Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Fire Burst Mystery Quilt-- Picking Fabrics

Today is the day we are kicking off the Fire Burst Mystery Quilt QAL!  If you are quilting along with us over the next few months...thank you.  It means the world that you trust both myself and David as designers to participate in what I like to think of as the ultimate quilting trust fall.  I decided today we will talk about picking out fabrics and fabric requirements.  At the end of the week I will post the cutting instructions

For this quilt I wanted to keep things simple, so you will only need a total of four fabrics; a background fabric and three focal fabrics.  I will refer to the fabrics as; Background, Fabric 1, Fabric 2, and Fabric 3.  If you are using prints, you will probably want to rule out directional fabrics and larger scale prints.

Now let's talk about how the fabrics will play together in the quilt.  Contrast between your fabrics will be very important.  Fabrics 1, 2 and 3 will all touch the Background fabric.  Fabric 2 and 3 will also touch within the quilt.  When you are auditioning fabrics, consider laying them out like this.

This will allow you to see how all the fabrics play together within the quilt.  If you choose a lighter value background fabric, you may want to go with medium and darker values for the focal fabrics.  If you go with a darker value for the background look at medium and light values for the focal fabrics.  The main thing, make sure when you stand back from your fabrics, they read the way you want them too.

Below are examples of the fabrics I used in my pattern testing quilts.

For my first quilt (fabrics on the left), I chose to go with more of a monochromatic color scheme.  This is when you use only one color in different tints, shades or tones.  I wanted to add a small pop and chose to use my Fabric 3 for that.  You will notice in the fabric chart at the end of the post, Fabric 3 has the smallest amount of yardage.

Other than monochromatic other color theories would work as well.  Such as analogous, three colors next to each other on the color wheel.

Here I have used a yellow green, green and blue green.  I'd like to add, they would all look great no matter where I decided to put them (Fabric 1, 2 or 3).  Actually this rule applies for all the color schemes.

You might even consider a triadic color scheme; when three colors are evenly spaced on the color wheel.

There is also the complimentary color palette; colors opposite each other on the color wheel.  This is similar to the fabrics I used in one of the test quilts.  Though red is technically the complement to green, I chose a reddish orange color, a nice pop against the green.

You could also work with complementary colors as a background fabric.  In this example, I used monochromatic shades of yellow with it's complement color, purple, for the background.

The last color scheme I want to mention is split complementary; you use a base color and then the two colors adjacent to its complement color.  Not as tricky as it sounds.

Does all this talk about color theory leave your head spinning?  It does mine.  I know just enough to be dangerous.  Don't be afraid to turn to mother nature or pictures for your inspiration.  I have a very old post (like 2015) on how I pick fabrics using a color palette generator.  You can check it out here.  It talks about using Sherwin-Williams online and phone app called Color Snap.  I actually prefer the phone app to the web based version.  Both allow you to upload photos and generates a suggested color scheme based on the picture.  The phone app, however, gives you more freedom when it comes to picking the colors you like best.

These are pictures from the phone app showing me swapping out the rust/orange for a more brighter orange and a tan for white.

Really when picking your fabrics there is just one rule.  Work with fabrics you LOVE.  No really, look at those fabrics and ask yourself, do they make me happy when I look at them?  Do they make my heart sing?  If you go into a project only feeling ho hum and uncertain about your fabric choices (especially a project you have no idea what you are making) more than likely, you will end up with a quilt you feel...well...ho hum about.  Have faith in your ability to select fabrics.  You got dressed this morning, didn't you?  (maybe you didn't)  Picking fabrics is not much different than picking out what you are wearing or what color car you like.  I have faith that you can do this.

If picking out fabrics for mystery quilts isn't quite your thing, I have another option for you.  Over the past few weeks, I have been collaborating with Bernie at Needle and Foot to create two quilt kit options you can order from her shop, Needle and Foot Fine Fabrics.  Both kits are available in the 32" baby quilt and 64" lap quilt sizes.

The first kit contains beautiful prints, including Alison Glass.

You can order this kit here.
And a second kit with a wonderful print background and vibrant coordinating solids.

You an order this kit here.

Make sure you hop over to her shop and check them out.

If you have any questions about the fabrics you selected feel free to shoot me an email at tishnwonderland (at) gmail (dot)com (there is also a link on my side bar).  I would be more than happy to take a look with you.  I want you to be happy with your quilts and still be talking typing to me when this is over.

So without further ado...here are the fabric requirements for the Fire Burst Mystery Quilt.  

Through out the QAL, the fabrics will be represented in the pattern by the colors on the chart.  If you are afraid you might make a mistake on cutting, I always encourage purchasing a bit more, especially if your width of fabric is less than 45" or your quilt shop rips instead of cutting the fabric.  On Wednesday, I will give you a peak at the fabrics David and I will be using to create our quilts during the QAL.


Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

This is a great way to present the fabric selection ideas! I love the recommendation on how to audition the fabrics on top of the background fabric.

Bernie Kringel said...

Excellent post. My head isn't spinning because you really explained everything well. Thanks Tish! Also, thank you for working with me on the kits. I think they both make a really pretty bundle.

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Tish,
WOWEE - what great information and you explained it so well. I didn't even know there were names for positions on the color wheel working together. Hmm, now to figure out what fabrics to use! Thanks!
~smile~ Roseanne

Laura said...

Tish, great job of explaining some colour theory. My favorite part is choosing fabrics and I often use my colour wheel to confirm my choices. It's always fun to understand why certain combinations "ring" and others do not. Look forward to this mystery quilt. Will think more about it when my local guild quilt show is over. I'm on the committee so am pretty busy right now. Thanks for your great efforts on this post.

Janice Holton said...

Tish, this post is a wonderful tutorial on choosing colors! Bernie's kits are very tempting but I am trying so hard to use up my stash. Is this pattern conducive to scrappy if I stay within the four color choices?

Nancy J said...

You have given us a wonderful outline of the way to choose fabrics, I need to go and see what I have stashed away.

Cozy Quilts by Linda said...

I've had my fabrics picked since you first told us about the mystery...hope they turn out well.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

This is a great post, with lots of information for choosing fabrics. Guess I better go find some fabric in my stash.

Anonymous said...

That was a great lesson in colors! Thanks so much. I can't do the QAL this time (already overcommitted!), but I'll be watching what everyone else does!

Stitchin At Home said...

Great post on choosing fabrics and working with colours you love is a good suggestion.

Lisa J. said...

I love the suggestion for how to lay out the fabric. I was hoping to use my stash for this project but it looks like I have to go shopping....at least for the background fabric. I have three yards of a dark blue I was thinking of using....hopefully they will have another yard where I bought it. Then I just have to pick the other colours. Shouldn't be too hard.

Anonymous said...

Oh Tish!!!! This is SEW painful!!!! I am really trying very hard to NOT start any new projects this year. I really am. But I LOVE mystery quilts ... oh me, oh my ... what's a gal to do? This is so tempting! ... but maybe,,, perhaps ... maybe, IF I make the baby size ... it will be doable ... oh dear ... I'm going to go shop my stash ...
quiltinggail at yahoo dot com

KaHolly said...

You are such an enabler, having very nicely covered all the bases (ALL the bases) in this post, right down to kitting it up through Bernie’s shop! My quilting budget is shot and I’m on the road and I already have 45 lbs. of partially made and not started yet kitted projects to lug around until I reach my final destination, and now this? Tish, you’re killing me! ;)

Kristi said...

I found you from Bernie's blog! I have some free time tomorrow to pull fabric! Looks fun!

Vasudha said...

Great crash course on color theory. I’m in - doing a baby quilt this time.

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