How to choose quilt fabrics in five minutes (+ giveaway!)

Quilt designer Kathy Brown admits that choosing fabric for quilts has never been difficult for her. (Envious? I admit it. I am.) All she needs is one fabric—a focus fabric, a blender, or any special fabric that catches her eye—and she’s ready to mix and match until the perfect concoction emerges. What makes fabric selection so easy for Kathy? She heeds her own advice: Take 5.

Kathy’s Take 5 approach is simple: take five minutes, choose five fabrics, and in five hours you can make a quilt top. Over time, she’s stretched the clock for some designs, thrown in a neutral or two for others, and added a touch of appliqué here and there. But the five-fabric rule has stayed the same.

Kathy’s made it easy for the rest of us to Take 5 with 16 new patterns in her latest book, More Take 5 Quilts. If you’re new to quilting, her book is chock-full of patchwork designs for beginners. And if you’re a seasoned quilter who struggles with fabric selection, consider this a how-to-quilt-for-beginners book that will help you master the topic.

I asked Kathy if she had any additional tricks up her sleeve when it came to choosing fabrics to fit her Take 5 quilts. Below are the tips she shared with me.

My Quick Q&A with Kathy Brown

You have an inspiring attitude about choosing fabrics for quilts—that it really can be just as fun as the rest of the process. What tricks do you use when choosing fabrics for your quilts?

Kathy: The main thing I look for is a focus fabric. One you just can’t stop looking at—the one you fall in love with! Once you choose that fabric, everything else will fall into place. Select colors from within the focus fabric, finding other prints that match in color. But make it fun by choosing different textures and types of prints for those accompanying pieces. It’s a challenge for me to see if I can come up with four prints that aren’t only different in color, but also different in type and texture. For example, I might pull a blue stripe, a green check, a red dot, and a batik, but they all coordinate with the main print. I really like my quilts to be a feast for the eyes!

Your quilts are always simple to make, but they never look simplistic. With only five fabrics, how do you keep your quilts looking fresh and interesting?

Kathy: You would think that the five-fabric rule would limit these quilts but it truly doesn’t—as long as you follow a few Take 5 principles:

1. Never put two blocks that look exactly the same next to each other.

2. As you place blocks next to each other in rows, make sure you twist and turn the blocks so that different fabrics play next to each other. It will make your quilt more visually appealing and fun.

3. Never be afraid to use background fabrics to showcase your five original fabrics. You can totally change the look of a quilt by making one simple change in background fabrics. For example, can you imagine how “Connects the Dots” or “Loves Saltwater Taffy” would look if they had black backgrounds?

“Connects the Dots” and “Loves Saltwater Taffy.”

Your Take 5 approach has really taken you places—your own pattern line, your designer fabrics for Red Rooster, and now your quilt books (including the original Take 5). How did your ingenious idea begin in the first place?

Kathy: I started my pattern company, The Teacher’s Pet, in 1994. For 11 years I produced appliquéd and pieced quilt patterns. I was working in my local quilt shop right after Hurricane Katrina hit, helping quilters choose fabrics for quilts that were being made for the Katrina evacuees.

At that time, Yellow Brick Road and Turning Twenty patterns were very popular, and ladies were trying to pull fabrics to make those quilts. I helped quilter after quilter choose fabrics after they became frustrated with trying to “match” 20 fat quarters. It was quite a surprise to me that folks had trouble choosing colors, matching fabrics, and creating groupings, since all of that comes naturally to me. I guess I’d always figured that it was easy for everyone else too.

I thought there had to be a better way to take that stress off quilters. After all, quilting is supposed to be fun! One night, after a long afternoon of helping choose fat quarters, I woke up in the middle of the night with the Take 5 concept. Find your focus fabric; then choose four more fabrics to go with it; then make any quilt you want! That did it. The Take 5 technique was born!

Kathy, we’re so glad the Take 5 concept woke you up in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

So, what’s your story when it comes to choosing fabrics—do you have a trick for choosing just-right combinations? Share your thoughts in the comments and you could win a copy of the More Take 5 Quilts eBook! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. (You can also purchase Kathy’s book here, and if you do, you can download the eBook for free right away.) Good luck!

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing to win the More Take 5 Quilts eBook. The randomly chosen winner is Carol, who said:

“I am just starting quilting so am picking patterns I like and trying to build a usable stash to go with each pattern.  Just looked at my tiny stash and discovered that I have groups of 4 up to 8 either in yards or fat quarters as I look for colors that coordinate. I have learned that I fall in love with patterns and color in fabric just as I have done for years with yarn.”

Carol, we’ll email you a special coupon code for your free eBook. Congratulations!


  • I’m impressed; I’m one of the most indecisive people I know, so can’t imagine picking even one fabric in 5 minutes ;>) No tricks here; I lay them out and rearrange and think and leave it and come back and look at it, and think some more, etc…etc.. Thanks for the chance to win this book; sounds like something very useful for me!

    —Rhonda H. on April 27, 2012
  • I just throw anything on the table with the focus fabric and see what doesn’t "jump off"… Only take away the stuff that fights violently. You come up with some really great (and sometimes unexpected)combinations.

    Leslie in Maine on April 27, 2012
  • I pull everything from my stash that might work and lay it all out together. I look for value, scale of print and how the fabrics I’ve pulled work with the vision I have in my head. It’s makes a huge mess sometimes, but that’s part of the fun.

    —DebrafromMD on April 27, 2012
  • I go by feel. I start with one fabric that I love for the project and the rest just have to feel right. They sort of pick themselves.

    —Glenda on April 27, 2012
  • I put together the fabrics I think will go together, stand back and scrunch up my eyes. Whatever stands out, or seems to REALLY not match, I remove, and substitute with something else. After a few more attempts, whatever remains is IT!

    —Sheila on April 27, 2012
  • I pick the focus color and literally throw one fabric from each of my stash colors down and see what doesn’t scream "NO". Once I have the colors locked in I then use the same technique to choose the shades and prints. Takes maybe 10 minutes.

    —Rina on April 27, 2012
  • I’ve never been able to get it right the first time, or often times 2, 3, or 4 either. I audition then run to a friend with artistic ability.

    —Pat Hersl on April 27, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics that play nice together is one of my biggest challenges in creating a quilt. No wonder my fabric stash looks like a tornado hit my studio! Take Five sounds like a great book!

    —ValE on April 27, 2012
  • I overthink it and take way too long when picking fabric. Take Five sounds like a great solution for me.

    —Beth B on April 27, 2012
  • I could not imagine being able to pick fabric out in 5min. My last quilt involved picking 12 fabrics i went to the fabric store and changed them everytime i went in. This has to bey favorite interview so far!

    —Nikki on April 27, 2012
  • This would be great! I have a very large stash ( the size of a fabric store) and still end up going out and buy some new fabric to make mine! Thanks for a chance to win.

    —Gina S. on April 27, 2012
  • I’d love to be able to "see" my finished quilt when I look at fabrics, but haven’t quite gotten to that point.

    —jane denny on April 27, 2012
  • I have trouble deciding which fabrics to use from a fat quarter bundle, so I think that this is a book I need to add to my quilt library!! 🙂

    —Linda S. on April 27, 2012
  • I pick fabrics in the same method you do. I will often use an inspiration fabric even if it does not make it into the quilt. I feel if you like the colors in a fabric why fix what is not broke… I would love to read more on how you choices work. I think this would also make a great advanced beginner class at a local quilt shop.

    —Kristin M on April 27, 2012
  • I start by choosing a fabric that I love, either color wise, or something in the design that speaks to me. I the audition fabrics that play well together with my choice of focus fabric.

    Barbara Campbell on April 27, 2012
  • I’m so new to quilting that every darn thing looks good to me LOL. I worry that I’m going to go into color overload and end up having a quilt look like the fabric fairy upchucked a rainbow and I quilted it. So far, I’m trying to stick to bundles that someone else decided looked good together before I branch out and start picking my own color combos. My next quilt is going to be for my daughter and I want something with oranges and pinks and that, I’ll probably search for on my own.

    —Michelle H. on April 27, 2012
  • This is always a problem for me to choose fabrics. I tend to put complimentary colors together and use lots of charm squares in a fabric line that I like.

    —Phyllis on April 27, 2012
  • I like to find a line of fabric that has many fabrics within the line that I love and it all goes together. Takes the guess work out for me.

    —Deb Bartlett on April 27, 2012
  • I enjoy looking at fabric at the begining of a quilt but must admit I get a little overwhelmed with the number of possibilities and choices. I do love the way the quilts shown here have a unified and simplified look – not that I am saying they look simple in the way that they are made just a cleaness that I really like. Would love to get this book to see how it all happens. Thank you.

