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Selecting Fabrics

One of the reasons Hawaiian quilts and our 2 Fabric Applique Quilts appeal to us is that we only have to choose two fabrics!Sunflower Fields 2 Fabric Applique Quilt Pattern As simple as that sounds, we know some of you would like a few tips for making good fabric selections.

  1. Take a clue from the photos on our patterns. If you like the quilts as pictured, look for fabrics with similar colors and values. While the exact fabrics are unlikely to be available (patterns last for years, fabrics for a few months at best) you can usually find something with a similar look that will make a beautiful quilt. If these colors do not appeal to you, choose ones that do! Any quilt pattern will look stunning in your favorite colors.
  2. Consider different colors and values. All of our patterns have a different picture on the back cover that shows the quilt with opposite values and different colors. Take this Sunflower Fields quilt for example. Below is the photo from the back of the pattern showing a light applique on a dark background. You may prefer this look, regardless of the specific colors.
  3. Strong contrast creates the strongest statement. Choose two fabrics that contrast strongly with each other. Contrast is created by two different values (light and dark), or by colors across from each other on the color wheel (gold and blue, for example). While subtle differences in color or value between the applique and background fabrics can be successful, most people are attracted to these quilts because of their strong visual statement.
  4. Choose fabrics with subtle prints, solids, or near-solids. We love batiks and hand-dyed fabrics because of their visual texture and subtle coloring. But even with batiks we usually take care to select ones where the fabric print will not over-power the quilt pattern. We often find that less than spectacular fabrics make the most beautiful quilts. In applique quilts, it is important to see the shapes you sewed, not the busy print you chose. Fabrics that overwhelm the applique can confuse the viewer. You will see that most of the fabrics we sell are well-suited to any of our quilt patterns. Take a look at our Fabric-Finder to see what we mean.
  5. If you have chosen a multi-color or print applique fabric, choose a color that is not found in the applique fabric for the background fabric. For example, put a bright primary multi-colored fabric on a navy blue or dark brown background for strong contrast.
  6. Let us choose two coordinating fabrics for you. Purchase one of our Fabric Pack Pairings in your favorite colors. Get the fabric and applique thread with one easy decision. See the Pairings tab under the Shop heading above.
  7. If in doubt, contact Connie! She is just an email or phone call away and is always eager to help you out.

This article was originally sent out in our e-newsletter in September 2009.

Sunflower Fields


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