Happy Monday everybody!
I hope your week has gotten off to a good start? Shame it’s a gloomy day 😦 Now the sun is slowly disappearing, it’s getting colder and the nights are soon going to be drawing in, perhaps you need a quilt to add a splash of colour to your home? You can never have too many soft furnishings!
Today I wanted to talk a little about choosing and buying fabrics from online shops as it is something I seriously struggle with. This is mainly because there are so many gorgeous prints out there and so many brilliant fabric shops that I find it to be a very overwhelming (although mostly fun) task! It takes me hours to browse through all the choices, compare different patterns, attempt to match colours, compare prices on different shops etc etc that sometimes I even give up empty-handed as I’m afraid to make the wrong decision, or buy too many! There are just too many lovely fabrics. Sometimes if I do finally make my decision and place an order, when the fabrics arrive they aren’t as I expected and not always a good match with one another. Fabric doesn’t always photograph well and colours look different on all computer screens, so sometimes it is hard to tell how a fabric will look in the flesh.
So, how do you make the right decision? Tree Fall Designs have an interesting post about how to build up a collection of fabrics and here are a couple of my tips that I can pass on from my most recent (and successful) shopping experience:
- Try to have the product in mind so you can focus your search. Is it for a baby girl? A teenage boy? A pet? Is it a large lap quilt or small cushion? Do you want to create something modern and abstract or much more traditional? Do you have a central colour you want to use? I find if I am browsing with no starting point, there are too many fabrics that jump out at me and I end up with a cart full of higgledy-piggledy un-matching fabrics, and a dilemma in choosing which direction to go in.
- Buy from fabric collections. If you are concerned about matching colours using thumbnails on a computer screen, there are hundreds of designer fabric collections available which have been designed specifically to compliment each other. Sometimes you can buy these in pre-cut bundles which is a great starting point for a new project.
- When I am choosing fabric for a quilt, I try to get an even mix of light, medium and dark coloured fabrics, and also an even combination of small and large prints, or a mix of patterned and solid fabrics. This creates visual interest and texture.
- Design your own! I eventually hope to design my own fabrics so that my quilts really are completely unique to me and one of a kind. There are plenty of places to go for this but Spoonflower seems to be one of the most popular and accessible.
So, after several hours of fabric shopping this morning here is what I settled on for my next three projects:
one, two + three = Warm and wintery plaid. A mixed bag off tartan ‘oddments’ from Scotweb Tartan Mill. These are going to make a lovely festive and snuggly ‘hunting lodge’ style lap quilt for the winter. I can picture it on an armchair by the fire already.
four, five + six = Fresh Scandi style. Lotta Jansdotter’s ‘Bella’ range in the blue, teal and citrus colourways. I love all of her ranges as they are very clean and graphicy, but this new one is particularly fun and I like that it is gender neutral too. Have a read of her interesting blog post about developing the Bella range – I love that she doesn’t use a computer!
seven, eight + nine = Pretty, nature-inspired whimsical prints. Tula Pink’s ‘Birds and the Bees’ range in ‘Creek and ‘Wasp’ colourways. The colours and patterns of the prints are quite similar to some of the patterns that inspired me in the Drusilla Cole book I blogged about recently, so I was drawn to this collection as soon as I saw it. Also, anything with animals on catches my eye, so as soon as I saw the squirrels I was sold! I’m not yet settled on a design for this quilt, but I have a few ideas that I’m looking forward to developing.
I can’t wait for them to arrive! My next dilemma will be which quilt to start on first!
Which are you most drawn to?