    —Caroline on April 27, 2012
  • If I’m making a scrappy quilt, often I’ll pick the blender fabric first – not the focus, but the color that works as the background.

    —Sally H on April 27, 2012
  • I have a large stash of fabric. So that my quilts don’t all look the same, I select a fabric that I typically don’t use or that has sat in my stash for a long time and begin with that one. With this, my quilts look so different and it is fun to see what I can create.

    —DanelleB on April 27, 2012
  • For small items to be made for use or sale, (runners, placemats) I tend to go with fabrics from the same fabric line,, and use a quiet one from the same line for background.. For more original work, where I want to put more of myself into it, I pick every fabric I have that’s even remotely similar to what I want and leave them on the table for a while, could be days even, adding a subtracting till I get it right.. Definitely not done in 5 minutes..

    —Svanhild on April 27, 2012
  • I tend to stick with desiner’s lines created to go together, boring perhaps but it works, I also love a solid background in white or grey.

    —Loretta on April 27, 2012
  • I tend to have old fashioned views on what "goes together" and find it hard to take a chance.

    Linda on April 27, 2012
  • Kathy’s Take Five method is the one I’ve used to pick fabrics – I just didn’t know it had a name. I think it is fun to pick the focus fabric and then choose the other fabrics to go along. I like to have at one fabric with some dimension to it and one fabric for extra zing.
    Would love Kathy’s book for more ideas.

    —G Britten on April 27, 2012
  • I like to choose what I have in my stash, then design from there.
    Thanks for the chance to win this book, it will be most helpful.

    Carli on April 27, 2012
  • I often work from fat quarter bundles which are easy to match of course. If I’m having trouble, I’ll lay my fabrics out on the floor and go in and out through the day to see what I think.

    BillieBee on April 27, 2012
  • I like choosing fabrics with coordinating colors. I was an art minor in college, so using my old color wheel is a great way to find new combinations and ideas. I tend to lean toward clean lines and minimal patterns, so I definitely want to check this book out! Thanks for sharing!

    Sydney on April 27, 2012
  • I am doing lots of scrappy – so go more by tone than anything else – but for quilts where each fabric will have more impact, sometimes I will put them together and then take a photograph and see how they look in the photo.

    Regina on April 27, 2012
  • i pretty much choose fabrics the same way. a main/focus fabric is first and i really look for others that have different "textures". they will "read" as solid, but each will be unique and have something fun or interesting going on. sometimes the first choice isn’t the final choice, but it’s fun "auditioning" all of them. and no, it takes more than 5 minutes!

    —Lynette on April 27, 2012
  • I pick a focus fabric then struggle through my stash to see what can work with it. Kathy’s method and book look like just the ticket to help me. Thanks for a chance.

    DianeH on April 27, 2012
  • I agree with everything you say. Find that focus fabric and work out from there. I’ve never had trouble picking fabrics. In fact, the opposite is true-I an see a quilt in almost every fabric with the right things to accompany that original focus fabric.

    Selecting the fabrics/colors/textures is my favorite part! Love your ideas and books.

    —Karen Pollard on April 27, 2012
  • I pick my focus fabric or main fabric first & then pull colors from it occasionally I use a color wheel.

    —Pam on April 27, 2012
  • I am someone that has a hard time choosing fabric combinations. I’m told by my daughter that I think too much about it. Since I have a tendency to think too much about everything else, she is probably right. I know what I like and can choose a focus fabric but always worry too much about the ones to go with it. Apparently I don’t have a trick to offer here, I’m more interested in learning more on selecting fabrics. Thanks

    —Joanne O'Neal on April 27, 2012
  • Picking fabrics is so much fun! Love the quilts & your suggestions! Thanks for the chance to win, the book looks great!

    —Bobbi on April 27, 2012
  • I LOVE choosing fabrics! I usually pick a focus fabric, and then just wander around the Quilt Shop or the online store until I find a couple of safe color "matches", sometimes from the same fabric line. Then I try to find fabrics with similar hues that are a little unexpected. I have to admit, sometimes these "out on a limb" choices end up in my stash, but eventually they are used in another quilt. I seem to have a stash full of similar, but not quite right, fabrics.

    —Karen on April 27, 2012
  • I often start with a batik, sometimes only a fat quarter of it, then pull 5 from that start..and remember the focus or "starter" does not have to be on the front of the quilt…it can become the back sleeve of a wall hanging or the "love envelope" label.

    —carol c d on April 27, 2012
  • I’m basically making my fabric choices the way Kathy describes but I still get home and find that I’ve made the wrong choice with one or two fabrics. Not sure if its lighting or what changes how fabrics look together but it’s frustrating when you look at a stack of fabric and the colors and prints seem to go together but you start putting the pieces together, everything changes. Somtimes very scrappy quilts are so much easier! Would love to know a better way, maybe Kathy’s book would help!

    —Chris on April 27, 2012
  • I have always just started with whatever scraps I have on hand, but I would LOVE to have a copy of Take 5! I could use the help choosing fabrics!

    Cynthia Stockdon on April 27, 2012
  • I have to check this book out — it is always a bit of a challenge for me to select fabrics for a quilt! I tend to do scrappy quilts as a result — not as much choosing. I never have a problem finding a focus fabric, it is the others that present the difficulty!

    —Michele Van Epps on April 27, 2012
  • I’ve always done the same thing…..pick a focal fabric then choose fabrics the colors that coordinate. Sometimes I end up with a lot more than 5 tho and have to narrow my pile.

    Sharon Spingler on April 27, 2012
  • Wow– I’m impressed. I really like these designs and I can see my own stash providing most, if not all of the fabric to make them. Wonderful!

    —Jay on April 27, 2012
  • Picking out fabric is and addiction with me…..I simply can’t stop myself!! Looking forward to enjoying this new book!!

    —Rhonda Comalli on April 27, 2012
  • I find a focus fabric then get fabrics that go with that. I’ve never had a big problem with that as I go with my gut feeling and don’t take it to seriously. I do like to see what others have picked for their colors. It’s all fun!!

    —Rose Landon on April 27, 2012
  • I’ve been quilting for 3 years. This article makes me realize I’m on the right tract as I buy my stash fabrics in exactly this manner. My problem is, 2 fold….first how much do I buy? I tend to buy a yard of 4 fabrics and 2 yards of my focal. The second…and the biggest…what do I do with it after it makes it to my stash. At this point it’s sitting, so I need to learn the concept of designing around 5 fabrics. Thanks for the great article.

    —Barb on April 27, 2012
  • HA! Always a challenge. I use my gut feeling or ask my husband who keeps saying he is colour blind but I know otherwise.

    —Pocahontas on April 27, 2012
  • Hi!
    I always start with the fabric that I just need to see in the quilt with at least four different colors – then I just co-ordinate with that focus fabric. I don’t over intelectualize – that always surely kills the quilt and the desire to make it. It becomes ho-hum work and loses the creativity needed.

    Enjoy that process – It will look good when together.

    —Jane on April 27, 2012
  • I love choosing fabric for a quilt; actually that is the most fun part. I usually make my choices, then let them sit and peculate for a few hours or more and check back and see if they need to be adjusted.

    Mary on Lake Pulaski on April 27, 2012
  • i do like kathy, see a fabric that is eye catching, grab two or three fromthe collection that i like, sometimes four, then pick blenders and solids to go with these from my stash. if i find end of bolt pieces for a potential backing in my stash, i put them all together, bag them and put them in my ‘kit’ stash. if i have a pattern in mind i slip that in with them. if i don’t … the kit is there for when i find a pattern.

    ritainalaska on April 27, 2012
  • I often will do it the way Kathy does, starting with a focus fabric. It depends on the project…if it’s for a certain occasion, or holiday, often that will dictate my selection. But starting with a focus fabric, even if you never use the fabric itself is a great way to get going!

    —Nancy on April 27, 2012
  • I am hopeless at picking fabric! I like to think it’s because I have a small stash so not as much choice as I would like, but it’s probably that I have no idea what to put with what. Would love to win this it would help me a lot. Thanks for the chance.

    Linda on April 27, 2012
  • I love picking fabrics, which is why I have a large stash. I pick by seeing what I like & finding coordinating colors. I also like the old patchwork quilts where you use everything that you can lay your hands on, each block is completely different. Would love to win this book. thanks

    —Judie on April 27, 2012
  • I start with one main one like Kathy does as well. I also try to have a variety of lights and darks.

    —Joyce Mosby on April 27, 2012
  • I have a few favorite colors that I seem to use over and over. I need to get more adventurous.

