One thing I love about patchwork...

One thing I love about patchwork is the way that fabric choices change everything. There’s so much momentum in that one facet of quilt-making. The same design can be reworked again and again, surprising you every time you take a risk with fabric choices.

I’m starting a new quilt just for fun. It’s going to be a patchwork classic - a flowering snowball quilt - but still, I don’t really know what it will look like. That’s in the fabric. I’ll have to start cutting and sewing to see!

Random Multicolor Fabrics. Stitched in Color.jpg

I feel carefree and exhuberent, so I begin by pulling multi-colored fabrics from my stash with no rhyme or reason. These are simply fabrics that caught my eye in the moment. I pile them on the table without worrying how they might work together.

When I have a nice pile, I decide to separate them into two groups. It feels too wild with them all together. Let’s see if I can create a loose color story so that my quilt will make more sense to me.

Bright, fun fabrics. Stitched in Color.jpg
Fall Fabrics. Stitched in Color.jpg

Ahhh… that’s better. On the left I have a brighter, scrappier color scheme. The group on the right feels more autumnal. Creating a color scheme is mostly a mental game. In order to feel confident, I often put some words like “bright and scrappy” or “autumnal” to what I’m doing.


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Sometimes the words makes it easy for me to choose. This time I’m still not sure which one would be most fun to pursue… I decide to develop both color schemes by adding more fabrics to the groupings.

Bright Multicolor Scheme. Stitched in Color.jpg

Here I’ve added fabrics to the bright, scrappy fabric pile. Can you spy new pops of bright blue, red, pink and teal? I’ve also incorporated more multi-color prints that share the vibe. If I go this route, I want to use a dark value to contrast with the bright colors, so I’ve added a black text print too.

Autumnal Color Scheme. Stitched in Color.jpg

In a separate area, I’ve developed the autumnal fabric scheme. This palette is heavy on warm colors: red, pink, orange and yellow. It also has green and blue and brown: forest colors. I really like how this is looking, but it doesn’t give me the energy of the other fabric pull. I guess I’m feeling rather peppy!

Start sewing. Stitched in Color.jpg

Time to start cutting and sewing. Looking forward to sharing the look as flowering snowball blocks, later this week!