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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!