How to Pick Quilt-Friendly Fabric Designs with Suzy Quilts

JUL 25, 2018 updated Apr 27, 2021

If you’re an avid fan of modern quilting, you’ve probably double tapped on your fair share of photos taken by Suzy Williams, the modern quilter, textile designer and all-around bad-ass babe behind Suzy Quilts. We were thrilled when Suzy said she would be happy to create a custom quilt just for the Spoonflower community and the resulting pattern, Twisted Ribbons, feels fresh and unique, thanks to the understated linear work and the neutral color palette she chose featuring bohemian designs from a much-loved Spoonflower designer, holli_zollinger. Before you get started on your own version of Twisted Ribbons, be sure to read Suzy’s top three tips for picking out your fabrics. 

Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog
Every quilter needs a trusty assistant. Luckily, Suzy has Scrappy | Featured designs

Suzy: Twisted Ribbons (or Blip Lines or any one of the other 500 names you creative people came up with) is an ideal quilt pattern for using the fabulous, one-of-a-kind feature here at Spoonflower, Fill-A-Yard®.

Why is it ideal? Well, you get to pick six different pattern designs and have them printed on one extra-long piece of fabric. Why is printing on extra-long fabric so great? (Are you sick of me asking rhetorical questions?) It’s because the long strips used to create the fresh, modern layout of Twisted Ribbons maximizes on those long strips so you don’t have to cut up your pretty fabrics and sew unsightly seams! Who wants a bunch of extra seams?

Step-By-Step Create Your Own Fill-A-Yard Project

Hop on over to SuzyQuilts.com to see a step-by-step of how I picked out these scrummy fabrics and created a 6-fabric layout to be printed through Fill-A-Yard.

Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog
Twisted Ribbons featuring designs by holli_zollinger

Picking Fabrics for The Twisted Ribbons Quilt Pattern

Have you ever stood in the face lotion aisle at Target and thought, “Well, obviously I want age-defying, but do I need the hydro boost? I mean, I would like a luminescent glow like that one offers, but is it paraben-free? And what exactly is a paraben? And can I wear it during the day even though it says Night Cream??” Uh-oh. The all too familiar OMG-there-are-more-than-three-options panic attack. I know it well.

Choosing the right fabrics can be a lot like that for me. Or, at least before I set a few parameters on myself. With so many beautiful prints and patterns out there, it’s almost impossible not to get overwhelmed by the options. I’ve come up with 3 fabric picking tips to set you on the right course.

1. Go on a Color Quest. Keep Your Findings.

What is a color quest? As cheesy as this may sound, it’s a way of life. A perspective. It’s looking at an item of clothing, a painting, a photograph, eyeshadow at the drugstore, curtains hanging in your neighbor’s window, a colorful store display, a rug, a blossoming tree,…you get the picture, right? Flip that color-seeking switch ON, and when you see a certain combination you like, keep it! It’s now yours to use in future projects.

One simple way to keep your favorite color combos fresh in your mind is to create a board on Pinterest. Here’s my Color Inspiration board and I refer to it constantly. If Pinterest isn’t your thing, keep a folder on the desktop of your computer, a journal, or a scrapbook. It’s important to have easily accessible color combos from which to draw inspiration.

2. Pick the One You Love.

Spoonflower has thousands of fabric designs, how’s a quilter to choose? Pick one fabric you absolutely love, then build from there. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What colors are in this print already? That’s an easy way to get your base color palette.
  • What is the scale of this print? – If big and loud, choose accompanying prints that won’t compete. Try to have a range of scale – small, medium, and large.

Once you have your base fabric picked, choose five more fabrics that coordinate. Below is a digital mockup to help get the creative juices flowing. I loved this teal fabric with adorable peachy-orange clementines. I chose that to be my base fabric, and then I found a color palette in my Pinterest board to match. In the image below, the first thing you see is my color palette, followed by a mockup using those colors. Lastly, I designed a mockup using patterned fabric based on those colors.

 

Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog

Featured Designs

  1. Navy
  2. Teal
  3. Light Blue
  4. Bronze
  5. Peach
  6. Salmon
Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs

At this point in my process I step back. I think I’m 90% there, but something isn’t quite jiving. Maybe the peach needs to be a bit more orange? I’ll have to test a couple more fabrics out. But you know what the exciting thing is? I’m no longer overwhelmed and I have a clear foundation of what I want my quilt to look like.

3. KISS. Keep it Simple, Sweetheart

If you’re still feeling like the color palettes and the prints are not translating well and after 30 minutes of tinkering, you are no further along with your design than when you started, don’t fret, my pet. I have a third trick for you. It’s one word.

Monochromatic.

Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog

With this next mockup I kept it super simple and stuck to one color family. When you keep the colors monochromatic, you can play more with wild prints because you know nothing is going to clash.

Featured Designs

  1. Light Blue
  2. Dusty Blue
  3. Artichoke
  4. Sage
  5. Light Sage
  6. Light Grass
Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog
Featured designs

I hope you found these three tips helpful and I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Be sure to use #TwistedRibbonsQuilt to show off your work on social media!

Ready to put Suzy’s tips into action? Start a collection featuring your top picks from the Marketplace for your Twisted Ribbons quilt. 


Pin it for later! 

Twisted Ribbons: A Suzy Quilts for Spoonflower | Free Quilting Pattern Exclusive | Spoonflower Blog

 


About the Guest Blogger

Suzy Williams is rooted in a deep love for the heritage and tradition of quilting and a desire to craft unique, contemporary textiles. With a BFA in visual communications, Suzy uses her graphic design background to transform conventional sewing into a fresh, personal interpretation of minimal, modern design.

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  • I love your quilts, your fabric choices and your modern designs! Thank you for this advice on choosing a color scheme. Very helpful and clearly written for a beginner like myself.