Shawl Quilt - Fabric selection

Today I'm sharing some additional tips on choosing fabrics for the Shawl quilt pattern!

In the Shawl pattern I give some tips on fabric selection, and also in the Color Hexa blog post there are tips on how to choose colour selection.  This extra blog post is not meant to overcomplicate the process, so if you're into a groove with the other resources available, then by all means, stay with what's working for you!  But, since colour selection matters to achieve the woven plaid look of the quilt, and since there are so many ways to choose colours successfully, I thought I'd mention some simple tips for any of you who would find this additional info helpful!

The Shawl quilt is a visual effect, where fabric can achieve the look of a woven plaid. There's a formula in the pattern that can help you choose the right colours, whether you're using prints or solids.

So far I've made this quilt three times, all in very different colour palettes; twice in prints, and once in solids.  So for the upcoming QAL, I thought I'd play with solids once again.  This quilt will be going on my youngest son's bed.  My goal is to re-do all my kids's bedding this year, and so I'm looking forward to knowing this first one will be checked off the list in a matter of weeks!

Here's my in-progress fabric palette.  I'll share my thoughts as I narrow it down to the final palette.

Unlike other times I've chosen a  Shawl palette, I started with a plaid that I liked the colours of.  These two Robert Kaufman plaids were my inspiration.  I didn't have the actual Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannels on hand though, so my aim was to find a similar:
Black or charcoal,
White, and
Dark blue,
then put these plaids aside and work with the four colours to find the right interacting colours.

This time I didn't use Color Hexa, or any other digital colour blending tool, just my imagination as I auditioned different bolts of fabric in the fabric store.

I've actually ordered this one to use as a backing for either a quilt or a duvet in my boys' room, so I'm excited to have a Shawl quilt that will be inspired by these colours.

At the quilt shop I wrote the letters on a scraps of paper to mark the bolts as I chose, and one by one selected my colours.  In what felt like 45 minutes later walked out with all the fabrics I needed.  I am the slowest decision maker I've ever met, so if I can do it, so can you!

I couldn't decide between two prints for AD and BD, so I settled to just buy both since this quilt shop was 40 minutes from home, and planned to make the final decision later.

Also, AB should be lighter than AC, since B is lighter than C, so I popped into a store today and found the right blue for AC.  (Also I could have switched AB and AC and that could have done the trick, too!

Here are some recommendations for how to simplify the colour selection process:

1.  Search for a plaid that you already like the colours of, and refer to that when selecting your fabric.

2.  Usually we find it pretty easy to imagine what any given colour would look like mixed with black or white, so consider using white or black (or nearly white or black) as one or two of your first four colours.   For this quilt I chose a "nearly-white" pale grey blue for A, and a "nearly black" charcoal for C.  This made choosing blended colours easy!

3.  As mentioned in the pattern: A, B, and AB will be the most used fabrics in your quilt, so find colours for these three that you really love!

4.  Don't overcomplicate the process!  Somehow this perception of a woven plaid still works in prints, even.  Our brains are amazing at perceiving pattern and organization.  For example, don't blue and red make purple?  Yes, but I opted for burgundy/maroon in my palette for the red/blue blended colours.  Though my boys both really like purple, I didn't want to introduce yet another colour into their bedroom, so I was happy to find some burgundies that still fit.

For this blog post, I plunked some similar colours into Electric Quilt, and came up with this image to get an idea of how the colours I chose would look.  If I didn't have EQ, I would have used the colouring page from the pattern.  I like it, and I think my little guy will, too!

We start our QAL on the 25th, kicking it off with a giveaway!  As has been mentioned before, if you have signed up for the QALI'm looking forward to telling you more about the giveaways, and getting acquainted with you and seeing your fabric palettes!  A QAL is a great opportunity to find and make quilty friends, so I'll be encouraging you to share pics of your process and use the hashtag #shawlquilt, and tagging me @briarhilldesigns so that I don't miss a post!

All the important info regarding the QAL is posted in this linked blog post, and signing up for the QAL is there as well!  

I can't wait to get started! 

No comments