We had a huge response to my quilt, Day Lilies, when we placed it at the top of our Facebook page. There were many requests for a pattern and kit to make it. There is a pattern available. It is in my book Quiltmaking By Hand, along with several other patterns. But I will tell you why there is no kit and give you hints on how to plan color schemes for any “scrappy” quilt.
First and foremost, I used more than 120 different fabrics in Day Lilies and most other scrappy type quilts I have made. It would be impossible to make kits with that many fabrics and have them at an affordable price. Furthermore, some people want to know the placement of each and every fabric. It is better to understand how to do it than to try to copy something exactly.
Selecting the Colors
Why so many fabrics in Day Lilies, for example? The base design is a hexagon which means that If you look carefully at the quilt you will see that there are three colors of lilies—reds, browns and purples. Because of the hexagonal arrangement, the lilies are arranged so that no two flowers of the same color touch, thus the three colors.
Now, a closer look reveals that each lily is made up of six petals and each petal has seven pieces. Those pieces are shaded light to dark.
Even if you used exactly the same fabric in each petal of a color you would need 21 different fabrics—seven reds, seven purples and seven browns.
Then you would have “spotlights” of colors without any blending or variance of the pieces once they are assembled.
A closer look at my quilt shows that within any one flower each petal is different. Sometimes a red petal might shade into a hint of brown or purple, or a purple might shade into a hint of red and so forth. This achieves a better blending of the colors in the final quilt.
So how do you select the colors in the first place? Rather than repeat myself and write it all here again, I urge you to watch the two following videos which explain my basic philosophy of color and how I put fabrics together. Go to the “Tips and Lessons” page of my website and choose “Design and Color.” Then watch these two videos:
- “Jinny’s Color Secrets”
- “Choosing Quilt Colors with the Portable Palette”
Now try these steps in selecting a palette of colors for your scrap quilt.
- Select the colors you would like to use and have several values of those colors ranging from light to dark.
- Add whatever additional colors you need to shade those colors together.
- Make sure you have a “deep dark” fabric, an “accent” and several neutrals.
If you are uncertain where to begin, take a look at the pre-cut section of our web site.
There you will find several bundles of 30 or more color coordinated fabrics that are shaded together. Find one that appeals to you and once you have those fabrics, go to your stash and pull out any fabrics within that color range, the more the better. Here are some that I recommend:
- Desert Dawn
- Emerald Isle
- Indian Marketplace
- Moon Glow
- Rainbows End
- Urban Sunset
Indian Marketplace is a good start if you like the colors in Day Lilies. Urban Sunset is the one I used for the Urban Sunset quilt.
Take some time to look through your fabrics and make selections. Next week, I will talk about placing those fabrics in the quilt.
5 thoughts on “Selecting and Placing Colors and Fabrics for Scrap Type Quilts, Part 1”
I am always amazed by Jinny’s ability to blend fabric colors and design the most beautiful quilts. This was strengthened after buying and reading her books on tessellations and scrap quilts, and attending several of her classes. My husband always said that if I “had to buy” another quilt kit, it had better be from Jinny Beyer.
Thank you for this post! I always learn from your presentations, whether in a blog post or in person. Your posts are so valuable because I can look at them as often as I want! Love the examples and step by step breakdown. I have the book and have been so fortunate to see your quilt in class. Thank you!!
I am constantly reminded of you when working in gardens. I loved bringing you flowers and watching you pick the colors out of them. Pixel by pixel to design your beautiful fabrics. Miss you.
So glad to see Jinney is still teaching us. When I first started quilting 40 years ago I was fortunate enough to take a workshop from Jinney that our guild offered. I was in awe then and I’m still a fan.
I’ve been quilting, both machine and hand, for 36 years, and I still love learning new techniques! Thank you for these highly informative blogs and easy to understand instructions.
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