So you have your tools. You have your pattern. And now it’s time to choose your fabrics.
Your pattern will list the fabric requirements usually with just a little bit of extra. Not lots – you won’t have enough left over for another project or anything like that. But you should have enough extra so that you can trim your edges straight before you actually start cutting. If you are prone to errors, and can afford it, go ahead and buy a little extra. You’ll never regret having leftovers for your stash!
The quilt pattern designer will sometimes make suggestions about the fabric, such as mentioning that a directional print won’t be best. The fabric requirements will somtimes list light, medium, and dark yardages as opposed to actual colors.
There are a few ways to proceed. If you are in love with the colors and fabrics that the designer used, you can simply use the picture of the finished quilt as a guide. You probably won’t be able to get the exact fabrics, but you can usually find something similiar.
Another option would be to select a fabric collection that you like and choose fabrics from within that collection.
For instance, Fancy Hill Farm is a collection by Robyn Pandolph for RJR Fabrics. Beautiful greens, reds, ivory, and tan in solids, large print florals and small print florals. You’ll find lights, mediums, and darks within the collection and you can be sure that all the fabrics will coordinate with each other.
Still another way to go would be to choose from a type of fabric.
If you limit yourself to reproduction fabrics, many of the print styles will work with each other. You’ll just need to be sure to select colors that go together.
Another option is to choose a print fabric you like that has several colors. Say you like this dinosaur print but your pattern is for a living room table runner… and your living room decor does not run to dinosaurs!
Match the colors in the print with tone on tone fabrics and/or solids in the same colors. Then you can use those fabrics without the print – you know they go together because you already like the color palette in the print. Save the dinosaurs for the kid quilt.
Finally, you can skip all the above methods and just trust your artistic instincts (they really are in there). It’s your quilt - express yourself!
Tools, pattern, fabric…. let the fun begin!