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

  1. #51
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    Teeler good job in explaining it .. I go for whatever color if I am making for someone else and find the complimentery color. If I am just making a quilt-I find the pattern I want; right now I am stuck on the 10 minut block which takes 5 materials or 4 solids and 1 multicolored depending on what I feel at that moment. I go with a pattern in mind pick out the middle first which will be the main fabric (whether 4 patch, 9 patch or strips.logcabin or whatever), then I decide what coordinating colors after picking out a couple of colors in the main fabric.
    Does that make sense Deborah H? It all feels overwhelming at first, but it will get better with time, patience and a good seam ripper ...
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  2. #52
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    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.[/QUOTE]

    This is what I do, too. If I see a fabric I love, I buy it and then figure out what to do with it. And this is where my angst begins, because I think "what to do with it" has to be perfect in order to fulfill the promise of the fabric. I spend way too much time worrying if I've decided on the right pattern!

  3. #53
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    I agree with Friendly Quilter - when making a quilt for someone else, find out their favorite colors, then go to JoAnn's or you LQS and find a "focus" fabric, which could be flowers, well now I'm at a loss for words. OK, back to the focus fabric, pick one you think they will like, then look at the selvedge edge of the focus fabric - you will see small dots that represent every color used in that fabric. Then find fabrics in those colors, and pick a solid or tone on tone background, and 2 or 3 other fabrics to go with it. Then find a helpful staff member to help you in this process, or, as I have done on occasion, ask another quilter who is in the fabric aisle to help you with the process. Looking at the selvedge color markers can go a long way towards finding coordinating fabrics. It can be done, and it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. Good luck. The members of QB are always there with helpful advice.

  4. #54
    Super Member rosiewell's Avatar
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    I do it by trial and error, that's why I have so much fabric! Remember you have to like your quilt regardless, so if it looks good to you, it's good!

  5. #55
    Junior Member DeborahH's Avatar
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    I got on designseeds.com and it is great. Thanks for the tip.

  6. #56
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    I tend to do things backwards, I let the fabric tell me what pattern would be best.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  7. #57
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I am using up some fabrics I have, lots and lots of fabrics.
    I always pick out a print and try to select fabrics from that.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #58
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    When I first started, I went to the LQS and bought a kit. Since then, I either ask a friend or an employee at the LQS to give me a hand with color combos. I have found scrappys are the best of all because it just looks good.

  9. #59
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    This is one of the things that just gets better the longer you quilt. I don't think anyone can truly "teach" it to you. Putting fabrics together is somewhat of an art form-- just go with your gut feeling for what goes together, and learn as you go.
    http://www.craftsy.com/user/333534/pattern-store?
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  10. #60
    Junior Member DeborahH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caswews View Post
    Teeler good job in explaining it .. I go for whatever color if I am making for someone else and find the complimentery color. If I am just making a quilt-I find the pattern I want; right now I am stuck on the 10 minut block which takes 5 materials or 4 solids and 1 multicolored depending on what I feel at that moment. I go with a pattern in mind pick out the middle first which will be the main fabric (whether 4 patch, 9 patch or strips.logcabin or whatever), then I decide what coordinating colors after picking out a couple of colors in the main fabric.
    Does that make sense Deborah H? It all feels overwhelming at first, but it will get better with time, patience and a good seam ripper ...
    Makes perfect sense. You are right all that fabric in the store is so overwhelming. I look at it all and think, where do I srtart? But so far I haven't done too bad. Most of the things I've done look pretty good. I am definitely enjoying it. Thanks.

  11. #61
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    It sounds like you are about to get a handle on your fabric colors. Buy a cheap color wheel and study it. Learn which colors are complimentary and which are analogous, etc. Keep it with you when you are fabric shopping until you feel more comfortable with color. The hint about buying a "focus" fabric which contains many colors and then choosing colors that go with the colors in the focus fabric will work also. Keep on working on many pieces and it will get easier.

  12. #62
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    One mistake I made when first starting to quilt was picking a project that was too large, ie. a king size bed quilt. That one I finally got rid of, unfinished, and rarely even think of it. So, start with something smaller, maybe a wall hanging of the pattern you'd like to make into a bed quilt. Work out the challenges on that first smaller one.
    As to colors: does the recipient have a color scheme going in that room to match? Or does she want to start a new color scheme? This depends upon the recient's ability with color.
    This is an example of something I've done. As part of the healing process a friend (she had nursed her dying husband for over a year) wanted to get her bedroom decorated. She had curtains she wanted to match. And she had several yards of a matching fabric, md light torquoise. When asked what color she wanted with it, she immediated responded yellow. (Not my choice.) I selected several patterns for her choice to determine how many colors we needed and how much of each fabric. We went through our 2 stashes and selected more fabrics (we didn't need to buy anything). When the center was finished, there was enough fabric to make 2 narrow borders. The she and I went to the fabric store to choose the final large border, with her's as the final vote. It's on my quilt frame now (she also chose the pattern and thread color for quilting). She was here yesterday and wanted to watch as it got quilted. She said, "No one's ever done something so nice for me." The choices she made were definitely not the ones I would have made. But it's definitely her's and will fit very nicely into her bedroom. (A picture will be posted when I get it off the frame.)
    So my advise is, make sure the fabric choices fit the recipient.