    —Colleen Bartell on April 27, 2012
  • I think I have too many focus fabrics in my stash – I always have to go to the store to get more to go with the one I am working with! This book looks awesome!

    —Laura on April 27, 2012
  • I am just starting quilting so am picking patterns I like and trying to build a usable stash to go with each pattern. Just looked at my tiny stash and discovered that I have groups of 4 up to 8 either in yards or fat quarters as I look for colors that coordinate. I have learned that I fall in love with patterns and color in fabric just as I have done for years with yarn.

    —Carol H on April 27, 2012
  • I try to follow Kathy’s idea of a focus fabric. Once I have that fabric, then I try to pick other fabrics that correspond to the colours of the focus fabric. It usually takes me longer than five minutes unfortunately, but when I’m finished, my blocks tone in very nicely with the focus fabric. Great book, would love to win a copy.

    —Judith Hogan on April 27, 2012
  • Like Kathy I don’t have much problem matching up fabrics although it might take slightly longer than 5 minutes. The colour dots on the selvage of prints can be used to select blending fabrics if it’s difficult by eye.

    —Maureen on April 27, 2012
  • Maureen, what a unique tip about using selvages to select fabrics–I’ve never heard of trying that before. Thanks for sharing your tip here!

    —Jenny on April 27, 2012
  • I love your idea of the dominant fabric leading the way. I also like your focus on the background fabric. It can change everything! So much to choose…so little time…love quilting!

    —Judith on April 27, 2012
  • I choose my focus fabric last and toss. a stack of fabric I want to use in the quilt and somehow the stack of fabrics always compliment the focus fabric. I don’t concentrate on the colors I just go for eye catching colors.Take 5 sounds like fun NOT FRUSTRATION.

    lynne mulcahey on April 27, 2012
  • I basically look for a fabric that is calling to me. Then I coordinate fabrics from that. It’s hard to get out of my comfort zone. Sometimes when I find a fabric really exicting that is not my norm, I really like to continue with the theme of fabrics I’m not comfortable with so I can expand my horizons.

    —Marguerite Namdar on April 27, 2012
  • I spend a lot of time choosing fabrics and I’m usually pleased with the results, but this concept makes me wonder if I’m overthinking the selection process. It would be nice to have this book and to see if I could use Kathy’s method successfully.

    —Lisa Marie on April 27, 2012
  • I usually find a designer line that I love and pick out one for the focus fabric then a few others from that line to go with it. With kids quilts I will pick out one bright and happy print then look for bright solids and a dots or stripes to go with. I sure could use this book for help on being more creative with my choices!

    Kate Brown on April 27, 2012
  • Now that is a cool idea. I wish I would have thought about it. lol
    I usually pick a focal fabric and start picking fabric using it. Sometimes I use that focal fabric sometimes I don’t.

    Carrie P. on April 27, 2012
  • I like to start with my "focus" fabric, whatever jumps out at me first from my private stash of fabrics or, if I’m at the fabric store, the bolt that says, "here I am, the one you’ve been looking for!". From there, I try to determine the accent pieces. I look for 1 dark, 1 light, 1 neutral. I place these next to my focus fabric, and keeping my pattern in mind, ask myself what’s missing. Does it need a medium dark or another dark? A medium light or another light? Another neutral? The fabric seems to tell me the way it wants to go. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway! I’d love to have it for inspiration.

    —Cheryl Sedlar on April 27, 2012
  • I really need help in selecting fabrics for a quilt. Would love a copy of Take.5!

    —Dorothy Smietana on April 27, 2012
  • Having made a resolution to try and use up some of what I have, I usually take a look for a fabric with some drop dead color combinations in it and then see if I have anything that would coordinate with those colors. This usually results in a trip to the quilt shop – so much for my resolution. And if at all possible, I have to add a splash of yellow somewhere as it’s my favorite color!!!

    —Carol Vickers on April 27, 2012
  • I have never had much trouble picking fabrics. One think I have learned for the best picks is to lay them all out in the sun and look at them.

    —Mary Ann Harpe on April 27, 2012
  • I really like using florals and plaids together. I find a floral I like and then try to find a plaid that picks up those colors and mix the two together in a simple two fabric block.

    —Deborah Karyakose on April 27, 2012
  • I, too, use a focus fabric, but I tend to get stuck on a couple of color combinations.

    —Dorene Morris on April 27, 2012
  • Wow! I’ve always been afraid of picking my own fabrics for a quilt I want to make. But with these tips, I’m confident I can do it. Thank you for sharing!

    —ellen on April 27, 2012
  • I love the quilts pictured from Kathy’s new book. Can’t wait to make them.

    As I choose fabrics I like to stand back across the room for a better perspective on how they "read" before making my final choice.

    —Mary Ann on April 27, 2012
  • I love all of the quilts shown here…vibrant showy colors….the tips are fantastic!!

    Marjorie on April 27, 2012
  • I have made one of Kathy’s patterns and it was so much fun and easy. The quilt turned out fabulous and it was donated to a tornado victim in Joplin, MO last year. I use Kathy’s method of choosing color and keep second guessing my choices. I need her help!

    —Cleo on April 27, 2012
  • I don’t have a plan when it comes to matching fabrics, I seem to have the ability to blend them with ease but it can take some time. I am going to try this with the next quilt that I make. I have designed a pattern that I want to try. I already have the fabric but have been having difficulties culling the and choosing their placements even though all of them except the focal fabric are from the same line. This rule of Kathy’s has already simplified things for me and I haven’t even gone back to the fabrics. Already it has just bloomed in my head. Thank you Kathy! I would love to have a copy of your book since I’m sure you have many more tips that haven’t been shared in this short article.

    —CHRISTINA on April 27, 2012
  • I choose fabrics I like for my stash. Then when I want to make a quilt I choose a pattern I like that could use a certain piece then I try to find fabrics that will go with it if I don’t already have ones that go.I have never seen any of the Take 5 books but I think I might have to check them out.

    —Jeanette on April 27, 2012
  • Kathy sounds like a woman after my own heart (and style of quilting, especially our community quilts), so I’d love to have her book. Thanks!

    —Linda E in AZ on April 27, 2012
  • I choose a focal fabric, then I try to match from there. Sometimes I have a difficult time choosing. I’m still learning on how to do this. This book would be a great help to me. Thanks for having the giveaway.

    —Marty Askins on April 27, 2012
  • I learned a lot from Kathy’s first book and would love to own a copy of this one. The quilts I see here are lovely!

    Loris Mills on April 27, 2012
  • I LOVE fabric there are so many choices thus lots of projects on the go all the time. Everytime I go into a quilt shop there are just so many beautiful fabrics so have to make more quilts. I love picking different choices to put together. I have a friend who struggle with picking fabric, which is OK cause I get to go and help, but I know if I win the book she would really benefit to get the confidence to do it on her own. Great idea!!!

    —Rona Lea on April 27, 2012
  • I don’t know that I have a plan. Sometimes it is a collection plus some. Sometimes it just may be several pieces that speak to me. I’d love to add this book to my library. Thanks for the giveaway.

    —Tamie on April 27, 2012
  • I fairly new to quilting and color choices are really difficult for me. I can usually say "no" to something but can’t figure out the definitive "yes". This book sounds like a great read to me.

    —LJ on April 27, 2012
  • I go for bright colors and just go by eye for whatever pleases me. It’s worked so far!

    —Debbie H on April 27, 2012
  • When choosing fabrics for a quilt, I like to choose one focal print, and then pick other fabrics that have the same color scheme— varying types and sizes of prints, geometrics,blenders and a solid or two. I would love to win this book!! It looks wonderful! Thank you for the chance to win! 🙂

    —Gwen Windham on April 27, 2012
  • I pull out at least 15 different fabrics, arrange the piles about a dozen different ways, and even seek advice from my color-blind husband before employing the process of elimination to narrow my choices. I don’t recommend this method.

    Anne C. on April 27, 2012
  • Well I’m sorry to say this is my BIGGEST struggle in quilting. And I usually need some help in pulling it all together. I’ve made some quilts that didn’t quite come out like I saw them in my head… but I’m learning from the great gals in my guild who are always willing to help out a struggler … I’m learning some good lessons from great quilters who don’t mind sharing. I’d love to win your book, because it could be the help I need at home! You make it seem so very easy 🙂

    Lindsay Mattison on April 27, 2012
  • I usually use a picture or painting that I’m attracted to and pick colors from within it; this looks like a great book to read-you can never think about color enough.

    —Deborah on April 27, 2012
  • I really do not like the "matchy matchy" of all fabrics from the same line. I can usually use two of them and then augment with different textures or a color that make the original ones pop. I have such a strong picture in my head for the project that I usually make the fabrics match the picture in my head. Fortunately that means lights, darks, neutrals and one that pulls them all together. Pretty much the same concept as the pick 5 but maybe in reverse.

