September 19, 2017

Which Fabric / What Pattern

Does anyone else besides me have a hard time deciding what to make with a particular group of fabrics? I sometimes have the hardest time deciding which quilt pattern to use with the fabrics I gather together.

Below are just a few of the fabric groupings that are sitting around my studio. I thought if I shared them with you then maybe, just maybe, I'd guilt myself into actually making quilts with them. Maybe?

Right now I can't decide which fabrics to start with but am leaning toward the green leafy grouping below. Even though I'm finishing up a green quilt (which I'll blog about soon) I still want another one for our family room. Winter is coming and we need new quilts for the couches.

And then there's these two black and white groups. Pretty florals and of course leafy prints too.

Love these pretty coral/yellow prints in this group. The larger print second from the bottom is a new one that I just couldn't resist. Not that I needed anymore fabric but I just fell in love with the colors in the print. I probably won't use all that are shown in this photo as I may just want a limited palette to feature the main print more.

I've been collecting these pastel Kaffe prints for awhile now. Really need to do something with them before I collect anymore. haha.  I like that it's not my usual bright color palette.

And finally there's the aqua, teal, chartreuse collection that's been accumulating for ages. This color palette came from a gift store display that featured mostly aquas with a touch of chartreuse. I think this one will be the Cross-Plus pattern . . . maybe?

I have many many more fabric groups that I've pulled over the past several months. They sit around the studio for awhile and then get put back on the shelf or into a plastic box. I really really need to get busy. And I really really need to stop buying until I make a reasonable dent in what I have.

Choosing which fabric to use is only half my battle. Then I have to choose which quilt designs/patterns to use. Disappearing 9-patch. Bento Box. Bow Tie. Cross-Plus. Painted Forest by Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studio. These are just a few of the ones I'd like to try. And then there's the remakes from my own patterns. Plus trying some improv ideas from both Joe Cunningham's Craftsy class and Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. I'll probably save those last two for the solids in my stash.

I've known for a long time I have more fabric than I can use and now I'm also beginning to realize there are way more ideas than I can probably get to. The ideas for my own quilts just keep coming, plus I keep finding more and more great quilts on Pinterest and Instagram that I would like to make.

Time to turn off all the social media input and get the inspiration under control. Time to turn on the machine so I can start stitching. Wish me luck.  : )

So which fabric group would you choose first? What would you make?



  1. As lovely as they all are, I'd choose the second B&W group with the leaf theme and that zinger black background fabric with yellow birds. It's a winner!

  2. All the potential. I love that you are turning inspiration into action. I like the palettes you've got going!

  3. I am drawn to "scrappy" quilts and seem to make more of those. If I could play with what you posted I would use the greens in the first two and combine with the black and whites. Or those orange I would add a deep blue to play with those. Or the florals in the next photo I would combine with some teal fabric in a dark color and a few other solid shades...........maybe triangles or something out of those. The last group would make a cool giant star quilt.

  4. It's really interesting that you pull fabrics together and then choose a design. For me it's just the opposite! I see a design I like, or a general concept for a design, and then go to my stash to decide what fabrics might look good together. Honestly, I never do what you've just shown. Yes, there may be a few piles of prints or solids around, but each one has already been designated for a particular quilt design. I don't think I even know how to help you get started! It's backwards to me! :-) Ha, ha. Which way do you think most quilters approach a quilt? I must say though that I like most of the groupings you've put together. (I'm just not a black and white person anymore.) No surprise that the first green grouping, and the aqua, teal, chartreuse collection are my favorites.

  5. If you have a favorite large scale fabric in the group, I would choose a pattern which will have large enough areas to feature that, not cut it up in small pieces, what's a waste. Then fill in the smaller pieces in the pattern with the smaller scale or less showy ones and points of bright contrast. I did my own design Kaffe quilt, using 10" feature florals for each block. It was simply a charm square plus two 5 x 10 pieces and jelly roll strip borders. I call it Summer because of all the brilliant florals. Have fun with each project. You have such a fine understanding of color.

  6. That is a tough decision, all of them are great bundles of fabric. My favorite would be the yellow/coral prints. I would go with a pattern that you did not have to cut those wonderful designs into pieces that were too small.

  7. That is a tough choice. I think I would start with the Kaffe pastels. They are so pretty, but those blacks are calling me too - especially the one with the little yellow birds.

  8. Oh, a mouthwatering post Anne with all those sumptuous fabrics!! I love the bright Kaffe fabrics but also have collected quite a few of the quieter colours. It's going to be interesting to see which way you go on this.

  9. I'm in the same boat (so to speak) so I'm afraid I can't be much help. Piles of fabric pulls, scores of patterns swirling around in my to choose?? All your fabric groupings are so lovely!

    Sometimes, though, we get a hint from out of the blue. This morning we visited a new church and the stained glass windows featured hourglass/quarter square triangle patterns. I figured that was a sign to stitch up my next quilt that way :)

  10. You are a master at whatever you choose to work at--as I've seen your work and you always inspire me with your color combinations. I'm feeling the same as you: I love social media for its ideas (that's how I found the Scott Nickels quilt, too) but a lot of times it is a total distraction to getting the work done! I also love (after reading Linda's comment) seeing the different approaches (fabric vs. design) to creating a quilt. That's another way that social media can be helpful, too.


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