and search out another bolt to audition. I do this too when I a pulling fabrics from my stash to audition for a project.
Tip#2: Have you ever chosen a focus fabric but were stumped on what fabrics you wanted to pair it with? Simply check the selvedge! You will find a series of “dots” with the colors that were used in printing the fabric.
This is something I don’t think a lot of quilters know. Now, not all fabrics will have this in the selvedge but a good majority do. If there are no dots to use, look at the colors in the print and pull some fabrics that match with that.
Tip #3: Learn the difference between shade, tone and tint and how that effects the contrast between your fabrics.
- Shade is taking the pure color, for instance blue, and adding black to it to make it darker, for a dark blue.
- Tint is taking the pure blue and adding white to make it lighter, making a light blue.
- Tone is adding grey to a pure color to make it less intense. Most colors around us in the world are tones of pure color.
This comes in handy when planning contrast of your fabrics you choose for a quilt or block. If you choose colors all very close in shade or tint, there will not be much contrast (left photo). Chooses colors of different tints or shades and you get more contrast (right photo):
All I did was switch out the darker blue and green with a lighter versions. Instant contrast!
Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to use a color wheel when choosing colors. The wheel helps you determine which are cool colors and which are warm colors. It also helps you to see how colors you choose will contrast with each other.
For example, if you want high contrast, choose colors on opposite sides of the wheel. If you want less contrast, choose colors close to each other on the wheel. Red, yellow and orange are examples of “warm” colors and blue, green and violet are examples of “cool” colors.
How to Build a Scrap Quilt
You can actually turn any quilt pattern into a scrap quilt with a little thought. I’ll use a simple 3 color quilt as an example. To make it easy, let’s say this quilt takes a yard of each color fabric (not including the background) and has 12 blocks from each color. Here’s the 3 colors:
These fabrics would certainly make a pretty quilt:
You can turn this into a scrappy quilt by taking those yards of fabric and splitting each yard into three 1/3 yard cuts in each color family. For instance, instead of 1 yard of red, I substitute 1/3 yard each of red, pink and a brown fabric that has a red/pink print (middle stack in the photo).
Now you have 9 different fabrics instead of only 3 and this is how your quilt can look:
You can even mix the colors within the blocks to make it even scrappier like I did in this block below:
So, that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoy making the block and that you learn something new about color. Now you can go to the quilt shop and not be afraid to play!
Leave a comment and be entered into the drawing for my pattern, Marbles & Jacks. You can use the colors I have chosen for the pattern or you can go wild and make every block a different color combination!
The drawing will be on Monday, May 31st. Good luck and see you next week! **We have a winner… Congrats, Catherine!**
ThAnks for all the great tips
Cathy B says
Thanks for the sew along blocks and all the great tips! Love the Marbles & Jacks pattern. It would be fun to do it really scrappy.
Thanks so much for this very helpful article and for the starburst pattern. Love it!
Your blogs are always filled with great information. Thanks for sharing!
Donna Jay says
Thanks for the tips!
Donna Schulz says
I have your pattern Marbles & Jacks already. But thumbs up for your tutorials. They’re great help to beginners & us who have been quilting for awhile!
Recently, I have bemoaned the fact I had purchased fabrics in quantities too small for a pattern I was considering. Thanks so much for providing encouragement to combine them into color families which will then be enough fabric for the pattern!
Catherine Dorsey says
Thanks for all the information with color. Enjoy the blocks too.
Sandy R. says
That was all good information that you just posted on your blog!! I have always said that picking out fabric if the hardest job for me when I want to make a new quilt…so thanks for your info..
Carol E Niewinski says
I’m enjoying the beautiful blocks. Thank you.
Terri D says
I’m happy I checked out your website! There’s lots of great info here!
Regina Bohannon says
I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation last night in Springfield! I retired and started doing wool applique and more quilting about 16 months ago. Choosing fabrics for pieced quilts is my biggest hurdle! Thanks for the great tips!
Kaye Mattson says
Thanks for the lessons that you write for us,there is always something to learn. I finished my Starburst block yesterday. I was a little worried about it but it turned out fine.
Robin McGuire says
Wonderful tips as usual! I love scrappy quilts and use some of those tips already but will definitely try the others.
Thank you for the great tips on color choice and placement in quilt blocks and quilts. Very helpful information!