Quilt With Us


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for a beginner quilter or anyone for that matter, places like connecting threads and local quilt shops make it easy by offering fabric packs with coordinating colors. takes the guess work out of it for you. every piece goes together well.
Hi Michaelle,

I've been at it for a lot of years but I am no expert, but this has worked for me.
Use fabric collections, start small like a wall hanging or table topper. The fabric collections are great and one of the fabrics will appeal to you more than the others, go with your gut and use that one favorite of the group as your focal point.

Use your computer.! Browse a lot of websites. See the back pages of most quilting magazines for ads that have websites you can visit. Do you have Microsoft Word? Use it to save pictures of quilts and / or fabric that catch your eye. When you have the image of the item you want to save on your computer screen hit the ALT and Print Screen keys at the same time. Open a new Word document and hit the "paste" icon or use "control V" to paste your picture into Word.
Save your file with a name that will jog your memory when you want to go back to view it. I suggest you date your pictures for future reference. You may already know how to use Word and Excel for other applications, but they are just wonderful for us quilters.

I have an Excel file for my idea journal. I have several pages in my workbook. Each page has columns with date, design idea, what I have on hand and what I need to get for the project. Sometimes I get just a fraction of an idea that's worth saving for later. I can then refine and embellish as my plan evolves. And don't forget to have fun while you'r at it. And please do NOT be the only quilter in history that has never made a mistake and learned from it.!
I have to say in my experience with quilters who are color-fobic, the best thing I've found to get them over it (slightly) is to do a quilt in which you figure out in the end that the fabric did all of the work for you. And the best pattern, in my opinion, for that is the "Nine Patch Shuffle", which was a give-away at a local quilt store. Sew charm pack squares into 9 patches and then cut the nine patches in the middle vertically and horizontally. Now you have 4 small blocks from each 9 patch. You rotate the upper left and lower right sections and sew them back together. You will find that when you're done, your choices were meaningless and the fabric did all of the work. it's a fun and quick quilt to do. I'll try to post a picture of mine. I used a Halloween themed set of charm squares and backed it with a Thanksgiving toile so it's on the Halloween side in October and then I flip it to the Toile side for the rest of the year (since you have to get up close to see that the Toile is Thanksgiving themed). Hope this helps, Debbie
We don't have any shows from Florida yet, but we just opened this site last week, so keep checking back in our Quilt Shows section to find one.
Two quick suggestions for you here....

The first is easy...go to your local quilt shop and talk to the staff or the owner and explain that you need some assistance with putting the colors and prints together for your project and ask for help. They'll probably ask some questions about your preferences or desires for the main color...like what are your favorite colors or what color would you like it to be. Take your pattern with you so they know the design and quantities of each fabric needed....like how many lights, darks, etc. They are usually very happy to help you select fabrics that work together. Sometimes the customers will join the process of helping you, which can be a lot of fun. I've been in the shop when all of the customers and staff were helping one quilter find fabrics for her project and it was like the shop had thrown a party. We all had a great time and she got to take home a great set of fabrics for her project.

The second suggestion is one that I learned a few years back for scrap quilts. It was tough for me at first because I'm a perfectionist, but I've come to really enjoy it on occasion when I want a scrappy look. Take paper lunch sacks and mark the width of the strips for all of the sizes that you will need for your project. Put your cut strips into the appropriate bag and without looking, mix them up in each bag. When you need a strip of a certain size, don't look in the bag, but just reach in and take the first thing you pull out. I was horrified at first because I could only put back a strip if it was the same fabric, but when the blocks are done and sewn together into a top, they turned out great!

try your library for quilt books too.
Eleanor Burns of Quilt In A Day has easy to follow books out if you can't watch her program.
i just started out making four patch blocks. four squares sewn together into twos and then those together into four. then into rows. start easy.
see some four patch posies here-
Don't you worry about colors. If you like them they will be fine. Remember when that thing was going around where you were either Winter, Summer, Autumn or Spring and you bought your clothing according to that? Well, in quilting, you will find that those fabrics that you just love... will go together perfectly! But, if you'd rather... find a pretty print with several colors in it. Sometimes they are colors you would never dream of putting together, but they go together. Then, find fabrics to match the colors in it. Even if you don't purchase the original print, it doesn't matter.
When I took my first hand quilting class, our teacher had just made a quilt to show us that the most unusual colors will work out just great together, as long as you add all those fabrics in each block. Her quilt was lavender, orange and a light olive green. I never would have thought to put those colors in the same quilt, but each had it's own place. In 1 block, the orange might be the main fabric with the other 2 as little bits and pieces. In the next, the lavender was the main color. I know that interior decorators use the same technique. Every room might have accent pieces of something really unusual while the walls are red, and in the next adjoining room, the main focus is on the color of that accent piece with red pillows. It all ties in in the end. Just pick what you love and you will be fine.
I am not familiar with Salt Springs, but we have lots of quilt shows in FL. There was a big one in Jacksonville in September, and there will be a nice show in Tampa in February. I believe there is also one in Orlando this month. I think if you go to google and type in Quilt shows Florida, it will help you find one in your area.
I used to live in Ocala, Fla. and visit with family there every year. There is a quilt shop in Dunnellon I believe and is in the phone book I can't remember the name but look under quilt shops and they might know of some quilt shows in the area. As far as putting colors together I have made in my quilt guild and color wheel which helps and also if you like a patterned fabric all fabric should have color dots on it and you can pull the colors from that. Hope this helps
Debbie, After 45 years of sewing and quilting, art classes and such, I just want you to know that ALL COLORS GO TOGETHER! There, in spite of what my grandmother said! Trends come and go, manufacturers pair colors for IN looks, but the fact of the matter, I repeat, ALL COLORS GO TOGETHER!
I reccomend purchasing a simple color wheel to help you learn about color theory or read Color for Quilters (some such book) Finally, a good activity is to go into a paint store when you are planning a quilt (or any time) and gather strips of paint chips and then PLAY with them and your fabrics. They are usually arranged in shades and tones (lights and darks) of a single hue (color) but many stores (Sherwin Williams) offer color sheets with coordinated "lessons." If you take these to shop for fabric, whether you look at a single line or many lines you will feel more confident in your color choices.
Have fun with color, Anne
I agree, all colors go together - and in fact, trying to be too fussy about "matching" colors can make your quilt a bit boring. Sometimes it's the little bit of "jangle" you get from an odd color that acts like salt and makes your quilt exciting.

BUT, if you're trying to make your quilt be coordinated, a good trick is to look at the selvedge edges of one of your prints. Most selvedges have dots of the colors on them, that were used in the print. When the manufacturer isolates each color this way, it's easier to see what it is in it's pure form, as your eye is not so influenced by what's next to it. So if you just try to match other fabrics with the color dots on the selvedge of your main print, you'll have a coordinated collection of fabrics for whatever pattern you're trying.


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