Color . . . Value, Tones and Contrast

It’s very exciting and a little daunting to choose color for quilts.

Choosing Colors for your Quilt

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Where to Begin When Creating a Quilt!

Is this your first time piecing a block or making quilt?  Sewing has been a great passion for me for many years.  In my teens sewing was practical, so making school clothes afforded me the uniqueness of  custom outfits.  Garment making started as a necessity and as a way to give customized gifts to family and friends.  At first, quilting was a gradual liking.  I just could not understand why the fabric had to be cut into varying size pieces and then the pieces sewed together.  Then I though about it and related it to garment sewing.   For instance, making a dress, in order to make a dress,  a whole piece cloth of fabric was purchased and then cut up into varying pieces and then sewed together based on a specific pattern.  Then a light went off  when I discovered that quilting is the same as sewing a garment, except the pieces are put together to make quilts for cribs, various sizes of beds, a wall hanging, home decor like placemats, table runners and pillows, to name a few.  Then quilting made sense and I was in love!  I already loved fabric, though I had to understand the types of fabric to use for quilt making, as well as quilt care.  After watching many quilt tutorials various types of fabrics were references that I was not familiar with and that’s when I discovered, batik, minky, flannel, fleece, oil cloth, vinyl and other interesting types of fabrics.

Bitak Block
After working with cotton, I kept hearing the word batik, and after understanding what a batik was, I ventured into making batik fabric blocks.

Blocks! Blocks! Blocks!  How many are there?  Thousands!  I was introduced to quilt blocks because I loved the look of quilts and was curious how to put them together as well as coordinate color and create a beautiful design.  Though at the beginning quilts were intimidating and looked so difficult.  Picking just one block is not easy, there are so many beautiful blocks to create. However, as with anything new, it takes time to understand, learn and make, after which I found making a block and eventually a quilt easier. How I approached beginning a block was to read and view tutorials, review magazines and understand what tools and fabric are required. Learning from others allowed me to bypass a lot of the difficulty in making a block and gaining from other’s experiences and tips, which came in very handy in understanding a lot of the concepts.

4-Patch- A 4-Patch is a basic quilt block design, made by seaming four squares of fabric together to create a larger square. A 4-Patch is a building block of many quilts and can be made using two, three, or four pieces of fabric. 4-Patches are especially good for de-stashing projects or beginners’ quilting projects.

I used fat quarters that were already color coordinated so I wouldn’t have to think so much.  After I got a bit better, I wanted to do more piecing.  Magazines, websites, and tutorials have a massive assortment of blocks.  However, there are some blocks that can be simply made with a square, i.e., 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, which creating four and piecing makes a 4-patch block.  There are many websites and tutorials on YouTube to help.  If you are looking to understand quilt lingo, the Quilt Glossary could be your best way to learn, especially when watching a tutorial and some of the terms is not explained.

Having sewed garments in the past, I knew the basics about sewing, but learning about quilting required a new type or style of piecing.  The tools were already available, mats, rulers, sissors, and thread.  Though I learned, after a few piecing, that there is a difference in thread and seams were not the same.  Where garments required a 5/8″ seam, piecing requires a 1/4″ seam, that took some getting use to until I purchased a 1/4″ foot, that made piecing more accurate.  So just for practice and understanding, I started small, making a simple pieced pad.

Pocket Pad
A simple pocket pad with basic quilting and and my first hand at binding.

Going it alone was good, though I benefited from joining a quilt-along.  There I was introduced and now understand the different terms, feature fabric, background fabric, auditioning fabric, color theory, flying geese, following a pattern piecing a block, sashing, quilt top, basting, sandwiching and binding.

Where do you begin when making a block.  Learn on your own?  Subscribe to magazines?  Join a Quilt-Along? Attend a Quilt Class? Or, another way of learning?

I welcome your comments, like and follow.