Friday, March 07, 2014

Go Gingham

Gingham in Quilty

I am very pleased to say that I have a quilt in the March/April edition of Quilty. At some point last year, Mary Fons emailed me because she saw my gingham baby quilt on etsy and she asked me to make another for the magazine. They sent me some lovely Michael Miller Cotton Couture and I made a larger version. I'm giving myself a pat on the back for hand-quilting it with perle cotton. I always wondered if I had the stamina to hand-quilt a large quilt and apparently I can (though it was pretty tough to do on a deadline).

This is a very basic extremely easy pattern but the key to making it work is choosing the right colors. I thought I'd talk about that process in a little more detail as it's the only tricky part. Although most of the time I love mixing solids from different lines, I would recommend sticking to one fabric line for this quilt so that the only difference between the blocks is the color (and not texture).

Gingham Quilt

The quilt consists of 4 solids, 2 colors and then 2 blends between those colors. The easiest option is to choose a monochrome color scheme (color + white OR color + black) like I did for my first version. Then you are only working with values and not hues. In this case, I chose black and white and then picked 2 shades of grey--a lighter grey and a darker grey.

As an aside, I would love to do another version someday with a red and black buffalo check in flannel. I think it'd make a fantastic winter quilt.

If you want to be a little more adventurous, you could pick 2 colors like I did for the magazine version. I would highly recommend picking analogous colors. The farther your 2 main colors get from each other on the color wheel, the more difficult it's going to be to find the right blends in between. I would avoid picking complementary colors altogether. I would imagine that finding the mix between red and green for example is not going to be very attractive.

If you get stuck, you could always look for examples of gingham in real-life and then try to match those colors. a color card is very handy to have for this. Robert Kaufmann Kona and Moda Bella have the largest number of colors available but I actually didn't mind choosing from the smaller selection of Cotton Couture because I probably would agonized over the exact perfect mix of colors had I been given more options.

The last thing is to consider scale. The magazine quilt uses fairly large squares and the gingham effect isn't as apparent unless you stand back. My earlier baby quilt uses 4" squares and the pattern is more clear. I would imagine if you cut 2" squares you really wouldn't be able to tell that it's a pieced fabric at all unless you get up close.

I hope that you find this helpful and if you end up making a gingham quilt, I'd love to see it!

ETA: In case anyone wants to use the same colors I did in the magazine, the fabrics are Michael Miller Cotton Couture and I used colors Paprika, Lava, Orange, and Canary, with Black for the binding.


  1. Wow, that's really cool! Congratulations!

  2. Wow! This is awesome! Great job, dude!

  3. Congrats! The quilts are both so lovely!

  4. I am looking forward to making one of these :) Gorgeous, and extra gorgeous quilting :)



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