Friday, June 28, 2019

The Art of the Fabric Pull

Next week the #summerstackfridays Link-Up Party starts... are you ready? The Link-Up will start July 5th and go through August 30th, 2019. But before the fun begins, I thought that it might be helpful to give you a little behind the scenes sneak peek of my process of how I do a fabric pull... you know, it is my favorite part of quilting!

Several years ago I heard the best piece of advice on a home decorating show, and while it is so simple, it is so true... "start with an inspiration piece, and build around it". While I don't always start my fabric pulls with an inspiration fabric, it is definitely a great starting point if you are unsure of where to begin. The inspiration fabric for my stack is this pretty print, "Soma" in avocado, from Monika Forsberg's "Savernke Road" collection from Free Spirit Fabrics (Conservatory Fabrics).

So, you have your inspiration fabric... now what? Sometimes it's helpful to have an idea where to go from this point. Perhaps you've noticed the color/source code that is on the selvedge edge of your fabrics? This is essentially a resource for the manufacturer to reference the colors used in the printing process, but if you are uncertain of yourself when matching fabrics, it could really be a helpful tool.

There are several colors that seem pretty "obvious"... so those should be the first fabrics you grab for. Below you will notice that my bottom two fabrics are a pretty good match up to the dark leaves from my inspiration fabric. I would consider these to be "first tier" fabrics. I've purposely chosen two fabrics that have multiple colors in them. The background color is spot on, but there are some additional colors that are being brought in that are not in the inspiration fabric.

When you take a look closer at my original stack, you probably notice that not all of the fabrics match to my inspiration print... so how did they make it in there?!?

This is the point where I start adding what I like to call "connecting fabrics". If you look back to the "first tier" fabrics picture, you'll notice that the bottom three fabrics brought additional colors into the mix that are not in the inspiration fabric. You especially see it with the middle spots fabric -the background matches the brighter pink in the inspiration fabric, but periwinkle is a new color. This means that I am now able to introduce this "new" color, because it "connects" to my first tier fabrics.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make when matching fabrics, is that they are not really aware of how colors are made. Do you know what happens to your color when you add white to it? grey? black? Do you know how your color changes when you add one of the primary colors to it? How red is your purple or how blue is it? Are you working with a yellow green or a blue green? Is your orange more yellow or more red? If you don't know these basics, once you start trying to lighten or darken a color, it makes it hard to recognize if you are still in the same "color family". Once you understand how colors are made, it makes matching those specific tints, shades, and tones much easier. With the fabrics below, what starts out as a yellow, ends up going a bit greenish when black is added to it, which means that I am still in the same color family

This is where you start adding what I would call "second tier" fabrics. These might not be as obvious as the first tier fabrics. The top three fabrics are essentially the same background color as my inspiration fabric... they've just been lightened or darkened. Again, I have purposefully added the third fabric because I want to "connect" other colors to it.

Next you can see that I am able to bring in additional colors that are not in the original inspiration fabric because I am connecting to colors in the tier fabrics. The bottom three fabrics connect to the the green leaf on the third fabric. The top green has pinks in it, which work with the other pinks that I've already added, and the middle green repeats the chartreuse yellow that was brought in with the last fabrics. The leaves on the last green fabric connect to the top two fabrics, which means I can bring in colors that may not "match" the inspiration fabric, but as a whole works well together. The last grey fabric that you see on top, has pinks, greens, and yellows, which are just a repeat of some of the other colors used.

So, now it's your turn to get started. Next Friday is the first link-up day, and remember, the link up is about practicing, pushing yourself, documenting, visiting others and helping them out. I've had requests for a theme, so I thought that next week's stack should be "Inspiration Fabric". You don't have to follow the weekly themes, but for some it's helpful to have a little direction... I
I can't wait to see what you stack up!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Very Berry Applique Mini Pattern

Warm, sunny days, flowers in full-color bloom, and a freshly-picked, picnic spread on a breezy afternoon... isn't that what summer is all about? Introducing my "Very Berry" applique template set... the perfect way to get you in the summer mood! These scrumptious berries are a delicious embellishment for a sweet summer pillow for the terrace, a pretty table runner for your summertime table decor, a playful carryall bag, or whatever quilting project you can dream up!

The "Very Berry" mini applique pattern, includes 4-piece applique templates, a brief explanation of the starch applique method, how-to instructions for the reverse applique leaf, as well as a layout/coloring sheet.

I thought that a few of my favorite Basic Grey grunge fabrics highlight these fresh tastes of summer perfectly... adding just the right depth and interest.

So, are you ready for summer yet? You can now find my "Very Berry" applique template set in my Payhip shop.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Summer Stack Fridays Countdown - Two Weeks!

Summer is a time of traveling and for simply taking things slow. For many of us, it means that we have to close the door to our sewing room, and think about how to entertain those kids, and get as much family time in during the long daylight hours.Sometimes it's hard to find the time to even finish a quilt block, but there is always time to pull together a quick, little stack of fabrics, right?

That's why I wanted to host a #summerstackfridays Link-Up Party - the Link-Up will start July 5th and go through August 30th, 2019... so, unplug that iron because there is no need to heat up your sewing room. Make this summer all about the fabric pull... who is with me? There are no prizes or giveaways, but the link-up is simply about...
  • practicing fabric pulls using your current stash
  • pushing yourself to try challenging color combinations
  • documenting fabric pulls that work for you, so that when summer is over, you are ready to start sewing
  • helping others out that might be struggling with fabric combinations, and
  • simply about being more connected to others in the quilting community

When the Link-Up kicks off, I will be sharing how I personally pick fabrics for a quilting project, and covering some tips that might help you with selecting fabrics for your summer stacks. You'll be able to link up from your blog OR from Instagram. Please be sure to let me know if you will be joining in on the summer fun!

... see you in two weeks!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Find Me in Love Patchwork & Quilting!

Last week was all about secret projects and confessions, and this week is about letting it all out! I've been an avid reader of Love Patchwork & Quilting for quite some time now, and was immediately captivated by its beautiful styling and modern feel, all while staying on trend with the current quilting scene... and now I get to be a part of it with my Urban Paradise applique cushion!?!

Bold tropical leaves and colorful blooms on a fresh, white linen background is just beckoning summer to come. Some of my favorite Basic Grey grunge colors give this cushion balance, while giving it a bit of movement and texture.

You can find my Urban Paradise cushion pattern and instructions in this month's Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine! The Sew Tropical Vibes issue #75 is on sale today!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Confessions of a Secret Agent

I have a new-found respect for the life of a secret agent... trying to live a life of normalcy, but behind the scenes there's enough action to fill movie screens. With that being said, did I happen to mention that I have three patterns in the works... no? hmm, that could be because I was stuck behind the computer screen and everything has to stay under wraps until it's time. Sneak peeks are few and far between, and showing too much too soon might give it all away.

It's no secret that I love applique, but what I really love is the combination of traditional piecing combined with applique... who says you can't have it all, right? Right now my flavor of the month are these elongated drunkard's path units. I find them so much more interesting than their simple-curved cousin. My original plan for this project was to go super saturated in my colors, but I found that I needed to reign things in a bit and bring a little balance into things... thus, more grunge!

... and give me a quilt block, and I'll add a circle to it! Such a simple little embellishment can go so far!?! Don't sit there too long with your coffee, or you might get a dot too!

Believe it or not, this quilt top is finished, and already with the long arm quilter... that way it frees me up to get to the dirty work of pattern writing...  rolling up my sleeves and delving back in. I'll try to come up for air soon!

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