So Many Choices

July 17, 2011 § 16 Comments

Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed by the fabric selection process when designing a new quilt.  In fact, I was feeling a little bit of that yesterday as I stood in front of my fabric stash trying to pull fabrics for my Hexalong with Lynne quilt.

So, today, I thought I’d break down my fabric selection process into a series of steps to see if that “block” could be broken, maybe you’d like to see it too?

First, whenever I start a new project, I like to find some type of inspiration for it.  Sometimes it’s fabric, sometimes not.  In this instance, you already know my focus fabric is my primary inspiration.

Oh, yes, there she is, the big, beautiful hydrangea.  Yep, still love her!

Yes, I do love this flower.  BUT, where do I go from here?  Should I be very literal and select fabrics with only pinks, greens and creams?  Should I buy a new bunch of fabrics by Holly Holderman and stick to her line only?  Perhaps, but not today … today I’m not feeling like following the rules,  I want to branch out.

So, I went looking for a second piece of inspiration and found this piece of paper craft on flickr.

Wow!  Right?

This is from Renee, aka, PlayingWithBrushes and it just sends my heart all aflutter.  See her big blown open roses?   So very much like my big pink flowers … but she’s added lots of  text and bits of blue and sweet old fashioned ladies.  Oh, yes, this will do perfectly.  Renee sells this in fabric form on Spoonflower – and I just ordered 4 of her FQ’s to add to this quilt.

Now, back to my fabric shelf.

Let’s look for some text …

French text, Italian text, text about math … Yes, indeed, text is covered!

Now, how about something blue … and maybe another floral or two?

And since this is developing into such a sweet and romantic quilt, how about some pastries in the mix:

O.K.  NOW I’m feeling it.  Fabric block has been broken and I’m ready to roll.

Here is a mosaic of the fabrics I’ve pulled so far in a bit of a mash-up.

I didn’t have any old-fashioned ladies in my stash, so if you know of any, in addition to Renee’s,  in fabric form, please let me know.  I’m also on the lookout for fabric with forget-me-nots … any ideas?  Kerry Dear’s original “Candied Hexagons” used 27 different fabrics – that sounds just about right to me, too.

If you ever get stuck in your fabric selection process like I do, go out and find yourself another piece of inspiration and break through those blocks.


§ 16 Responses to So Many Choices

  • wow! Thanks for help in getting inspiration. I am following along with you and Lynne, but I might just be following your work and not sewing along. I need fabric inspiration, first!

  • Oh my giddy aunt, firstly, love this post, secondly love love love that dresden paper thingy, thirdly, it is very very strange how you and I have independently chosen almost identical fabrics – people will assume we co-ordinated on that point – very very weird indeed! I must pop some of the Fa La La writing in the mail to you, it’s perfect with this lot of fabrics – it’s in my block that’s divided into six triangles with red gingham. Have you ever seen Whimsy? There are some fabrics in there which will mix well with this lot.

    • Isn’t the paper dresden the most beautiful thing ever? I’ve loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it. And the only co-dependence we’re guilty of is loving a good sale – who can resist fatquartershop’s 50% off sales? And yes, I have a bit of Whimsy that may show up in the HAL.

  • Mary says:

    Oh I love this idea!!! Will be following along! Have you thought about using digital collage sheets for your old fashioned ladies? I use them in my crazy quilting, Here is my source.

    Her fabric printed sheets are fantastic quality. Great selection too.

    • Mary, I have never heard of digital collage sheets but will definitely go check them out. I’ve had a quick look at the “ladies” and they look fab – thanks for the link!

  • Sheila says:

    Super post Gayle – I need a bigger stash!

  • jan says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your process. After seeing the original inspiring quilt I new I wanted to go down the vintage route but I was stuck as to which fabrics to pull together. This has helped a lot!

  • lovely post Gayle … that scrap fabric is terrific … in fact I think all her spoonflower fabrics are great … I’m in love with the fish!

    this HAL is going to be full of such wonderful eye candy … I can’t wait to have the time to focus on this a little and thank you for the inspiration to overcome the fabric block block!

  • Jennifer says:

    Wowza, this is grrreat. And I love Renee’s Spoonflower fabrics, esp’ly the flying fish — I think I NEED that one 🙂

  • Dan says:

    I love that your fabric choices are all about inspiration before scale, color, dominance, etc. I know all that stuff is at play, but still I find it refreshing. Also, I’m a bit late to this post, but I really want to find you a blue hydrangea. No luck so far.

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