    —Jennifer P on April 27, 2012
  • I usually have an idea of two or three fabrics/colors and then the rest I just pull and go with what I have.

    —Lee on April 27, 2012
  • I struggle with color choices. I generally buy fabrics on sale so I try to put fabrics together in a scrappy fashion. I would love to learn more about chosing color!!

    —Kathy M Boice on April 27, 2012
  • It seems Kathy and I share the same kinship with colors, since choosing fabrics has never been hard for me. I start with a fabric that "calls" to me and find irresistible. From there I start picking fabric colors in the same tonal range as the colors in the "focus" fabric. Finding different patterns and textures add to the fun. Happy choosing to the winner!

    —Crazy Cuban on April 27, 2012
  • The trIck I use to select fabrics is to also choose a focus fabric and then try to match fabrics to the colors printed in the selvage to make my choices. I also like to vary the types Of fabrics – prints and batiks. I it a narrow "stopper" border around the main quilt and then a larger border with my focus fabric. I also like the look of bias binding with stripes or plaids.

    —Christel Richard on April 27, 2012
  • I don’t have any tricks or tips. Most of the time, I don’t really know if the fabrics I picked go with each other until I’ve made some of the blocks and can see them together that way.
    Thanks for the chance to win this book.

    —Lisa Cox on April 27, 2012
  • depending on the pattern I pick a fabric i know i want to use & go from there

    —linda on April 27, 2012
  • Choosing fabric used to be very difficult, I was overwhelmed every time I walked into a quilt shop. Problem solved by getting a job at the quilt shop!! I love Kathie’s books!

    —Carol Deiber on April 27, 2012
  • The Take 5 concept is so simple, yet brilliant. Many quilt shops have taken notice by offering bundles of five, 1-yard fabrics. Nicely done. I love all the patterns in the new book. Pick me, pick me.

    —Sandi Makowski on April 27, 2012
  • The color registration dots on the selvage are a great place to start. Always have a ‘deep’ dark and a ‘light’ value, as well as visual texture. And, like a recipe, a ‘pinch’ of spice… often a color on the opposite end of the color wheel for contrast. I *love* picking out fabrics and will often offer to help a fellow-customer in a fabric store. All the fun of selecting fabrics, without having to ‘buy’ them; OPM (Other People’s Money). Five is nice, but…

    —Gina M on April 27, 2012
  • It would be great to have some way to help pick out material. That is the hardest thing for me to do when making a quilt. I usually just pick kits that already have the fabrics picked out. Thanks for a chance to win.

    —Jeanenne Nielsen on April 27, 2012
  • I have a fairly good eye for colors. And, I’m not afraid to go bold. Layering the fabrics in various way in the shop works well, but most of the time, I can visualize the way they are going to look. That doesn’t make me all that, that just makes me blessed 🙂

    —Sandi L on April 27, 2012
  • Sometimes I pick fabrics that match colors in the focus fabric. Other times I will use the color wheel as my guide and go with complementary or triadic color combos. And sometimes I just go with what I think looks good. I mean it’s my quilt anyway, right?

    Jennie P. on April 27, 2012
  • I need to learn some good tips on picking fabric!! The pick 5 concept sounds great, and I am going to try it! Wish it just came natural to me, but it doesn’t!!!

    —Pat K. on April 27, 2012
  • Most often I don’t have a problem choosing fabric. My biggest problem is that I have many prints and not enough blenders/simpler designs. I’ve learned to trust my instincts when I choose my fabrics and don’t make do. If I am hesitating to cut then i know I’ve made the wrong choices.

    Joanna on April 27, 2012
  • I can’t say I have a technique or method. Definately challenged at selecting fabrics, so maybe I’ll win. Thanks!

    —jane on April 27, 2012
  • I’m sort of new to quilting and I leave picking fabrics up to someone else. I either buy a bundle that someone else has put together or I go with a charm pack that is coordinated for me. This book would be so helpful and let me branch out amoung different fabric lines and find my own selections. Thnks for the give away!

    —Jacklynn Grimm on April 27, 2012
  • This is exactly why I like fat quarter bundles or a fabric line that is all placed together on a shelf at the quilt shop. Love the pictures that you showed from the book.

    —Jenelle Boxberger on April 27, 2012
  • I have a hard time choosing fabrics. I always have one I truly fall in love with and try to match from there, but i have trouble. So, I try to pick from the same collection of fabrics, and try to choose lights, mediums and darks and vary the size of print. I have a couple of Kathy’s books and love them! Hope I have a chance at winning this one! Thanks so much for the opportunity!

    —Jan staples on April 27, 2012
  • I start with a fabric I love and then just keep putting other fabrics with it until I find the combination that works for me. It can sometimes take hours! I can’t imagine being able to do it in 5 minutes. I would love to win the book. The quilts look gorgeous!

    —Verna on April 27, 2012
  • I do not have a knack for picking out fabrics, I usually follow closely to what the designer uses. The one time I strayed from the designer, I was quite pleased! I read all the information I could find on choosing fabrics, then went shopping! I found a lovely focus fabric and pulled colors from that, then chose a "surprise" color that made the whole quilt "pop"‘ It was a gift for a very good friend and and I was delighted with the results!

    —Sue Sullivan on April 27, 2012
  • When I first started quilting I bought nothing but big fabulous prints (focus fabrics). Six months later while on a "Shop Hop" a friend and experienced quilter pulled me aside for an intervention. She taught me about color value and blenders. Now that I’m six years into quilting, I choose my fabrics with confidence. First I spread my focus fabric out on the floor of my quilting room, then start dropping fabrics that match down on top of it; taking care to fondle each piece and remember when and where I bought it.:)

    —Joan Rodriguez on April 27, 2012
  • I always choose the focus fabric first too~ but sometimes I don’t even use it in my quilt, I just use the colors it has in it. Works for me. Thanks for the fun!

    Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts on April 27, 2012
  • I like to move one space to the right or left on the color wheel, especially when using two color quilts. In other words, when I make a blue and white quilt, I throw in some tertiary colors such as blue purple or purple blue or periwinkle. I find that my quilts sparkle more then when I stick strictly to the blue only.

    —Corky on April 27, 2012
  • Most of the time I go back and forth with my choices- and I try to use as many as I can from my stash, matching up with a new faric line for my focus fabric.

    —SherryM on April 27, 2012
  • Making a sketch of the block is helpful to decide where you want lights and darks. Otherwise I decide much like the author, to begin with a focus fabric. Always make a sample to see if you got it right and take a picture to view from a distance. I’m very curious about this book. Hope I win.

    —Sharon on April 27, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics can be difficult. It is always easier to find lots of medium colors. It is the light and dark ones that are the hardest. I find looking in my garden to find the perfect color combinations helps me a lot.

    —Mye on April 27, 2012
  • I like to look at complete fabric lines and pick from the coloways. But right now I am trying to use from my already overflowing stash. So let the fun begin. I like to lay out the fabrics and then ask my sewing buddies if there is anything that looks out of place. Isn’t that what are sewing buddies are all about. Help and support and sharing their talents.

    —Rita Scott on April 27, 2012
  • I am hopeless at choosing fabric so I just stick to a collection then try to get some blending and contrast all happening at the same time.

    —Rebecca Clarke on April 27, 2012
  • I am currently on a fabric diet (no trips to the quilt store until I use up a lot of what I have!). So I tend to sort by yardage first. What do I have a lot of? I pick out those fabrics and then get out my smaller pieces and audition them one by one next to the more bountiful fabrics. Sometimes it’s frustrating and I’m tempted to go to store to get one more fat quarter that will contribute to a great combination. But so far I’ve resisted and forced myself to be creative. It works!

    —Pam on April 27, 2012
  • I begin with a feature fabric and pull other fabrics from colors in the first fabric. Well…let me correct that a bit. I get the store employees to pull other fabrics! I’m one of those who isn’t very good with colors and pull fabrics that are too matched and end up with a very boring quilt!

    Sue Halter on April 27, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics is absolutely the most difficult part of the process for me…see, I used to be only partly gray. LOL I am so color challenged that I love to use precuts and bundles so that I don’t mess up. If I didn’t, my projects would look like what was left of a quilt shop after Katrina…. not too good. I’d LOVE, LOVE to have that book and learn how to take the frantic out of my color choices!!

    Jacque on April 27, 2012
  • Just love the patterns in this new book…would love to win it…I have the original Take Five pattern and think this is a great idea for we who are design challenged…makes thinks so much easier.

