Choosing Fabrics QAL Guest Post

This is a guest post so I had better introduce myself.  Hi, I am Kerry, I live in the UK in a little city near the sea with my husband, daughter,  cats and dog.  I blog about my vintage and sewing life at verykerryberry.  Thankyou Lynne for inviting me to your blog!   I love quilting and sewing and I like to make things which include a lot of different fabrics.  My plan for  Lynne's quilt-a-long is to make a mini quilt with scrappy pieced and ticker tape wedges.  I recently made a doll quilt using these techniques.
and I am going to explain a more straightforward version for you here!  This post is about choosing fabrics and there will be a second about piecing and ticker taping your wedges.  It makes me sad when I read on blogs and Flickr about people being afraid of colour.  If you know what you like, you can put colours and fabrics together!  I will take you through my process for this mini quilt- there are a lot of pics to take you on the journey.  I think I will call my method, Goldilock's choice- you will see why...
My starting point is these picture based fabrics, the green and pink are from Lecien Grandmother's Flower Garden and the Viewfinder print is from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising.  I plan to use a viewfinder circle as the centre of the Dresden.
From these  prints I am getting images of home, Famous Five by Enid Blyton, 1930s colours, and  kitchen cottage granny chic!  So I pull out some more prints- I am looking for colours and prints that fit in with these ideas.  Some of these come from Lecien and Melody Miller but there are some outsiders there as well.
 Just to show you what wouldn't work, I put some more Ruby Star Rising colourways in but you see the colours are not right, too bright and shouty, this is going to be a quieter, faded colour palette. They are rejected.
 Next I start to add anything from my vintage stash that might work- these are piled on the left- hmm, looking a bit busy, too many patterns and the big yellow flower fabric on the top is not right at all- the pattern is far too big.  The other pile on the right is the mixer pile- spots, stripes and text fabrics.  These help to break up the busier patterns and picture prints whilst adding interest- and who doesn't like a bit of text fabric?
 You can see how I've started to pare this down.  I've taken a lot of the vintage away- patterns that are too big, colours didn't match, so now only three vintage fabrics remain. 
 Nearly there.  Time to add the solids.  I get everything that might possibly work.  These are Kona cottons and Kaufman Handkerchief linen. 
 Again, I look at the pile and pull anything out that jars or makes me wrinkle my nose.  The aqua is the wrong blue- it doesn't truly match with anything so that is out.  Whereas the Zucchini green matches some of the other fabrics perfectly, it stays in.
 At this point I decided to look at the text fabrics again and I pulled some out.  The newsprint and the peach text print looked a bit urban and I am thinking village green,  so a more whimsical text print comes in, the Michael Miller Sentence Structure print from the Dick and Jane range is perfect "Run Spot run.  See funny Jane go." I love this print!  I also added a little text, tea and sewing theme print that works well too.  I am happier with that section of fabrics now.
 The last bit is to pull any strips and pieces from my scrap box that might work.  These bits of Moda (from 'Hello Betty' by Chloes Closet) are in.
 These scraps are out- mainly because the colours are not a good enough match to the other fabrics.
 So like Goldilocks, you need to try a bit of everything and keep rejecting until your selection is just right.  Even now, some of these might get rejected, nothing is fixed.  I know this looks like a big pile of fabrics for a mini quilt but I am only going to use a little from each one.  I divide them into piles for cutting.  First on the left are the picture prints that require careful cutting.  I will want whole images and fussycut strips on all of these.  Next, are the solids and last of all, the patterns- both these piles can be cut in a range of widths.
That's all for now.  I'll be back soon with another guest post about cutting, piecing and ticker taping.  In the meantime I look forward to reading all the other guest bloggers colour and quilting secrets.  
If you have a question you can email me kerrykit (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk
and if anyone fancies some of the Michael Miller Dick and Jane Sentence Structure print- I just bought a large length from USA. So if you are from UK/Europe  and you are interesting in buying a FQ, drop me an email I am happy to sell a few as it is impossible to find in these countries.
Thanks for having me Lynne!  Do I get a party bag? 
Kerry x


  1. This is a great explaination of something we all work through and agonize over. Great way of putting it in to words!! Look forward to your next posts!

  2. What a great post Kerry! I love looking at your fabric stash :-)
    I'm interested in that print going to email you now.

  3. wonderful post Kerry ... it's so great to see your selection process (and it's so much neater than mine - I reject my no-nos with a much messier flourish!!)

    Nice one Lynne, I can see why Kerry's such an inspiration :)

  4. That was great Kerry - I'm coming to live in your Stash!

    Afraid after today's Flickr group comments, 'Grandmother's Flower Garden' conjured up an entirely different image!!

    Lynne, don't keep us hanging too long for part 2! x

  5. I don't even want to thin about that Flying Blind! Lovely comments, will reply tomorrow x

  6. i loved reading about your method of choosing. what fun fabrics you have

  7. I hope Lynne gave you a party bag! Thanks Kerry

  8. Great guest post Kerry. I loved seeing some of your stash.
    Thanks lynne, I can see why you asked Kerry to guest post.

  9. Thanks for the great post Kerry. I'm on a steep learning curve right now and this is really helpful :)

  10. Ooo yes, party bag for sure! Great post Kerry! Your version is going to be just lovely.

  11. I keep looking at the doll quilt, it is great! Thanks for sharing your process, mixing different fabric lines is still a challenge for me.

  12. Kerry, thank you so much for this post. the chance to see through another quilter's eyes and lens when choosing fabrics is invaluable. i also like the phrase, "too shouty" in reference to fabrics. i usually think, "oh, that hurts my eyes" but next time i'll think of you and of fabric making loud sounds. :)

  13. Super post Kerry - this should help some of the beginners like Hobby Lass

  14. I love to see how someone else makes their fabric choices! Thank you for a great post!

  15. This is a great post. I always love to hear about the process. And it's fun to see all those yummy fabrics being selected.

  16. What a well written post, Kerry! I totally enjoyed your journey of choosing right fabrics for your quilt.

  17. Way to keep me hanging! Lol. thanks for the run through on color choices. It gave me so much to consider. Please post more soon about this one.


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