Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How to put fabrics together!

One question I get asked a lot is how to put fabrics together, especially for patchwork.

I always suggest that you start with your 'showstopper', the fabric you know you just have to use - it helps if it has more than 3 colours in it, preferably more, but you must love it!

I have had my eye on this beautiful fabric from Lewis and Irene since it arrived a few weeks ago, I love the detail and the colours but I knew that I would want to put it together with some more vibrant colours to lift the grey tones, this is Butterfly Bright after all!

So, how many colours do you think are in this print, you might guess at a glance perhaps 5 or maybe 6.

In actual fact there are 14 individual colours - and how do you know this? By looking at the selvedge..

Fabrics have dots of colour (or sometimes shapes, such as the butterflies on this print) repeated along the selvedge, these show an equal representation of each of the colours used in the print. It makes it easier to identify the colours which may only have a tiny impact on the fabric but are there, even in the smallest detail.

 This is the perfect tool for colour matching fabrics from different quilting collections to use in a project. Always try to keep selvedges attached to a fabric until you actually use them, this not only protects the fabric, it helps you identify the warp and weft and of course gives you the colour spots.

I soon got to work identifying other fabrics from my shop to put together with this glorious piece. I used another Lewis and Irene fabric with the cowslips on to match with the grey but brought in some vibrant turquoise and lime fabrics too.

What do you think? I like using a mixture of geometric and natural prints and also mixing pattern size for interest. I just need a project to put them into now...

Shall we try another one

How many colours do you think are in this print...

An amazing 16 colours

here is the selvedge with the more traditional circles of colour.

There are so many options with this fabric you could pick out the pinks, the yellows, oranges or the blues and greens.

I went with orange, mint and lime green as I try to break out of my pink and blue/green habit!

I'm not totally convinced with this combination yet so I might play with it in the next few days and see what else I can come up with. When I am happy with my mini collections I will add them as bundles to the webshop to save you some time!

What colours do you love to put together?


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