I’m so excited at the great response to my Quilt Along!! Thank you! Let’s get going!!
First of all let me say that the purpose of this Quilt Along is to make a quilt for someone you love as a gift this Christmas (or other winter Holiday). AND to get it done by Christmas, early enough that you’re not stressing.
Soooo if you already have a project in mind OR you’ve got something you’ve been dying to finish… go for it and play along!! You don’t need to do what I’m suggesting here, I’m just offering tips and ideas for those that might not be sure where to start. Also if you want to just copy what I’m doing here with my kids quilts please feel free to do so! That’s kinda the purpose of me sharing ideas with ya’ll on this blog.
As I’ve been thinking about how to blog about this, I decided it’s best to break up the Quilt Along steps into several blog posts, rather than one GIANT blog post…
To begin- if you’re going to make a quilt your going to need some fabric. So today I’m going to talk about Fabric Selection, then next week will be design ideas. With lots of links and photos for inspiration for you guys.
Okay, you may ask “how do you select fabric when you don’t know what your doing yet?”…. I found that I work best when my design process starts with the fabric, then pattern later – I’m inspired by the fabric.
Let me explain:
You know how you “pop” into quilt/fabric stores all year. Maybe when your on vacation, or your local quilt shop is having a killer sale? You go, but unless you’ve got a specific project in mind it’s hard to figure out what to buy. So this is what I do… I collect 1/2 to 1 yd cuts of fabrics that I LOVE…. then later when I find a specific project for them. I call these “feature” print fabrics. It’s usually pretty easy to find some “neutral” fabrics (i.e. dots, stripes, solids) that coordinate later.
This year I knew that I was going to be making quilts for my kids for Christmas, so as I shopped I tried to collect fabrics (mostly novelty prints) that reminded me of each of my kids.. Keeping in mind a specific color scheme for each kid.
This summer while shopping in SLC, i found this adorable VW bugs and bikes print at a quilt store there. It immediately reminded me of my oldest daughter, since she turned 16 this year. It was a great print with a cool color scheme. So I decided to use that print as my jumping off point for her quilt.
I picked up some of the novelty prints then came home and shopped my stash and found what I think are enough fabrics to complete her quilt.
How much to buy? I find 1/2 yd of a feature print is usually enough when making a lap quilt. If you love it get 1 yard…
If you want to make a basic blocks quilt, you can get approx. 30 6×6 blocks from one yard of fabric. Assuming you want your lap quilt to be 55×66 (I’ll explain why I picked that size next post). You’ll need 120 6×6 blocks which is approx. 4 yards of fabric in total… So that could be 8, 1/2 yd cuts, or 4, 1 yd cuts… etc… you can mix and match however you like! Did I lose you? If so don’t stress it will make more sense next week.
For my younger daughter, I picked some new Sarah Jane fabric and some 30’s reproduction ones. I had the 30’s prints in my stash and was so excited to see how well they coordinated with the Sarah Jane prints. I’m sticking with blues/violets, & warm pinks for her quilt.
For my son, I started collecting “mod” boys prints- things that were graphic or reminded me of things he likes (such as the dogs/cars). I tried to think black/grey/blue with a few other color splashes thrown in.
Do you see the different types of fabric in that stack? At the top are 4 what I call “neutral” prints- they match well with anything- Then can you see the guitar? That’s what I call a “feature” fabric. You want to mix your “feature” fabrics with your “neutral” fabrics. Here’s a tip- sometimes those feature fabrics are pricey (especially if you love designer fabrics or Japanese prints).. if you mix them with the “neutrals” that you have in your stash, or ones you can find on sale it will help with the cost of the quilt.
That’s why I buy “feature” fabrics as I find them. You can ALWAYS find a “neutral” to go with it later.
Here’s your task for the week
ONE: Decide on a color scheme for your quilt
for inspiration on quilting color schemes try these places:
custom fabric bundles
pinterest- my sewing inspiration board & simple quilt designs board
Moda Pre-cuts -skip the cutting and have the fabric selected for you, just buy a layer cake or charm pack.
Design Seeds.com– lots of great color combos there
or browse by fabric theme
or just pick a your favorite fabric print and pull colors from there.
TWO: Start collecting fabric-
Either shopping or grabbing from your stash- try for 4-5 yds total… but you might want to wait to buy it until you know exactly what you are making – First inventory what you already have before you figure out if you need to go get anything. Think of some unexpected ways to mix some fabrics… if you are making a blocks/strips quilt it’s an EXCELLENT way to use up your scraps! We’ll talk more about quilt pattern design next week. Just for now, start pulling fabrics together based on your decided color scheme.
Then next week we’ll talk:
and after that,
We can start cutting Fabric! ooooh can’t wait til we start chopping up some fabric!
Other Quilt Along Posts: