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How to use that Fun, Large Print?

Do you have any fabrics in your stash that are super cute, but you have no idea how to use them? 

This is SUPER common. We see these cute, large-scale prints at the fabric shop and just have to have them because they are too darling to pass up. But we get them home and never end up using them.

How do I pair other fabrics with this one in a way that helps it to stand out and not look too crazy?

Take this fun fish print here. It is large in scale with a lot of negative space

 

Choose the Right Quilt Pattern

Fabrics like these look great with quilt patterns that have some large pieces, whether it is blocks, a wide border, or a larger appliqué piece. Choose a quilt pattern that will help them to stand out and where you don't need to chop up all these sweet fish to bits!

 

Play with Scale & Common Colors

Now in order for this cute print to really stand out, I may not want to bring in other large-scale prints, since they may distract from it. 

So, if your goal is to allow this print to be the star of the show, we need to bring in some back-up dancers & stage decorations: i.e. we need some medium, small-scale prints, and perhaps one or more solids or nearly solids. 

And if we choose fabrics that have colors found in the original print, we'll create a lovely, harmonious backdrop, really allowing our original print to stand out. 

 

Consider Negative Space

Since the fish print has a lot to negative space (a white background), you may want to be deliberate with how many other fabrics will also have white backgrounds. You may want to include several fabrics with a colored background (or solids) to create those color blocks in your quilt (which define the design of your quilt pattern) and add weight to your palette. 

Using all or a lot of fabrics with white backgrounds isn't wrong, but it will leave your quilt design undefined. The edges of your blocks will visually run together and create a softer, scrappier look. Which may be exactly what you're going for, just be intentional with them. 

 

If you'd like to dive deeper into color, we have a full Color Curriculum inside Meander. It will take you from unsure or insecure with color to a master! Click here to learn more!

 

Alright, I'd love to hear from you! Do you have any prints laying around in your stash that you're not quite sure how to use? What is your favorite way to use big, fun prints like the fish? Leave a comment below!

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19 comments

  • I enjoyed reading this but something that would really help is to see several quilts using those fabrics. You may not want to invest the time and materials to do that, isn’t there a quilting app or program that can make it visually happen?

    Pat Rauh
  • I do draw my colors from the palette of the large print (usually a floral for me) then try to find a small or medium polka dot, a small or medium floral and a small or medium stripe, check or plaid, along with a solid white or color depending how it looks together. Typically the small or medium fabric prints are two or three colors that don’t introduce another color to the palette of the large print.

    Denise
  • I do draw my colors from the palette of the large print (usually a floral for me) then try to find a small or medium polka dot, a small or medium floral and a small or medium stripe, check or plaid, along with a solid white or color depending how it looks together. Typically the small or medium fabric prints are two or three colors that don’t introduce another color to the palette of the large print.

    Denise

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