    Gail on April 27, 2012
  • Sometimes choosing fabrics is difficult but I try to match them as best as possible to the pattern. I would love to learn the 5 steps. Thanks for the chance!!

    —Michele T on April 27, 2012
  • Sounds like a great book to add to my collection. You can never have too many books for inspiration!nd although I like "scrappy", sometimes I need something simpler and 5 fabrics sounds like a winner!

    —Linda Pyke on April 27, 2012
  • I just love, love, love this concept. I have the first Take 5 book and am so glad to see another one come out. I tend to like to stick to collections as they play nicely together, but am trying to use from my stash, so Take 5 is a great help.

    —Donna P on April 27, 2012
  • I wish I had a method, I just keep pulling fabric until I find the right piece. Sometimes the choices have to go to the fabric store to get a proper "go together". I guess that says quite clearly that I need Kathy’s book! Thanks for a chance to win.

    Jeanne from Missouri on April 27, 2012
  • I usually start with a pattern and then pick a focus fabric. Then hit my stash that lives in 3 rooms of my house. Sometimes when I’ve pulled out enough fabric I might change my focus fabric because something better has just jumped out at me. If I get in a bind I have my daughter come over and she will pull fabrics that might go better because she has a great eye for color. Would love to win this book, it would really help me use some of my stash so I have room to buy more. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

    —Sher S. on April 27, 2012
  • Love Kathy’s recipe for great quilts. Choosing a feature fabric with four different fabrics with texture and types of prints to compliment the feature is an exciting concept. I have usually used a feature, but do not always chose texture and prints. This method of selecting fabrics will no doubt enhance my quilts and make them more interesting.

    —Loretta Krebel on April 27, 2012
  • I am coordinating challenged, I need all the help I can get:)

    —patricia Hunter on April 27, 2012
  • I first saw a The Teacher’s Pet pattern at the Glass Thimble in Columbus, Ohio. My quilty friend and I fell in love with it. The interview above was great and thanks for giving all of us a chance to win!

    —Kelli on April 27, 2012
  • I’m TERRIBLE at choosing fabrics. I agonize over the process! I try to look at quilts I love and then see what they’ve done to pull fabrics together. I will have to try this take five method. I’ve love to make the process easier and more enjoyable. I love looking at fabric–just not putting different pieces together for a quilt.

    Baye on April 27, 2012
  • I have a great method. I choose the focus fabric and allow my grand daughter Maddie who is 8 and has her own quilting charity called "Quilted hugs from Maddie" chose the coordinating fabrics. Maddie has an eye that must be like yours Kathy as she can pick colors in a flash. I would love to win Kathy’s book to help me keep up with Maddie. (In case you are interested her facebook is )

    —Nancy Moore on April 27, 2012
  • I used to choose a "focus" fabric, then choose fabrics that "went" with it. Now I use a slick color scheme tool that lets me chose complementary, split complementary, etc. colors:
    I am making more quilts using solid fabrics, and this tool makes choosing colors a lot easier, and more fun!

    Aunt Marti on April 27, 2012
  • I am AWFUL at choosing….soooo hard for me to decide….truly do need advice! lol When left on my own, I finally will make decision…and project turns out ok…..

    Thanks for chance to win some "Help!"! 🙂

    —Lori Morton on April 27, 2012
  • I have a problem choosing fabrics and have taken a friend of mine along to help me. She seems to have a better eye then I do when picking out the right fabrics. Sometimes I just go with kits so I don’t have to do the work. I would love to win this book to help me.

    —Elaine S on April 27, 2012
  • I struggle with choosing fabrics that go together, too. I feel I have become a little better over the last few years, but this book would help a lot.
    This was taught to me by my friend, Gail. To help me just focus on two or three fabrics together and tune out everything around, she showed me how to curl up my hand to make a tube shape and hold it up in front of one eye so that I am only looking at where the fabrics come together.
    I also like to look at fabrics in natural light. Some stores have bad lighting and it really makes it hard to see what some colors actually look like. If I am in such a store, I will bring several bolts over by the windows so that I can judge the colors better.

    —Marilyn Snow on April 27, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics has always been difficult for me. My solution…take a friend who’s good at it along with me! Thanks for the opportunity to win this great book.

    —Debra Nelson on April 27, 2012
  • First, I love high contrast and bright, strong colors. If I take the time to piece blocks, I want them to stand out, not blur together. I select a can’t-live-without-it perfect fabric and choose complementary lighter and darker colors in a variety of prints and scales to enhance my featured fabric. When shopping at my local quilt shop, I prefer to make my own choices but sometimes consult with an experienced on-staff quilt maker to tweak colors before making my final selections since she knows the store inventory and often has a terrific suggestion for a zinger fabric I may have overlooked.

    JLouise on April 27, 2012
  • My best method for picking fabrics is to get my husband’s help. He has a great sense of color and is great at seeing how different fabrics will look together.

    —Jamie on April 27, 2012
  • I am "color challenged" and appreciate all the help I can get!!!!! If the owners of my LQS didn’t help me, I don’t know what I would do!

    —Shelor on April 27, 2012
  • I LOVE picking out fabrics…I find one I absolutely love then pull the colors in it…stack them all up and stand back. walk around then come back to it…still love it or keep looking!! Also, quilters are all so friendly and offer comments when they see a stack of fabric together!! Thanks!!

    —Dawn Stout on April 27, 2012
  • I do not have a good color sense, so I usually ask my daughter for help.She can easily pick fabrics and even ones to match those I already have at home. She get them correct without bringing fabrics to the store. I need to see everything together and then it is even hard for me to decide. I usually will do something similar but maybe different colors than the sample pattern.

    —Deb G on April 27, 2012
  • I’m fairly new to quilting. I’ve done a couple of Block-a-Month where the fabrics were already chosen for me, and one where I had help from the ladies at the store. The only one that I truly chose my own fabrics was one I made for my aunt. I saw the red & white polka dot fabric and immediately thought of our pajamas we wore when I was about 6 years old staying at her house. I chose the red with white dots, two white with red dots (one with multi-size dots, one same size dots), solid red, and solid white. I would love to win the book to help me with future choices. Thanks for the opportunity.

    —Kathy C on April 27, 2012
  • I do basically what Kathy does, and start with the focus fabric. That isn’t always the largest scale print or the novelty fabric, or what have you. Sometimes it’s just the one fabric I absolutely have to use, even if it’s a tone on tone. Depending on the pattern, I then either go for complementary or contrasting colors, similar colors in a different tone, print and/or scale, etc. Maybe they are all brights that only look right together because they are all in the novelty print focus fabric. Maybe they are all similar shades of blues and greens and I’m trying for a blended quilt. Maybe it’s a controlled scrappy style and I need all the reds to be similar in color if not scale. Choosing the fabrics is my favorite part!

    —Sharon A on April 27, 2012
  • I usually will spy a fabric that just calls out to me. I will than carry the bolt around the store till I find just the right combination of tone on tones or hand dyes to blend with it and maybe 1 or more from the original collection.

    —Maralyn on April 27, 2012
  • I actually enjoy picking fabrics. I often buy fabrics with no quilt in mind, just because they have to go home with me. I try (try is the operable word here) to keep these finds stored and in view so that when I see a new pattern I like, I can look in my stash and use those babies!

    —Judii Reiss on April 27, 2012
  • If I am making a project that takes a lot of FQs, like a dozen or so, I start with about three pieces that I really like that coordinate and then I build from there laying a new fabric next to the three first fabrics to test how happy they are together. My pile keeps growing from there and I test the new piece against the rest until I have all I need. Very often I will add a couple of extras in case I have second thoughts about any of my choices. I stick as closely as I can to three main colors and maybe a small amount of a more contrasting fabric for a kicker to make the other colors pop.

    I really like the take 5 method and would love to try it out.

    —Dani on April 27, 2012
  • Years ago I decided at the last minute to take a quilt class and didn’t have much time to pick the fabrics. It turned out to be one of my favorite quilts and made me realize it doesn’t take a lot of time to get the right fabrics for the right quilt pattern. If I’m agonizing over the fabrics for a quilt, either the fabrics or the quilt pattern is wrong. I tend to walk away and start over the next day with a different pattern or fabric choices.

    —Lisa B on April 27, 2012
  • It takes me forever to choose fabrics. I look at tons of pictures to see what looks nice together and then hit the shops. Some people are so talented when it comes to coordinating fabrics;I need help.

    Dustyroads on April 27, 2012
  • I so-o-o NEED this book! I have a terrible time picking fabrics. I have a large fabric stash, but I find I don’t have enough yardage of any one fabric. I tend to buy a yard here and there of what I like, and worry about putting it all together later. Obviously, NOT a great plan. HELP ME!!

