Mixology: Jean Wells Thoughts on Fabric Mixing


An interesting word... I grabbed on to this word when I thought about how we, as quilt artists, make fabric choices. I have always loved scrap quilts, and opportunities to choose interesting textures as well as colors.

When I am teaching workshops, students are asked to consider the following when planning a quilt: color, value, texture, scale, personality of prints. I have found that mixing styles of fabric works too, when the pieces are not too large.

I gravitated to this color combination when I was sitting in our classroom and saw these traditional fat quarter prints stacked on the shelf. Being a huge green fan, I liked the greens mixed with the gold and black.

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This got me to thinking about indigo blue, so I tried it and liked the results. It seemed to bring life to the other colors. Being a fan of mixing scale (size of design) and texture, I searched out more “friends” to add to the group.

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Once I have a nice palette picked out, I like to give the fabrics a try to see how they interact with each other by sewing strips of fabric together. You immediately get a feeling of who to use more or less of, and it gives you an opportunity to see what you need. For me, “solids” give the eye a place to rest with prints.

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I am pretty taken with what is happening with the strata that are emerging, so I am going to take this to the next level and design a quilt. Take note of the different styles of fabric, as well as the colors and prints.

Stay tuned to see what transpires!