Choosing My Fabric

Who ever thought that choosing fabric would be so hard? Who know that there were so many things to consider: color, print, size of patters, and value. Certainly not me! So, I did my research on how to ‘read’ fabric and how to put different colors and patterns together to get a polished and dynamic finish project. The resources I used for this were: my pattern and the videos “Quilty: How to Read fabric”, “How to Choose Fabric for a Quilt Using Fabric Value” and “How To Pick Fabrics For Your Next Quilt” (See below for the videos).

I chose to get my fabric from Fabricland because the lady I bought my sewing machine from suggested that that is a good place for beginning quilters. She said that they have a good selection of fabrics at an affordable price. However, before I could go to the fabric store I had to do a little bit of math because I needed to figure our how much fabric I needed. In the pattern it tells you how much fabric you need for a baby quilt or for a twin bed quilt. But I want to make a quilt to be used as a couch throw. The baby quilt is 4 blocks by 4 blocks but I am going to make mine 6 blocks by 6 blocks. In the pattern, the lady used 16 different colors/patters of fabric (one for each block) but it says that you can use as many or as few different colors/patters as you want. I think that 36 different colors/patters is way too many. So I have decided to go with 12 different colors/patters and I will make three blocks of each color. I like the idea of having three blocks of each color because odd numbers are more appealing to the eye. So according to my calculations, I need .7meters of each fabric.

So with my little sticky note of calculations, I headed off to Fabricland. I thought I had a good understanding of how to pick my fabrics. However, when I walked into the fabric store I was very overwhelmed and just started pulling fabrics that I liked. Before I knew it I had a pile of twelve fabrics that did not go together at all. So, I put them all back and started again. In one of the videos it talks about picking your first fabric and then ‘auditioning’ your fabrics to go along with your first fabric. All the colors that you choose to go with your first fabric do not have to show up in your first fabric but they do have to show up in other fabrics of your quilt.

Calculations of how much fabric I would need.

Calculations of how much fabric I would need.

First Fabric

First Fabric

auditioning fabrics to go with my first fabric.

Auditioning fabrics to go with my first fabric.

In my pattern, it talks about how big prints are very much a trend right now and they can be fun but if all your prints are big it can make your quilt look out of control. So I decided to pick a big print as my first fabric. I then decided that I would use pink, blue, and green to support my first fabric. When I was picking the pink, blue, and green fabrics I had to keep in mind that I needed to have a balanced number of colors (3 pinks, 3 blues, and 3 greens) and that all the pinks do not needs to be the same shade or value (light/dark). In fact, I want my colors to be different shades and values because it gives it more depth. For each of the three colors, I choose one that was dark, on that was bright, and one that was pastel. The other thing that I had to keep in mind was making sure that I had different sizes of prints in each color. By having some smaller prints that almost ‘read’ as solids, it gives that eye a place to rest among the bigger, bolder, and busier prints. However, I stayed away from the solid colors because that can make my quilt look flat and that was not the look I was going for. By this point, I had a total of 10 fabrics picked out: my first fabric and three of each of he supporting colors. I realized there was a lot going on in my fabrics so for the last two fabrics I decided to pick dark colors. I have learned that a few darker colors in your quilt can stow down all your other colors. I decided to go with black and white for my dark colors because black and white looks good with any colors and black and white are the base colors in my first fabric. I know I said it was important to have a balanced number of colors and now I only picked to black and white fabrics but I think it will still look okay because my first fabric has a lot of black and white in it so it could be counted as the third black and white.

Balanced number of colours.

Balanced number of colours.

Different value- each colour has one fabric that is dark, one that is bright and one that is light.

Different value- each colour has one fabric that is dark, one that is bright and one that is light.

Different sizes of print- small, medium, large (left to right)

Different sizes of print- small, medium, large (left to right)

Black and White- to slow down the other colours.

Black and White- to slow down the other colours.

 

Finally, with arms full of fabric I head over to the cutting table to get my .7 of a meter of each fabric cut. While waiting for my fabric to be cut, I asked the salesperson if I needed to wash my fabric first before cutting it. This was something I was still confused about because I had found different information on the internet. She said that because I was using all the same types of fabric, they would shrink at the same rate so therefore, I did not need to pre-wash them. As well, I asked about what color of thread I should use due to all my different colors of fabric. She said that because I will not see the thread, I could get away with only using white.

Leaving Fabricland with all my fabric!

Leaving Fabricland with all my fabric!

 

P.S stay tuned for a video of what I have learned about cutting my fabric!

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: And That’s A Rap | Jenaya Taylor

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