Take a look at the new images at the header of this page – they’re all from my new book, Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique. I had a blast creating this book! I think my favorite part was picking the fabrics. And boy, did I learn a few things along the way that I’d like to share with you.
The success of a machine embroidered applique project is dependent on the visibility of the applique. The techniques shown in the book give the appearance of tediously-applied appliqué or intricate piecing when in fact, they are raw-edge machine embroidered appliqués. If you remember the appliqué fabrics are the star of each quilted block or panel, you’ll have little trouble selecting fabrics.
Contrast in color or value is what will make the appliqués pop. Use the color wheel to help select fabrics.
Complementary colors (opposite on the color wheel) are a tried and true combo. Love the base fabric? Place it on a color wheel and move your eye across the wheel. There’s your applique fabric. This method works beautifully and guarantees eye-catching results.
Analogous colors sit next to each other on the color wheel. They blend beautifully together and help move from one color family to the next.
You can even make a monochromatic color scheme work in this technique. Monochromatic fabrics are fabrics derived from the same color family. The cream, tan and brown colors of My Favorite Bag display a successful monochromatic color scheme.
Next week, we’ll explore how value (the amount of white or black added to a color) comes into play in a machine embroidered quilt. I’ve always had a fairly good eye for color but I really had to focus on value to get the results I wanted. It’s not hard to do, it’s just another element to take into consideration when selecting fabrics.
Do you opt for complementary, analogous or monochromatic combinations? Tell me about your preferences, what color scheme is your favorite and we’ll pick a winner from all the comments. The winner will receive a copy of Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique signed by Nancy Zieman and me! Why Nancy? The book is a part of the Create with Nancy series by Krause Publications and includes a how-to DVD!
“I haven’t done anything yet for my two daughters, but I’m thinking about adding lullaby lyrics to the bottoms of their night gowns.”