Split Rail Shimmy

Happy Tips and Tricks Tuesday, all! I’m very happy to introduce a new class: the Accuquilt Cutter Split Rail Quilt! This lovely quilt top is made using just two yards of fabric, making it fantastic for those miscellaneous stash builder cuts. I’ve used the 3 1/2″ Accuquilt Strip Cutter on my Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter to ensure perfectly even strips to make the piecing a breeze. In today’s post I’m gonna talk a little bit about how
I picked the colors for this quilt in the hopes that it makes planning your next project a little bit easier.

The big question is “How do I pick which fabrics I should use in a project?” Different projects are better suited to big prints, loud colors, muted tonals, or solids, but the project that I just finished used large blocks with large strips of fabrics, making it well suited to basically any fabrics. So, with such a broad range of usable fabrics, how do you narrow down your options? Well, I love prints, so I always like to start picking my fabrics by falling in love with one print and coordinating the rest of my fabrics around it. In the case of this top, I absolutely could not stay away from the gorgeous Tula Pink Slow and Steady snails in Strawberry Kiwi, so I knew that I would be picking the rest of my fabrics to coordinate with the colors in that print. The fabric itself has a variety of colors to choose from, from the cream background, to the light grayish-lavender accents in the leaves, to the bright, warm pomegranate color of the snail bodies. I went with a bright, pale aqua color (Kona Cotton Solids in “Pond”) to set off the darker colors in the snail prints and bring attention to the contrast between the solid and the print.

It’s at this point that I want to talk about color values for a minute. I really enjoyed this blog by The Seasoned Homemaker to talk a little more about it, but I’m gonna touch on the basics. Dark and light fabrics affect the balance in the color values of your quilt tops. This can be used and manipulated to bring attention to certain colors or make one specific fabric stand out more by being of a different color value. How does this relate back to my example? Well, I had my print, which had light and dark colors within it. Then I picked a solid, light color for the background fabric, making the overall balance lean predominantly light. When it came time to pick a border fabric, I decided to pick a slightly darker valued fabric to rebalance the color scheme. I also picked one with a bit of tone and a gentler print, to keep it from drawing away from the focus print that I had initially picked. This kept the solids from overpowering the print but it also kept the focus print from being drowned out by competing prints.

In conclusion, my personal approach to selecting fabrics for a project is to keep in mind the balance of the color values (light vs dark) and the ratio of prints, solids, and tonals. I hope this has given you a few ideas for how to better pair your fabrics and I wish you the best of luck in picking your next collection. Questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me! All the best!

~Alex

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