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Tips for one color quilts from your stash

Almost every quilt pattern you have in your studio could become a one color quilt plus a neutral white or black.

And after all, we practically have small quilt shops in our homes already! So if you have a stash, it would be easy to put a one-color quilt together.

This last weekend I was honored to celebrate my 24th anniversary of The Quilter's Hand professional machine quilting business and teaching with an incredible group of talented quilters, sewists, and piecers at a new quilt shop in Saint Augustine, Florida called St Aug Sew. And they loved the idea of a one-color quilt.

It was a color class and free, and who doesn't like that?!?! With sodas, coffee, and delicious snacks we munched through an endlessly colorful mix of fabrics.

I even shared dozens and dozens of gloriously patterned Kaffe fat quarters and everyone put very colorful combinations together. Everyone had their own beautifully selected colors, all different and truly stunning. They got it.

The one technique they found most interestingly easy to create was a one-color quilt.

  1. Choose one color and pick a dark color like navy blue. The darker the color the more color choices you have as you add more fabric from dark to light blue.

  2. Choose 8-10 fabrics of the same color going from the lightest to darkest.

3. Next, arrange them in order from light to dark. Squint at the fabric combinations to see which one reads darker or use your smartphone to take a picture and in edit move the slider to nior/back and white. That will tell you which fabric is darker or lighter than the other. It also instantly tells you which fabric has more visual weight. Here's a tip: red reads black because of the intensity of color.

4. Now decide how to layout the fabric colors for your pattern by sequence or mixing the colors up.

A favorite pattern for this monochromatic color scheme is the Perfect Ten using ten fat quarters. I used all blue batiks. I laid them out light to dark. Assigned a number of 1-10 to them (lightest to darkest) and then using the pattern directions assigned a number from 1-10 from the lightest to the darkest fabric representation on the quilt's layout directions. Put number one on the lightest all the way to number 10 on the darkest. It made it scrappy and random. (Once you see the pattern you will understand the number sequencing.)

Okay, just for fun squint at the red, white, and black quilt and see how the darker reds read or truly look black.

Hope this helps use your stash in a truly naturally easy way and quickly piece quilts together with a great finished size of 60" x 72".

Enjoy playing with your fabric stash. How many quilts can you come up with going from light to dark? I imagine a lot!

Quilt happy always.

Sally Terry

P.S. I forgot to mention the pattern also uses 1/4 yards of fabric (9" x 43") if you don't have fat quarters.


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