Jacquelynne Steves

Color & Fabric Ideas for Save the Bees Free Block of the Month

Have you signed up for the Free I Love Home Block of the Month yet? No?? Just click here– it’s going to be so much fun!!

Yep, the BOM patterns and sew along are Free! Yippee!

Let’s talk about fabrics, OK? One of the things I love best about quilting is how many different looks you get from the same pattern, just by choosing different fabrics. It’s always a lot of fun during our BOM events to see what everyone is doing! Today, I thought I’d show you a ton of ideas for making this year’s quilt. These all show a “focus” fabric in the center of the blocks, but of course you can also make the applique or embroidery option (included in the free pattern.)

So, let’s go!! (Get the fabric requirements here.)

By the way, TODAY I’ll be on the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast with Pat Sloan, and we will be talking about… you guess it- fabric selection!!

(I also have another blog post about fabric selection which can be found here.)

Don’t be “boxed in” by the colors suggested in the pattern or sample quilt. Feel free to substitute navy, brown, or even dark green for the black. In place of the yellow, try gold, cheddar, chartreuse, orange or rust. Keep in mind the tones and values of your other fabrics- for example, if you are using reproduction fabrics, you might want to use gold, rust or cheddar instead of a bright yellow.

When choosing fabrics for this, or any other quilt project, think about the finished look you are trying to achieve. Do you love a clean, modern look? Do you really want the block and quilt design to take center stage? If so, then try using solids or almost solids, with lots of contrast (light, medium, and dark values) like this quilt:

Do you love a soothing, romantic, fluid look to your quilts? Maybe you are a beginner, or you are working on a challenging quilt design and you are worried that your seams and points might not line up exactly. If so, try using medium to large scale prints which are similar in value. For this quilt, all of the fabrics are a medium value, and the prints tend to blend into each other. Also, notice the slight difference in look that you get when using white instead of cream for the sashing and bee wings:

Generally, using a mix of light, medium and dark fabrics, and a mix of solids/almost solids, small prints, medium prints and large prints is a winning combination! This mix will create interest, balance and harmony in your quilt. Here are some more ideas!

For the example below, I’ve used light orange in place of some of the yellow (see stripes on the bee). Notice that the prints have different scales, from tiny to a fairly large floral:


Pretty cottage version, using gray in place of black:


For this modern bright version, try substituting dark purple in place of the black:

For the 1930’s reproduction fabrics and the batik version, I used blue in place of the black:


For the bee stripes in this version, I’ve used a yellow that’s almost green:


Creamy, buttery yellows are very pretty in this pastel version:


Mustard yellow bee works well with reproduction fabrics:

Which do you like best? What are you planning to do for your Save the Bees quilt?? Tell us in the comments, or in our Sew Quilty Friends Facebook group!


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    Susan Warren
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Great posting for people who are hesitant to use their own color choices. This should help take the fear of “going your own way” when working from a pattern.

  • Tracey Tinsley
    Posted July 7, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Great post about colour variation. Sometimes its difficult to picture in our head what a colour grouping will look like in the finished project. This was very helpful.

  • Ginger Barnes
    Posted July 10, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I was looking at the fabric requirements and didn’t see the yardage for the binding and was wondering if it was included in the #1 green fabric of 3/4 yds.

    • Robin
      Posted August 9, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      If you look at the bottom of page 4 in the introduction instructions, it should say (6) 2 1/2″ strips of Green #1 fabric for the binding.
      I hope this helps.

  • DiAnn
    Posted July 11, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    First timer here. I’m planning on hanging this in our half bath. Now to select fabrics!!!

  • Carol O
    Posted July 12, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait!

  • Joy Dickson
    Posted August 6, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I think I really like the cottage version. Going to have fun looking through my stash. This is definitely going to be a stash quilt.

  • Denise Mitchell
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I am just getting started with my blocks it says block #2 ,but I see 4 blocks where do I get the others? Thank you.

  • Alice Smith
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Love this & is beyond kind of U to share.

  • Lori Alberti
    Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Your blocks are totally delightful!

  • Carol Gillette
    Posted December 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    I love the Save the Bees patterns. Thank you so much for allowing me to be included in the patterns.

  • Linda Eggleston
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    Great looking quilt. What fabric line did you use in your introduction of save the bees quilt? I love the bright colors, they make it pop.

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