    —sarah evanko on April 27, 2012
  • Most of the time, I don’t have trouble picking fabrics, although it usually takes more than 5 or 10 minutes! However, when I get stuck, I pull out my secret weapon: my husband! He is great at color.

    —Diane Fields on April 27, 2012
  • I tend to find fabrics that are like the picture on the pattern. I have a hard time visualizing any other combinations. I sure would like to be able to pick some in 5 minutes!

    —Patty Moffitt on April 27, 2012
  • My trick for choosing just the right fabrics that match together is taking my 28-yr old daughter with me when I’m buying fabric. She definitely has an artist’s eye and helps me tremendously!

    Deb on April 27, 2012
  • This book has a couple patterns that really intrigue me. I often find one fabric I can’t live without and will look for others to work in the pattern I have in mind.

    —Marilyn Koestler on April 27, 2012
  • I often look for the dots in the selvages of print fabrics. Those dots are the colors used in the fabric. I use the colors in those dots to help me find fabrics that "go" with the print that I want to use in the quilt.

    Denny on April 27, 2012
  • I find it tough to pick fabrics. I seem to think everything needs to completely match. But when I look at quilts others have made where there are wide variations, they just work. I could really use this book.

    —Carmen on April 27, 2012
  • I find that the fabrics I purchase for my stash tend to go together. Go figure! But sometimes I just love a particular line of fabric, and will make the quilt using only fabrics from that line.

    —Pat V. on April 27, 2012
  • When I’m in the mood to shop for fabric (which is often!) I start by going to my favorite quilt store. I usually select one or two fabrics I can’t live without and then I find a clerk who’s opinion I trust to make suggestions. Works for me1

    —Joy on April 27, 2012
  • My first fabric choice is inspired by a memory or event from my past, (my mother’s love of pansies, my travels to Paris, etc.) From there I find two coordinating fabrics, one outlandish one (very different in texture/pattern/design/color and something I typically would never select as a main fabric). The last fabric is the one I spend the most time with and that is the one that balances or coordinates all the others together. The longer I search for that perfect combination, the more difficult the decisions are. Go with your gut! I love the idea of completing a quilt top in just 5 hours. Would love this book!

    —Cheryl Ludwig on April 27, 2012
  • I can’t imagine this – picking fabrics is the hardest part of quilting for me, this looks amazing!

    Allie on April 27, 2012
  • My method of choosing fabrics depends heavily on what type of quilt I’m making. If it’s a landscape quilt, for example, I don’t rely on "matching" fabrics but rather, I pick fabrics that make a statement but yet play well together. If I’m making a traditional quilt I might take a focal fabric and play off its colors with other yardage. An art quilt might take me in the other direction: choosing fabrics that depict an emotion. With some quilts, I dye or print fabric to express the quilt the best. But I love using older, even "ditzy" calicoes and prints for texture in some quilts. I guess I need this book!

    Tina Rathbone on April 27, 2012
  • Selecting the fabrics is my favorite part of making a quilt! Sometimes I just have a color I want to use, and so I start there. I like to audition a few prints containing that color, then play with go-alongs. I don’t like a "dull" look, so I usually go for happier, brighter colors and use some white to make them really pop! Black can do that too, or a deep purple. Purples and yellows are my absolute favs! I whipped up a quilt top this evening, using oranges, teals, greens, golden yellows, a tiny bit of red and a lot of white. It is gorgeous! I just love playing with fabrics! Enjoyed the interview here.

    —Maeve on April 27, 2012
  • I had to smile when Kathy mentioned helping quilters choose fabrics for the Yellow Brick Road. I bought the YBR pattern shortly after it came out and never used it because I was stymied at choosing the fat quarters to make it. I would probably make a lot more quilts if I felt confident about choosing fabrics.

    KatieQ on April 27, 2012
  • I used to have trouble picking fabrics that work together, then I discovered the COLOR WHEEL. Not only using a color but the gradients of each, you can see at a glance where your focus fabric fits and use that to find your fabrics that match or contrast easily. Eventually your eye gets trained but I still like to take it with me when I fabric shop.

    —Sharon Weibler on April 27, 2012
  • Oh to be able to choose fabrics that quick – what a blessing! It takes me hours, sometimes day, I put this one in and that one, then change my mind, add a couple more, change my mind – you get the picture. I would love to win Kathy’s book to help me stop procrastinating.

    —Joy V on April 27, 2012
  • One of my first quilting teachers taught me this 5-fabric concept for choosing fabrics—-it works! Thanks for the giveaway!

    —Mary Jo on April 27, 2012
  • I love your patterns and your Take 5 book. I can’t wait to see the next one. Colors aren’t my thing but I follow the advice of pick the main fabric and then go from there. It works for me everytime.

    —Chris on April 27, 2012
  • I base my fabric choices on a color and/or theme for the quilt especially if I am making it as a gift. I may have the focus fabric in my stash already and pull more from my stash to coordinate. Sometimes the fabric choice is based on the pattern I just have to make. I have several of those projects waiting to be started and several that are ready to be quilted and the binding added. I love the challenge of creating a masterpiece with fabric and thread.

    —Julie on April 28, 2012
  • Wow…this looks like a must have book for my quilting collection! Sometimes picking the fabrics can be harder than making the quilt itself. Nice to see some different patterns with new fabric collections, really spices things up…love it!

    —Wendy on April 28, 2012
  • I find it easy when picking a focus fabric, then pulling colors and scale from that piece to match up fabrics. The colors are not usually the issue for me, it’s more of a problem mixing patterns and scale. For example, Take 5 Travels East. Using a batik, a small print and such a strong color like black with soft muted colors is very intimidating for me. I would never be able to conceive Travels East on my own, yet how I love the effect and play of the 5 different fabrics together in Kathy’s quilt!

    Patricia on April 28, 2012
  • This concept certainly makes interesting quilts. I especially like the tumblers with the limited color scheme and the lanterns.

    —Linda on April 28, 2012
  • Alot of times I pull several matching fabrics from my stash and then take them to the quilt shop to match more fabrics. I love to put fabrics together. I have surprised a few quilt shop ladies by pulling out a fabric that they didn’t think would work. I have a thing about color matching and just love to browse through a quilt shop for just that right fabric.

    —Paula Coleman on April 28, 2012
  • The take 5 patterns have always been ones to catch my with their simple
    designs and great color combinations. They are so inspirational that I
    have wanted to make more of them, this book seems to be one that would
    do just that. The designers have the great insights to what looks great
    together, so I usually follow their lead.

    —Gwen on April 28, 2012
  • I struggle with picking fabrics. I can pull a few fabrics and then get stuck. Nothing else will seem to look right. I know my problem is that I want everythin to match exactly. I am working on changing that, but old habits die hard. Maybe, if I just concentrate on 5, it will help me feel confident to find more!

    —Donna W on April 28, 2012
  • I love this idea….really takes the pressure off. A limit is a good thing!

    —Nancy Gillard on April 28, 2012
  • I usually take my side multifloral fabric and match the colors on the selvege for the inner block. I am kind of indecisive. I would love a book that helps me pick out fabric quickly. Thanks for the giveaway

    mary on April 28, 2012
  • I often start with one fabric that I love and then I pull fabrics to audition with my glasses off so that I do not focus on the pattern too much, but rather color and value. When I have several candidates, I put the glasses back on to check that I have a variety of scales and that there are no real bloopers like too directional or too girly for a boy, etc. This book looks wonderful!

    —Debra Burgess on April 28, 2012
  • Choosing colors is something that I struggle with, but I’ve found that the most successful combinations are those that made my heart beat faster when I originally put them together.

    —Mo on April 28, 2012
  • I can choose fabrics that look good together but it does take me a lot longer that 5 minutes. I also tend to buy a piece of fabric that I love and later have to pick other fabrics to go with it. This book looks very helpful and I really like the quilts used in it.

    —Shelia W. on April 28, 2012
  • I have been sewing for 50 yrs and have recently taken up quilting. It has really helped my ADD. Mixing colours is very difficult, find it hard, as a result tend to use 2 colours. This book would definately HELP me out of my slump. Love the look of this book.

    —Marilyn V on April 28, 2012
  • My idea for choosing fabrics is to just find colors that I think go together. When I make a quilt and show the fabric to my small quilt group they always tell me they don’t like them. I go with my gut anyway, and when the quilt is done, the tell me they really like the combination and never thought it would turn out so well.

    —Jo on April 28, 2012
  • I learned long ago to choose the focus and then work from there. I think once you can find the perfect focus fabric then the rest comes a bit easier.

