Make a plan for your own version of this beautiful quilt!
By now I hope you’ve found a fabric line you’d like to use for your quilt. Did you pull from your stash? Start with a fat quarter bundle? Once you’ve picked your fabric, where do you start? Do you feel a bit lost when it comes to fabric placement? Here’s a few steps you can follow to help you get started.
Step one: Divide up your fabric
This is really fun: Separate your fabrics by color. Once you’ve done this, the lights, medium and dark fabrics will stand out. It looks like I have four main colors: Dark plum, medium plum, chestnut, and ivory. I’ve decided I’d like my quilt to have a vintage feel to it, and these colors should be perfect. Since I have a limited number of fabrics in the chestnut color, I have to limit the use of this color or pull in some more fabrics from my stash. I think I may limit the use of this color but I’ll see how it looks in the next step. See the darker plum color? It’s so dark I know it will stand out when placed in the quilt so I want to it in a prominent place in the quilt. Now that I’ve got the fabrics divided up by color, I’m going to graph out a block so I can see how the colors “play” together.
Step two: Graphing out a quilt block
Grab some graph paper and colored pencils. Any size graph paper will work as long as you have each square on your paper equal 1 inch on your quilt. Draw several blocks on graph paper and color in the squares with colored pencils. You should get an idea of where to put the dark, medium and light fabrics. Play around with the colors and see what happens in the block. I wanted to limit the use of the chestnut color and make the dark plum stand out, so here’s how I ended up coloring my block:
Graphing out the quilt in the computer or on graph paper is a starting point for any quilt. Once you learn how to do this, you’ll be able to take almost any quilt pattern and get an idea of how it will look in new colors. Now that I have one block graphed out I can make some color copies of this block, cut them out and play around, or if you have a design program (such as EQ7) you can download fabric swatches and “computerize” your layout. This will give you an idea of color placement and instead working willy-nilly, you’ll have a plan and a goal.
The darker plum is forming a circle inside the blocks and I love the look! It looks solid, but imagine how it will be with assorted plum fabrics! I don’t want it too scrappy, so I’m going to choose one plum fabric for each block. I’ll probably do the same for the chestnut in the center and the medium plum forming the chain. What I haven’t decided is what to do for the white parts of the blocks.
If you’re using graph paper, continue on adding the 9 patch sashing blocks, or if you have a design software such as Electric Quilt 7, you may want to use it to finish graphing out your quilt. I have Adobe Illustrator, and I used it to make a tentative layout for my quilt.
I like the idea of leaving off the sashing/9 patch blocks around the outside of the quilt, and instead I added an inner and outer border. Hmmm, how about corner squares in the border? They look a little busy so I’ll probably make the border plain.
Of course I really want to add an applique block to this quilt so how about leaving out one of the pieced blocks and adding a flower basket? I like the idea, and if I end up using it, I’ll be sure and give you the pattern in case you’d like to do the same.
Join me next week to see what fabrics I decide to use in the white sections of the graph.