Have you ever picked up a quilt pattern and wondered “how am I going to get my quilt to look like the sample”? Well, it’s easier than you think!
First, I’ll share a secret with you … maybe it’s not such a secret … but when you see fabric in a quilt, whether it’s an individual pattern or in a magazine, most likely that sample was made 6 months to a year ago! Unless a fabric company has a sample made with new fabric not in stores yet and plans to have the fabric and the pattern debut at the same time, you might not find the exact fabric shown in the pattern. Often fabric companies print limited quantities of a line and when it’s gone, it’s gone! So what’s a quilter to do?
Search for fabric by color family and print size so it reads like the original fabric!
See this red fabric?
If you can’t find this exact piece of fabric, then you look for something in the same color family and shade. So here’s a piece of fabric that is close to the same shade of red and also has a print about the same scale.
What if you pick up a pattern that says to choose 15 color print fat quarters; 5 light, 5 medium and 5 dark? Stumped? Don’t be! This is where the fun starts! Light, medium and dark is all relative. Here is a blue from my stash:
This may be considered a dark blue if it is paired with a lighter blue fabric. But look what happens when I choose the next blue fabric:
That first blue is lighter so you can use it as the “light”, if you are only using 2 blues in the project. Or it can be a medium blue if you are using 3 blues in the project.
Look at this next picture. I have 3 stacks of fabrics next to each other. Lights, mediums and darks. Some of these fabrics are the same color (there are 3 blues and 3 greens for example), but with the variation of shade and print it looks like you have 15 different colors. That’s the fun of scrap quilting!
So head to the fabric store and start stacking up the bolts!
Once you get that fabric home, make sure it’s prepared and ready for when you want to start your next project. If you are a pre-washer, get the fabrics washed, ironed and folded.
If you like scrap quilting, cut your larger pieces of fabric into fat quarters, fat eights and strips. Then you are ready to pull out smaller cuts when needed or pile up a rainbow of strips for that log cabin quilt!
Store your fabrics by size and color in labeled stack-able tubs. This makes finding the fabrics you want easier so you can get to the cutting and sewing. Here are some of my tubs that I’ve shown you before on my blog:
Organization keeps the fun happening!
So, leave me a comment on how you approach color when planning a quilting project. Do you follow the pattern choices to the letter or do you go off on your own in the quilt shop and experiment? I will pick a winner from the comments and you will receive a copy of my two newest patterns! I’ll pick the winner on Thursday, April 5th. **Congrats! We have a winner: Judy U.****