    —Cathie in Ut on April 28, 2012
  • I have never been one to make a quilt that is specifically made for a particular room. I just tend to fall in love with a particular fabric first and then the pattern comes next. As to choosing complimentary fabrics, well, I have friends with fabulous taste for that!

    —Darcey Peters on April 28, 2012
  • WOW!! I can’t wait to try both books. I have trouble picking fabric and feel this is going to help. I try to match my colors and this will help me step out of the box! Thanks

    —Pat on April 28, 2012
  • Hmm. Picking fabrics in 5 minutes seems almost impossible. There is just too many wonderful ones out there. The only way I would accomplish a feat like that would be to pick from the same collection. But I always look to add one fabric that sparkles. Would love to have the book to assist me on the task!

    —Sandy spence on April 28, 2012
  • Kathy has a great idea for pulling fabrics together. I love patterns and would enjoy making several of the quilts in her book. I think picking the fabrics for a quilt is almost as much fun as actually making the quilt.

    —Janice in Calif on April 28, 2012
  • Is it really that simple. I have worried over every fabric choice for every quilt i have made. Probably wasted many quilting hours worrying. I will try your method of 5 fabrics and hope for the best, i am intrigued. Thank you for the information and the chance to win. Happy Quilting.

    —Sharon Meyer on April 28, 2012
  • I’m new to quilting. So far I’ve bought quite a lot of beautiful fabric, but I’m yet to start the daunting task of finding specific fabrics for an actual quilt. I love the idea of Take Five – makes perfectly sense and Kathy’s book sounds like a great addition to my craft library!

    Eva | Little Cool Toys on April 28, 2012
  • That book is really something that I need. It takes forever when I choose fabrics for my quilt, table runner or whatever.

    Wivi on April 28, 2012
  • Boy I need all the help I can get when it comes to picking fabric! This looks like it would be right up my alley.

    —Laurie on April 28, 2012
  • I struggle with this but I love Kathy’s concept as well as all of her quilt designs. I have already made 3 quilts from her Strip quilt book and have another planned.

    —Diane on April 28, 2012
  • I would love to learn some additional tricks. If I start with a "focus" fabric from a collection I usually look at the coordinates if they are available. Then I look for fabrics that might be similar to the coordinates but not from the same collection to make my quilt unique. Also, I may look at the focus fabric and ask myself what do I think might be missing? Or perhaps I thin, which color I would like to have more emphasis on in my quilt. Those are my starting off points. Of course I like it when the fabric speaks to me and tells me what to do. I always take more than 5 minutes, but I love to look at fabric and play with different combinations.

    —Karen Eveans on April 28, 2012
  • Wow, Love the quilts and sure hope I win you newest book! I too start out with a focus fabric and go from there. Choosing fabrics also comes easy for me and I have helped several others choose fabrics. I used to work in a LQS and now I volunteer and teach. It seems choosing fabrics is really a challenge for many quilters. Hard to understand when it just comes naturally to me. Thanks for the opportunity to win the giveway!
    Keep on Stitching.

    —Jean B on April 28, 2012
  • I follow Kathy’s advice – pick a fabric I love and then choose several fabrics that I like with it. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Sallie on April 28, 2012
  • I also pick a fabric that I love, one that has different colors in it. If it has the color dots on the selvage, I will use those to assist in pulling the complementing colors, textures and shades for the other fabrics. Many times I will put the "focus" fabric back on the shelf, or use it as the backing. I often make a stack of fabric, and walk away from it to see how it looks from a distance. Even remove my glasses to see how it all blends together. Works for me.

    —Nancy (Cat Lady) on April 28, 2012
  • Picking fabrics in five minutes……nothing short of a miracle. I have more fat quarters than I can count and don’t for the life of me know how to make them blend, show off or dance.

    Looking forward checking this book out, maybe it’s the answer I’m looking for.

    —Debbue on April 28, 2012
  • For me it’s more like five weeks….Thanks Kathy and all of you for useful hints!

    —Inger Martinson on April 28, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics for a new project is the most fun part for me. I lay out several "possibles" on the dining room table. Then as I walk by during the day (or days) I move them around, remove one, add another, play with the combinations and finally make the decisions. No 5 minute process for me!
    I would love to read the More Take 5 Quilts for inspiration and instruction on a better way.

    —Wilma Searcy on April 28, 2012
  • I used to stress about choosing fabrics and decided it wasn’t worth it. Now I do as many do, you included, picking one or two fabrics and then trying several to see what goes best. I can usually come up with enough from my stash, but if not, a shopping trip is necessary. Darn! LOL

    —Maureen Flax on April 28, 2012
  • I love take 5. What could be easier! Take a focus fabric and pick 4 fabrics to go with it! I have done so many of these and it has taught me a lot about color and value! Quick and fun quilt to welcome a new baby or a graduation gift! We just got the new book in our local quilt store and I love it! Can’t wait to get a jelly roll and some companion fabric to make some of the patterns out of there! I am on a precut kick and love how some of these would work with precuts such as jelly rolls or Bali pops! Look forward to making some of these quilts! Awesome!

    —Danette R on April 28, 2012
  • It takes me forever to pick fabrics for quilts. I need to try some of these great tips.

    —Ginger on April 28, 2012
  • Wow! no joke?, 5 fabrics in 5 minutes and a quilt in 5 hrs. Takes me more than 5 mins. to pick 1 fabric………more like an hour per fabric in the long run. Then to choose the ones I want in my quilt? Whew , hours and sometimes days to get’em right.
    I sure would love to win her book. Maybe then I could make more than a few a year, choosing the colors are my biggest stumbling block.
    Shari W.

    —Shari Wildschutte on April 28, 2012
  • I liked Kathy’s idea re: Take 5 when choosing fabric. I’m not sure I could take just 5 minutes. I basically choose a fabric with colors I’m drawn to.The focus fabric has to have many other colors that I can pick from & develop a pleasing palette. The secondary fabrics have to be varied in print size, color, hue, and add just a bit of splash in the bright catergory.
    Thanks for the give away chance to win!

    —GG on April 28, 2012
  • I usually have a basic colour I want to use ,but that depends on whether I can find that colour of course,usually I can ,I remember a litle rhyme my friend told me when I started patchwork "Every fabric needs a friend "and try to apply that ,but still find it hard certainly more than "5 minutes " to choose colours as I have not been doing patchwork many years .Need all the help I can get.

    Anne Marland on April 28, 2012
  • I pick a focal fabric that I love. Pull colors out of it for the other fabrics, plus I try to have a place to rest your eye that isn’t busy.

    Elise Shaw on April 28, 2012
  • I love pulling a focus fabric and then matching 4-5 secondary fabrics to go with it. Most of the time I will pull sets of 2-3 different colorways to see which I like best. Sometimes I think it’s just the process of taking an idea and making it my own that is the most fun.

    —Connie on April 29, 2012
  • Even though I’ve taken classes on color, I still stress about choosing fabric for a project. I envy those to whom this comes easy. I’m sure that this book will make the process more enjoyable for me…and others. Thanks for the chance to win it!

    —Donna on April 29, 2012
  • I choose the pattern, then the color story & then what says take Me first!

    —Joey Mahieu on April 29, 2012
  • Picking fabrics used to stress me out….and I would usually go with what sales clerks in the quilt shops suggested. I am starting to be more confident in my own choices….but I can use all the help I can get!! Would love to try the Take 5 method!!

    —Barbara Spurr on April 29, 2012
  • I love choosing fabrics, although I often agonize over getting my choices just right. I agree with Kathy that choosing a focus fabric is the best place to start. After that, I keep trying options until I find a combination that works together.

    —Julie in GA on April 29, 2012
  • I seem to spend ages choosing fabrics. I put thelikely candidates over a chair on the landing and look at them every time I pass, adding some and subtracting others until I’m finally ready to start.

    —Gloria on April 29, 2012
  • I really have a hard time choosing fabrics so…any help is appreciated! I love the lantern quilt! I would really like to make one of those!

    —Brenda Hulsey on April 29, 2012
  • I find a focal fabric first, then look for smaller prints or tone on tones in colors in the focal fabric. I try to have one stripe in all my take five quilts, also. It helps to have the movement. I’ve made about 12 of the sweatshirt jackets using a take five pattern, and everyone loves them!

    —Cathy Ferrera on April 29, 2012
  • I audition the fabric I want to use on the background I have chosen on my bed. I choose sunny days so I can get the best light on the fabric to see how well they look on the background. With three windows providing sun light I also use a hand held make-up mirror to look into to see how everything looks together. I position the mirror at an angle so I can look into the mirror with the bed over my shoulder to get as much of the background fabric and the folded audition fabric as possible. It helps with those difficult choices that look almost right until you see them in the mirror.

