Back to School Blog Hop Day 19- How to Put Some Sparkle In Your Fabric Pull, Part Deux!

BTS 19 Jessica Darling

Hello everyone! When my good buddy Sam Hunter asked me to be a part of her Back to School Blog Hop, I couldn’t say no! Not even a hurricane could stop me from dropping some knowledge on ya.

One of the questions I get asked most often is about how I put color together. I decided to focus on something that I think is widely ignored in our community- value! Not just our own personal value, but the color value of your quilt. In my 16 years as a longarmer, I’ve seen more quilts than I can tell you- thousands, at this point- and many of them were wonderful but lacking in that certain je ne sai quoi. It’s because the quilter used colors that were all predominantly in the same value.

What is value, you may ask? It is the scale of light to dark within your color palette. Each quilt is unique, and sometimes it’s ok to use colors in the same value to make a particular statement, but I find the quilts that are the most interesting have some combination of light, medium and dark, or light to dark for stark contrast.

One of my favorite quilts of all time to make is Tower Bridge by Villa Rosa Designs. I might be slightly biased, since I am a designer for VRD, but this age-old barn raising quilt is a phenomenal study in value.


If you look closely at the Half Square Triangles, notice that I paired lights and darks, but they don’t necessarily coordinate by themselves. When you see the bigger picture, though, because I chose such stark contrasts, the quilt has a fabulous optical effect and it draws your eye deep into the quilt. I’ve also done this quilt in purples and golds- two colors I wouldn’t necessarily put together, but because of the huge difference in light and dark, the unnatural pairing looked like a match made in Heaven!

I challenge you to reach outside of your comfort zone and find a pattern that you can use to play with value. Sometimes simple patterns, when using the right fabrics, can yield stunning results!

If you’d like to gain more skill sets, join the rest of my friends on the Back to School Blog Hop! I guarantee you will learn something new with each post, and maybe you’ll find new quilters to admire!

Day 1 – August 15 – Sam Hunter: How to spray baste a BIG quilt –

Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting –

Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling –

Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine –

Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle Freedman: Machine throat plates –

Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching –

Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo –

Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique –

Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around –

Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines –

Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips –

Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children –

Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution –

Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric –

Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam –

Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread –

Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots – www.

Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1) –

Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2) –  <——–you are here!

Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?! –

Day 21 – September 4 – Robin Koehler: Tips on how to travel with handwork –

Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs –

Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room –

Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine –

Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch –

Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding –

Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro –

Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips –

Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips –

Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them –

Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué –

Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting –

2 thoughts on “Back to School Blog Hop Day 19- How to Put Some Sparkle In Your Fabric Pull, Part Deux!

  1. Glad you are safe! Value is sooo important. Many quilters try to be too matchy matchy and miss out on the interest/sparkle of contrast. One of my fav. quotes about fabric picks is from the late great Mary Ellen Hopkins – “you are not getting dressed”


  2. Pingback: Machine Bind Your Quilts Like a Pro – Sarah Goer Quilts

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