The OBW technique creates a hexagon shape with a kaleidoscope effect. Not every fabric will create an interesting grouping of hexagons. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect fabric for your quilt.
There are several things you will need to consider:
- Limited Colors
- Large scale design features
- Potential for Movement
- Length of Repeat
Here is another fabric with limited colors.
Your quilt will have areas of dark blue, light blue and then areas of the cream with blue accents.
The fabric above will result in a quilt similar to one of the examples in the book. Most of your blocks will either be light purple, or dark purple. Some will have a little of both, then you will also have some green blocks from the leaves.
If you were to use it, you would have small areas of purple, teal, white, lime green, pink, and a lot of hexagons with a little of each of those colors.
This fabric might be OK. You will have quite a few hexagons that are orange and pink, but plenty that are mostly red.
This paisley print is limited in colors and large scale, but the areas of color are too mingled to be dramatic. Remember those 3.5 inch triangles? They would all be brown and teal. You might have some interesting lines created by the hexagons, but you won't have any dramatic changes in color.
This fabric has limited colors and they are high contrast. The result will be a quilt with hexagons that are either the dark red, or pink, or bright white and pink. Your quilt can transition from dark red, to bright pink, to light pink. The gray from the leaves would just be an accent color and likely distributed throughout the quilt.
This fabric has a more subtle change in contrast because it is all blue, in varying hues.
You will have some hexagons that are white or light blue, then some with the darker blue. Transitioning the change in hue across the quilt will be interesting.
This fabric has very limited colors and is high contrast. I think the tricky part will be having enough hexagons that are equally black and white (like where the leaves are) to make the transition from mostly black hexagons to mostly white hexagons.
*** Consider how Scale and Contrast work together **** Remember, 3.5 inch triangles.
Likewise, this Asian print will have beautiful movement thanks to the wings of the birds.
I would have chosen this fabric for my own quilt for this QAL, but I don't have enough of it! :(
Consider this fabric:
It is limited in color, large scale, and the palm fronds would fan out and make nice movement in the blocks. But what about those tree trunks?
Additional fabric options
Here's the thing, you don't have to follow all or any of the tips above. It is your quilt. You might have a fabric that is calling to you and skips a few of the suggestions above. Does that mean that your quilt will not be interesting? NO, it does not! There were several quilts in the gallery section of my OBW book that didn't seem to follow the rules above, and they turned out lovely.
I myself am going to experiment a tad with my own QAL quilt. Here's the fabric I have chosen (from Joann's BTW).
It called to me. It has a few more colors than I would suggest. And since the scale and repeat is not as large as I think it should be, I will likely cut smaller triangles than the pattern calls for. I will see what happens. This is supposed to be fun, after all!