  13. #63
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    I was lucky to have a BFF that went with me my first few times picking out fabric for a project. When I get overwhelmed with my choices, which is often, I've learned to stop, re-focus on my goal and choose a focus fabric. The focus fabric is based on my vision for the end result (color, theme, recipient's taste, etc) and then I move through the store picking up complimentary colors. I can now go to the fabric store all by myself , but of course it's more fun with a friend.
    I think there's a Craftsy class about color ways and such... sign up for an account and you'll get special offers on email for discounts on their classes.

  14. #64
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I have a lousy sense of color and if left to my own decisions all of my quilts would look like mud. To compensate for my lack, I spend a lot of time looking at pictures of quilts on Google Images, Flickr and Pinterest to see what colors go together. When shopping, I just buy fabrics I like and often I'll get ideas for quilts just by looking at my stash and what others have done with those fabrics.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  15. #65
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Over the years I have been quilting I have found that I always find a fabric that I love and build a quilt around it.
    I usually use the beautiful fabric for the backing and the coordinating stuff for the quilt top.

    Here is a sample:

    Name:  peach br 006.JPG
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    I even find the wow fabric and pick colors that work with itand put the wow fabric back on the shelf. I just use it to help pick colors and textures that feel good together, not just look good.
    Last edited by ube quilting; 01-18-2013 at 01:32 PM.
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  16. #66
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    All good advice but may I add one more. My dear, stop worrying. If it doesn't please you you can always donate it for a charity quilt. I love making charity quilts.It makes me feel good to do something for someone else.

  17. #67
    Senior Member omgtimmcgraw's Avatar
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    well i am new to quilting. i find my self going in to joanns i love looking at all fabrics and when i see something i like i am like i want to make this project with this then i am off and its hard to stop. lol

  18. #68
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    LOL, I cheat. I take my husband. He is wonderful picking colors that go together! I'm thinking of renting him out! I pick the main fabric and he helps with the rest. He has done several quilts for me (actually all), his sister and now the granddaughter!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    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.
    This is how I do it, too.

  20. #70
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I usually find a pattern first or go with a theme and look for fabrics from my stash that might work. I make lots of small quilts for monthly challenges for a small group I'm in. These don't require lots of yardage, generally. If I don't have something I need and can't paint or dye it, I'll go to the store. Lots of times I'll make a mock up of the pattern block by cutting fabrics and gluing them on the paper pattern, to test fabrics. Or if I know what colors I want, I'll just use colored pencils to color the block and then once that's decided look for fabric to represent each of those colored sections. I know it seems confusing, since there's so many choices: prints VS solids for one. I mix up my prints - use Batiks and large and small prints, blenders, hand dyes, etc. I think it's more interesting that way. Some people find a designer or fabric line they like and just use fabrics from the line that go together. That might be a way to start for you. Whatever you do, enjoy the process. This is FUN!

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktbb View Post
    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.
    I think "matching" fabrics is something new quilters worry about. I have seen gorgeous quilts with color choices I would never have dreamed of, but they work. I never studied art in school, but find the colors are what I love about design and I put several pieces up on my design board to see that fights and what gets along.

  22. #72
    Junior Member germanquilter's Avatar
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    When I first started quilting, I did a mixture of a lot of the above advice I started with a pattern that required not too many colors (up to 5). I would pick a main fabric, usually multi-colored that I loved and would build around that. In the beginning I also used to pick colors from the same line...the matching is done for you! I used to be so paranoid about getting the colors just right...until a quilting teacher once told me: "Why do you always worry about not matching the colors. You dress nicely so you have a good sense of colors; just go with your instinct and have fun with it!" So don't worry, it will get easier as you go along. Now I rarely pick from the same line and love to throw in some zinger fabrics like a black and white or a funky print. I also don't necessarily have a pattern in mind and love to make up my own thing. Now picking colors and fabrics for my projects is my favorite part

  23. #73
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    As I'm cruising through photos in magazines, I rip out what I like. Sometimes it's the color scheme I like. Then I pick fabrics that match the photo. A variety of values is crucial to the success of a quilt.
    I've also picked a color scheme around the mood of the quilt. Several years ago, I was depressed and choose blue shades of flesh tones to express the blue mood of the portrait.

  24. #74
    Junior Member DeborahH's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the excellent advise. Everyone on here are gems. I love the sight. I am learning so much from ya'll.

  25. #75
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    I'm late in reading a lot of these posts, and have enjoyed the ideas here. I've chosen fabric for projects in several ways - Sometimes I have a pattern in mind and choose the fabrics I like (I keep the pattern with the fabric if I don't get at the project right away). Other times I've purchased packets - like a bundle of 20 FQs for a "Turning Twenty" quilt - and just yesterday a Bali Pops and coordinating fabric for one of Pam and Nicky Lintott's jelly roll quilts. I'm really anxious to get started!
    When someone mentions quilting, I go to pieces!

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