Because my summer isn't crazy enough, I decided it was time to pull fabric for a new quilt. One of my new favorite patterns is this Shimmer quilt by Allison Harris. I love that there is no paper piecing or y-seams. But what I love best is that this quilt is a great way to mix up some fabric.
While I absolutely love pre-cut fat quarter bundles (stacks of gorgeousness, I call them) because they're so convenient, I also love using some of my stash. I'm of the opinion that I buy fabric I love because I intend to use it. Aside from a few pieces of Tula Pink that I'm saving to pay for my kids' college tuition, I plan on using my stash.
Sometimes it's easy to fall into the trap that we have to use a fat quarter bundle as a whole, instead of pulling pieces for different projects. But I've decided recently that with a few exceptions, I'm going to start buying prints I love and not feel pressure to buy everything. Because it's often just so easy to pull out a bundle and start cutting (ha! if only it was really easy), I wanted to share how I pull from different lines and coordinate a bundle for a specific project.
First, I find a print that incorporates a variety of colors that I know I want to use. I usually pick a print that has the feel that I want. By that I mean a print that can read bold or subtle, depending on what you pair it with. I want a print that I love because I'm going to tie everything back to this print.
For this quilt, my focal print is this Emmy grace by Bari j. (Art Gallery Fabrics). It's got bright colors and subtle prints, I love this floral because it's bold without being overpowering. It floral without being chintz-y or overly feminine.
Second, I pull a few fat quarters that coordinate with the background. These two worked so perfectly, it's like I planned it!
Michael Miller pinhead dot
Weeds by my sister and me for moda
Then, I start pulling from each of the dominant colors in the print. If you have a hard time finding dominant colors, the dots on the selvage are a good place to start. These prints work with the coral flowers on the Emmy Grace fabric. When choosing prints that coordinate, I shoot for a range of dots, florals, stripes, novelty, etc.
Ladybug in nectarine (true colors) by Tula pink for Free spirit fabrics.
Submarines and seaweeds (saltwater) by Tula pink for free spirit fabrics.
Domino dot (waterfront park) by violet craft for Michael Miller fabrics.
As I choose prints, I try to balance out the feel of the quilt. While some of these prints are lighter, they still work with the bolder solid. When choosing fabrics and colors, you need some lighter colors where you can "rest your eyes" when looking at the quilt.
Fresh Dew Quilter's linen by rober Kauffman fabrics.
Simple flower (Sophie) by Chez moi for moda fabrics
Mint Wee gallery heart by dear Stella fabrics
Eponine (paperie) by Amy sinibaldi for art gallery fabrics.
I wasn't intending to go bolder with the greens, but I loved these bold prints. Since my blues were lighter, I could go bold with some of the prints. There are a few florals, a dot, and a stripe.
Olive zest (summer) by lily Ashbury for moda fabrics
Green eyelet (flea market fancy) by Denyse Schmidt for free spirit fabrics.
Green medium dot by Riley Blake designs
Olive making waves ( true colors) by Tula pink for free spirit fabrics.
These berry colors were just crying to be pulled! Note that they're not all exactly the same shade of berry. But it still works because the flowers in the Emmy Grace print have some variety in them, too.
Raspberry henna garden (meadowsweet 2) by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller fabrics.
Jewel domino dot (waterfront park) by upset craft for Michael Miller fabrics
Wisteria daisy buds ( true colors) by Tula pink for free spirit fabrics.
If you look at the flowers on the Emmy Grace print, you'll notice the brighter colors in the foreground and some of the lighter, more subtle fabrics as added definition. Your quilt should be the same. Just like having lighter prints to rest your eyes on, you also need them to add contrast and definition to your quilt. These blush pinks added perfectly for contrast.
Pink check dot (sew stitchy) by aneela hoey for moda fabrics.
Pink ovals (home essentials) by Robyn pandolph for RJR fabrics.
Pale pink butterflies by Lizzy house.
When you put them all together, you should see a flow between bright and light, bold and subtle. The best part of this is that you know you love all the prints because...you bought them! Go forth and experiment with fabric bundles.
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