Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Value Proposition - fabric requirements and fabric selection

Today I'm going to write about the fabric requirements for the Value Proposition QAL. Let's start with the path. There are two path options available to you, a single path or a triple path.

Single Path
If you decide to make a single path then you will need only one fabric and 1.25 yards/meters should suffice.

But this is a scrap quilt so there is another option available to you and that would be to use an assortment of fabrics that are very close in value and colour. That is what I did with my quilt Stars in the Loft quilt. I thought I had enough fabric for the path but a it turns out I ran short so I added several other fabrics and I like the result! Now in the picture below some of the fabrics photographed very light in value and you can see how they advance. I wrote about this yesterday. However, when you see my quilt in person the difference in value is less dramatic.

Detail from  Stars in the Loft
Triple Path
 I chose to use a triple path and I used it to create a design element by using two fabrics. In the picture below the middle row of the path is marked in pink.

If you prefer to use a single fabric for the triple path or an assortment of fabrics of similar value and colour as I did with Stars in the Loft you will need a 3.5 yards/meters of  fabric.

If you choose to use two fabrics, one for the outside edges and one for the center of the path you will need 1.25 yards/meters of fabric for the center path and for the outside path on either side you will need 2.25 yards/meters of fabric.

So what did I do? I chose to use two fabrics that are an oatmeal colour with a grey-green shade. One was slightly lighter in value than the other and although the difference is subtle the final result is, I believe, quite elegant!

I used the darker fabric in the center and the light fabric on the outsides but there is no reason why you couldn't do the reverse. The value difference creates a really nice effect in the quilt. Wish I could show it to you now but I can't because it will spoil the surprise! You might want to use an even darker fabric for the center path to create a very dramatic result. I had considered making a turkey red path but in the end went for the subtle look.

I would not recommend using a dark fabric for the path because there is a great risk that the blocks will bleed into the path however if you are keen to have a dark path I would suggest that you postpone your fabric selection until you've made the blocks. That way you can chose a fabric that will showcase your blocks to their best advantage.

Fabric Selection for the Blocks
Value Proposition is inspired by an antique quilt circa late 1800's so I chose to use many older looking prints. Civil War/reproduction prints would work really well. Smaller prints are easier to work with and larger scale prints tended to be more challenging. Tone on tones and textural fabrics worked a treat.

If I needed 12 hexagons but only had enough fabric for 6 then I looked for a similar fabric so I could cut the extra six needed. So what I am saying is don't discount a fabric because you don't have enough of it - just add another fabric of similar value and colour!

I looked for fabrics that had visual interest. In this assortment you can see light colour fabrics with dots and small repeated designs. I used multiple prints in a single block where a particular value was called for. For example if I needed 12 lights I would select 4 or 6 fabrics and cut equal numbers of each to yield 12 hexagons!

I chose to use stripes in several blocks because they add visual interest and create secondary designs beyond the basic design. So pull out your stripes and plaids! While I only have pulled lighter fabrics for the photo I did use darker stripes as well.

We will be working with 1" hexagons and while they are a good size I did avoid large scale, busy prints. The exception to this rule would be a large scale print that is used for fussy cutting or a large scale print that didn't have much variance in value. I did very little fussy cutting in my quilt but you should feel free to fussy cut if you want! Here are a couple of large scale prints. The top fabric would be great for fussy cuts and the lower fabric was a little easier to use provided I avoided having light and dark in the same patch.

Helpful Tip: To give my quilt a cohesive look I did repeat fabrics. I would cut a 2 1/2" strip of fabric and from that I would cut my hexagons. The leftovers were saved for another block. So if you have scraps that are 2 1/2" x 2" they will be large enough for a hexagon so hang on to those little treasures! They might just be the perfect fit for one of your blocks!

Don't worry if you don't have just the right fabric! I might have some tricks to allow you to work with your stash to create something new and interesting!

Well I hope I've given you some food for thought! On Friday I will post the first block pattern. Each block is made up of 37 1" hexagons. If you don't have 1" hexagons you will find a master template on my blog under English Paper Piecing & Hexagon Fun. If you are new to English paper piecing (EPP) I have published a booklet that provides the hexie basics. It is under the same tab and the title is Easier Than Pie - English Paper Piecing for Beginners.

Until I post again, have fun looking through your fabric and happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. looking forward to it-need to check my stash to see what I have for the paths

  2. So, Karen -- very tempting -- like the idea of the two neutrals for the path -- what is the anticipated time frame for this QAL? Several months? Have to consider whether I can wedge it into my schedule.

  3. Ma quanto diventerà grande questa trapunta? Non mi sembra x un letto 2 piazze. Silvana

    1. I made the quilt with a triple path. It measures 62" by 72". When I add the border it will be bed size!

  4. Very tempted, though I don't really have the time. Also I have no printer at the moment! But it sounds simpler than the soupçon one... Hmm. Ps I'm not tim I'm his wife Jackie!

  5. That was fascinating. I'm very drawn to the subtle colour difference in your example, it is very elegant.