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Thread: How do you pick your material for a project????

  1. #1
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    How do you pick your material for a project????

    I am a new quilter. I go into Joanns and there is so much fabric I just can't seem to be able to choose several different fabrics that will work together for a quilt. I have been looking at all the projects on here and they are all so pretty. How do you decide or find the coordinating fabrics for your projects? I just can't seem to be able to do it. I am at a loss. I made a few table runners and it took me so long in Joanns to pick fabric just for those. The christmas ones were easy because I had a limited choice of fabric but to make a quilt that will go on someone's bed is a big project. I would love to make one for my mom but don't even know where to start to find fabrics to match and would look good together. Any help would really help. How long does it take to get the hang of this?????? I have never been good at decorating either

    Deb

  2. #2
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    I always start with what colors the person that I am making a quilt for likes. If you want to make them a throw what are the colors and style of there home, or the room you want to make it for. If is for a female or a male, young or old. Then when you have that figured out what patern you want to use. Then start out with a Main fabric that you like and pull your colors from that. You look at your pattern and decide what color will look best in the pattern. It takes awhile but if you break it down and use a main focal material that you like you will start enjoying the process and not be afraid of it. I hope this helps. P.S. I have many people that I have taught how to quilt that had the same problem, but now really enjoy the process.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Friendly Quilter. That helps. I am just so worried about things not matching and looking good.

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Pick one multi color fabric that you really like. Now match several other fabrics to specific colors in your inspiration fabric. Sometimes, there are color registration dots in the selvedge that make this a really easy task. Try and pick out some lights, mediums and darks for contrast.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  5. #5
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    I agree with PaperPrincess = pick a multicolor that you like and go from there. Another trick is to pull more than you think you'll use, put the bolts together (lay them across the top of the shopping cart if necessary to see them together) then squint your eyes to see how they all fit together...while looking through "squinty" eyes, you'll be able to see if something looks too weird for the combination, see if you have too many darks or lights, etc. And move the bolts around so that you see different fabrics together.
    Kate

  6. #6
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    Thanks PaperPrincess and ktbb for the quick reply and advice. I guess this just gets easier with time and playing with it. There are so many choices out there it gets confusing sometimes.

  7. #7
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    As a beginner, I went the easy route first, and started with 3 fabrics from a designer's line (in Joann's). The gals here seemed to think I did ok in matching the other two coordinating fabrics, so I feel 'qualified' to answer.

    What *I* did was simply pick out two colors from those fabrics, then went to the 'rainbow' fabric bolts and tested each one against the 3 I already had. It was a TEDIOUS process! We must have tested every shade of yellow/gold/mustard in the place. I finally settled on one that worked, then it was off to the browns.

    My mom couldn't figure out what I meant when I said I needed a "dirt" brown, and when we were testing them, to me it was clear (at least with brown) when there was a hint of red or a hint of rust or yellow or purple in the fabric that wouldn't do for the project. It's hard for me to explain without having them side-by-each to show you what I mean. Some were very close, but just a hair "off" and wouldn't match. Maybe having a little art background helps, but I find it a relatively easy task because I know what I'm looking for (in my head), but it's more difficult when you're standing in the fabric aisle and not seeing what you need.

    Here's a pic of my project fabs: Name:  387707d1358034881-rooster-fabric.jpg
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  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    All the tips that have been given are excellent! Also look at the little color bubbles along the selvage of the fabric and it will show you the colors that would look really good.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Teeler. Love, love your fabric selections. That will be really pretty. You sound like I was when I was trying to select material for my table runner in the fall. It took me forever in Joanns to find something I liked. Mighty I always wondered what those colors ont he selvage were for? Ha. I guess I have alot to learn. It's hard to believe that I've been sewing for years. I used to sew my girls clothes when they were little. Now they are grown and I have grandchildren that I love to sew for.

  10. #10
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeborahH View Post
    I am a new quilter. I go into Joanns and there is so much fabric I just can't seem to be able to choose several different fabrics that will work together for a quilt. I have been looking at all the projects on here and they are all so pretty. How do you decide or find the coordinating fabrics for your projects? I just can't seem to be able to do it. I am at a loss. I made a few table runners and it took me so long in Joanns to pick fabric just for those. The christmas ones were easy because I had a limited choice of fabric but to make a quilt that will go on someone's bed is a big project. I would love to make one for my mom but don't even know where to start to find fabrics to match and would look good together. Any help would really help. How long does it take to get the hang of this?????? I have never been good at decorating either

    Deb
    FOR INSTANCE-----------the other day I bought a yard of fabric intended for a dress for my 18 mo. old GD. I got home and looked at it more and more. I'm going back Friday and picking some companion fabrics for a quilt down the road. No, I dont' know what pattern, but I'm picturing a Warm Wishes quilt right this minute.

    Many times, I see a fabric that I think I can't live without. So I buy it, maybe a companion and then decide what I want to do with it.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

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