Let’s Quilt Along, Week Two

Make a plan for your own version of this beautiful quilt!

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.Divide fabrics by colorSince 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:

graph

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.

 Graph quilt

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.

Quilt_layout_

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.

Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side

Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms

Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie

Jane Davidson of Quilt Jane

Jennifer Keltner of American Patchwork & Quilting

Kimberly Jolly of Fat Quarter Shop

Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings

Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

 

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  • Barb - Thank you, Anne. This is really helpful information. Color planning is probably the key to a beautiful quilt and one that pretty much baffles me and is kind of scary. I think it ‘makes or breaks’ the quilt.

    So, I will cross-my-fingers and give this a try. This looks like fun!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie P. - I love your idea of putting an applique block in the quilt. I would love the pattern.ReplyCancel

  • mimi'sdarlins - Anne, I’m going to love your version in these beautiful fabrics. I have quilt software but still love the tactile process of using graph paper and colored pencils for most of my quilts. And yet, I make decisions throughout the process, changing things as I sew, ie sashing, corner squares etc. I like your plain borders best, too :)ReplyCancel

  • pdudgeon - i just started pulling my fabrics last night. I’m using a bunch of primary-colored pin dot fabrics for the pieced circles, and a faded red solid for the overall cross hatching. I also have some solid fat quarter fabrics that i’ll use for the center blocks, where you have your chestnut.

    I haven’t pulled my light fabrics yet, but i’ll be looking for an assortment of white on white, light ecru prints, ginghams, pastel pindots on white, pastel florals, and paisley on white to tone down the quilt.

    I also like your idea for including a flower basket block, and the border ideas as well.ReplyCancel

  • Diana - Love the colors! It’s going to be beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Diane - I love the colors and layout you have chosen! I got the magazine the other day and have been thinking of trying it, but, the sad truth is every WIP I have is from a QAL, it seems I never complete them.ReplyCancel