    —Carole Plourde on April 29, 2012
  • I love the scrap quilt look; so when I’m choosing fabric, I will choose my color theme. For example, purple, teal, rose, and warm tan for the base. If the purple is to be in the dark range; I will pull all the dark and medium purples from my stash. If the teal is to be in the middle range; I will also include some darker teals and lighter teals. If the rose is to be in the light range, I will include some medium rose fabrics. For the warm tan base fabrics; I will include all warm tans, including some that could almost be considered peach, yellow or pink. I will also allow some slightly cool tans. I then spread out each group of colors in a row. If any do not look right, they are removed.
    If I have to shop for additional fabric, I will staple a small sample of each of my choosen fabrics to an index card. It is much easier to find a fabric within your color range than to try to match one particular fabric.

    —Elizabeth P. on April 29, 2012
  • If I’m not making scrappy quilts that use lots of fabrics, I like a simple process similar to Take 5. I love to begin with my favorite colors and using variations of those colors coupled with an interesting pattern usually gives me satifying results. When I work with fabric patterns and colors that I love, the process becomes much more fun. I use colors, etc. that are outside the box for me when I make quilts for gifts and charity, which satisfies the need for variety.

    —Shirley on April 29, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics has always been the hardest part of quilting for me. The idea of choosing and using only 5 fabrics sounds like a great way to simplify the process. It occurs to me that this would be a fun way to challenge myself to finally use the fabric I’ve been stashing for years because I couldn’t decide what to do with it.

    —Robin Buerk on April 29, 2012
  • When choosing fabrics, I often choose what I think I will use and let it lay on the worktable overnight. When I am in a store – I typically go with my first choices and take 1 more peice as a maybe. I leave these on my worktable overnight and if they still look great to me in the light of the next day – it’s ready to cut and quilt!

    —Donna Rowe on April 29, 2012
  • For me, choosing the fabric is the hardest part of the quilting process. I can sort of "see it" in my head but, when it comes to actually doing it…
    I am thankful for fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm squares, takes away the decision making process for me. Thanks for the chance to win a great book! Good luck, Everyone!!

    —Dawn Hollingsworth on April 29, 2012
  • I always find a focus fabric that grabs me and I can’t leave the quilt shop without buying at least 2 yards. Then I like to run it through my stash and if nothing works THEN I go back and see what clicks. My stash is way to big to ignore, especially when your on Social Security!

    "Happy Quilting"

    Linda Janovitz on April 29, 2012
  • Sometimes quilts are "missing something". I often add more of a dominent color to add consistency, then add a small amount of totally different color(s) to add punch and sparkle. I sprinkle this different color or texture (or both) here and there across the quilt in unexpected places to make the eye dance across the quilt. If I have made it interesting to the viewer, I feel I have accomplished my goal of adding that special something to my quilt. I guess it is a bit of "feels right" in chosing fabrics for a project. This can be planned when chosing fabrics at the quilt shop, and I have done it from my available stash at midnight. What feels right is what usually ends up in my quilts.

    —Sharon on April 29, 2012
  • The focus fabric is something I just LOVE and then I start stressing as to what I have on hand that could possibly play nicely. OR I run off to my favorite quilt store, again and raid her shelves for the right companions. Your book of solutions sounds like just the therapy I need to DE – STRESS and be done picking in 5 minutes….

    —Sylvia on April 29, 2012
  • My secret for picking fabric for a quilt is to resist being too "matchy-matchy". Don’t use only fabric from one line, for example. Go a shade darker or lighter than the color I’m aiming for. And turn the bolts on their sides, so I see a smaller section, which is usually closer to what will appear in a block.

    It sounds like there is a lot I can learn from this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    —Beth on April 30, 2012
  • I start with a focus fabric too, and then I try to pull out a color that isn’t in my usual palette, iin order to make it more interesting to work on. I love the challenge of picking just the right fabrics to enhance the focus fabric.

    —Audrey on April 30, 2012
  • I love sticking with one line of fabric because I know they will coordinate and I won’t overthink it. My problem is actually cutting up the fabric because I often think it won’t look the way I imagine it once I’ve put it together. I need books and patterns to help me visualize where the strong components need to be placed for most effective results.

    —Deb C on April 30, 2012
  • I have always had trouble deciding on colors and this book sounds like it would be a great help for me. You are never too old to learn new tricks, and this would save me from asking my daughter to pick the colors. Thanks for writing this book.

    —Roberta B on April 30, 2012
  • I also start with a focus fabric, then try to choose a nice variety to mix in! The quilts from your new book are marvelous!

    —carol broughton on April 30, 2012
  • I find I often choose a print I love and then find coordinating fabrics in colours within the print. Thanks for the chance to win this book, it looks aweaome!

    —Susan on April 30, 2012
  • I really don’t have a method other than picking my fabrics and pondering over them for several days. This book sounds like it would fit my needs tremendously.

    —Joyce O. on April 30, 2012
  • I usually use the same method as Kathy – pick a focus and then use the colors in it to choose the rest, varying size and texture of the prints.

    —Sandi on April 30, 2012
  • I’m new to the quilting world & the only quilt I’ve done was a coin quilt with scraps. I figured it didn’t matter if they didn’t really match because of the kind of quilt & if I messed up it would be a big waste of fabric. But it turned our really well! I need advice on how to pick fabric for quilts, as it takes me forever to match 2 fabrics for making bags… 🙂

    —Carla G on April 30, 2012
  • I try to apply what I’ve read about using the colour wheel, scale, and value. I put the fabrics on my design wall and step back to view them. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

    —MoeWest on April 30, 2012
  • I’m color judgment impaired when it comes to selecting fabrics. So, what does one do when there is a decades long quilter in the house? I ask my mother for advice. She just has "an eye for color." I would love to win this e-book so can develop my color sense, as well as sense of scale and value.

    —MarciaW on April 30, 2012
  • I take my favorite fabric and surround it with fabrics I think work. I will often walk away from the kaos and come back with a fresh eye to determine what is pleasing and delete the zinger fabrics. Then, when all else fails, I will phone a friend and get some help! I would love this book. I have done several take five quilts from earlier books. Brilliant formula!

    —Yessant on May 1, 2012
  • I start with the colours that I like and then try to add other colours or patterns that look good with those. And if all that fails I go to my favourite quilt shop and ask them. They have never suggested something that I don’t like yet – they listen and really know their stock and what works well together.

    —Mhairi on May 2, 2012
  • How do I choose fabric for a quilt? First I look through my stash and see what looks interesting. Then I use the "willy-nilly" method and choose what I think looks good together. As you can tell, I really need this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    Hilachas on May 2, 2012
  • How liberating to only have 5 fabrics; I nearly always just choose fabrics from a collection, that way I know they coordinate, but I’m going to try the take 5 approach next and see how it goes. Thanks

    —Karen on May 2, 2012
  • What a fantastic concept – I would love this book to begin using the fabrics that I’ve collected but have been afraid to start. I’ve sewn for most of my live but making a quilt has really frightened me to the point that I’m afraid to start even cutting out pieces. Worst part is my husband wants to learn how to quilt and expects me to teach him. This book may be my savior. I love working with color and finding one focus piece and then four other pieces would be something that I’m very good at. Now just to find the right pattern!

    —Joyce Carey on May 2, 2012
  • I try to balance color, value, and scale when picking fabrics – but balance ‘how’ depends upon the quilt, the fabrics, and my mood!

    —Deb on May 2, 2012
  • Choosing fabrics is challenging for me. I do use the little fabric dots of color on the selvedge to help select the right fabric for a project. Those dots help to make color choices more accurate.
    And I really like the "Take 5 Travels East" quilt. Just lovely!

    Bonnie on May 2, 2012
  • Oh wow!! Color is my bug-a-boo! I hate selecting colors for a quilt, even though I have a mental picture of how I want it to look. I am looking forward to learning more about this "Take 5″ method. It sounds like it is just what I need!!!

    —Dell Martinez on May 2, 2012
  • I like to put fabrics together and see what they look like. I don’t use any science or colour theory at all – just what looks nice to me.

    Janet on May 2, 2012
  • "Take 5″ what a concept!

    —C Gaile Jenkins on May 3, 2012
  • I too, love choosing fabrics but can sometimes find it very frustrating. I usually get into trouble when I begin finding ‘too many’ fabrics that go together. That is why I like the idea of the "Take 5″ method… if someone or something (like a specific pattern) doesn’t stop me, I just keep selecting.

    —Susan B. on May 3, 2012
  • I goes with the color! Especially my favorite color!

    —Hueisei on May 4, 2012

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