Monday, January 13, 2014

Building a Quilt Palette

How do you build your quilt palettes?  Do you stick with a fabric collection, pick a color scheme and pull fabrics, use an image for inspiration?  There are so many ways to go about it!  I feel like my typical approach to quilt design has always been focused on the fabric itself...meaning I find a piece of fabric or a collection I like and I use that to "pull" coordinating pieces. 

This year, I want to challenge myself to build quilt palettes in other ways.  I'd like to dig a little deeper into color and value and try to pull from my existing fabrics and scraps.  I'd like to bust out some colored pencils and graph paper and start sketching. 

So, it's no secret that children's books can be a great source of inspiration.  Beautiful characters and creatures, packed with color and whimsy.  This book caught my eye the first time I opened it up to read it to Lyla.  It is all about an owl on a nighttime adventure, bumping into all kinds of woodland friends.  The illustrations are brilliant, with deep blacks, grays and dramatically bright whites, oranges and greens.  I pulled this pile of fabrics over the weekend to compliment this page, and other than lacking maybe 1 or 2 true black pieces (which apparently I don't buy enough of), I think it's perfect.  Along with thinking about color and value, I find I also think a lot about the tone or theme that I want my fabric palette to evoke.  Here, I chose prints that I felt mimicked the woodland feel of this image, such as several prints from Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander, some sketchy florals from Juliana Horner and Denyse Schmidt, and a couple of great woodland prints (this one and this one are quickly disappearing from my fabric stash).  

I think this pile of fabric would be very happy cut up into a scrappy bear paw quilt.  Doesn't that seem fitting?  There seems to be an informal quilt-along starting on instagram and if I can get some other things crossed off my list, I might have to join the fun.  I'll be back soon to share some other projects I'm working on!  


  1. such a beautiful palette!!! I love that book and the colors are just perfect for this time of year. Can't wait to see what you make with it.

  2. Love the colours that you pulled. You have a great talent there. Gayle