The In’s and Out’s of Mix and Match Quilting
The In’s and Out’s of Mix and Match Quilting
Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s blog feature on mix and match quilting. My name is Annie Doar and I am a part of the Creative Team at Anita Goodesign. In the office, I can be found stitching out designs, snapping step-by-step pictures, and writing some of the tutorials and content found in our monthly All Access issues. I can’t wait to show you all more ways to create and have fun with machine embroidery!
One thing we LOVE to talk about in many of our quilting collections is something called “Mixing & Matching,” but what exactly is it? Well, fear not, because I’m going to break it down piece by piece!
The first question to address is “What quilting collections can be Mix and Matched?” You may have noticed that several of the quilting collections we release are labeled as “Mix and Match Quilting” or “Mini Mix and Match Quilting.” These are the collections that are perfectly sized to be used together. Each collection will feature our standard size guide that can be seen below.
You can use this guide to determine the size of the block you need to stitch based on your hoop size, your materials, and how big you want the finished quilt to be. For example, if you only own an 8” x 12” hoop, then you can stitch the blocks that are “A” size and smaller. The larger the block, the larger your quilt will be and the more fabric you’ll need.
Once you’ve determined what size block you can stitch, you can then find the two (or more!) collections that you would like to Mix & Match! Just make sure to use the same size block throughout. If you use the “A” size from one collection, be sure to use the “A” size from another collection so their seams match up. Sometimes there are exceptions to this rule, such as using 4” x 4” quilt collections alongside 8” x 8” quilt blocks, but I’ll go into more detail on that later.
If you scroll through our website, you might see some quilting collections that automatically look good together. For example, our Porcelain Blocks quilt and our China Blue quilt have a very similar color palette and share a similar theme of delicate and intricate floral sprays and motifs.
Combining these two collections is very easy to imagine since the colors pair well together and it will result in a beautiful quilt that is quite stunning, as you can see below!
But now we need to talk about how to Mix & Match two quilting collections that don’t obviously coordinate, and might take a little more legwork to make something brand new. To do this, I’m going to be using the On-Point Flower Print quilting collection and the Porcelain Tiles quilting collection.
If you take a look at the designs included in each collection, your first thought might be “Oh these will never work together!” While they both feature busy, floral motifs, they look more different than similar. The On-Point Flower Print blocks are chocolate-y browns, warm yellows, and reds, while the Porcelain Tiles are bright and bold with almost every color of the rainbow.
A more inconspicuous difference is their size and orientation. As I mentioned earlier, typically you want to use quilt blocks that are the same size, so their seams match up, but pairing these two quilting collections is an exception to that rule. The Porcelain Tiles come in two sizes: 6” x 6” and 4” x 4”, while the On-Point Flower Print comes in five sizes.
To make our Mix & Matched quilt work, I decided to use the 8” x 8”, “A” size block from On-Point Flower Print, and the 4” x 4” size blocks from Porcelain Tiles. This works best with 4” x 4” blocks that have symmetrical patterns because you can just repeat the same block four times to make an intricate 8” square block like so.
Once you’ve turned the 4” square porcelain tiles into an 8” square quilt block, the next thing to tackle is its orientation. The orientation of the On-Point Flower Print designs are turned 45˚ on their points so they look like diamonds, while the Porcelain Tiles are just a standard squared orientation.
Since the Porcelain Tiles are symmetrical designs, you can easily turn it 45˚ so it is on its point as well. This can be done with any block that features a symmetrical and centered design, as you can see in Geometric Fringe Quilt below.
Now that you have the construction of your Mix & Match quilt mapped out, begin to focus on planning your colors and stitching out the blocks you will need to piece it together. Since the Porcelain Tiles have a bright and colorful palette and the On-Point Flower Print blocks have a much more subdued and tonal palette, they tend to clash beside each other. If I pieced the blocks together as they are, the result would be a jarring quilt top with mismatched quilt blocks.
Instead, I decided to stitch the On-Point Flower Print using some fun and bright colors that were used in the Porcelain Tile blocks. I stitched them on the same white base fabric that was used in the Porcelain tiles, then I used various shades of blue for the leaves of the design, and reds and yellows for the floral elements.
The result is a fun new twist on the On-Point Flower Print quilt. You could make an entire new quilt using just those recolored Flower Print blocks, but for our purposes, I wanted to show you just how stunning these blocks are alongside the Porcelain Tile blocks. If you compare the quilt above that has the clashing colors to the new quilt below, you can see what a world of difference coordinating colors make!
Once you’ve figured out the colors, the sizes, and the orientation of you quilt blocks, all that you need to do now it stitch them and piece them together. Mixing & Matching multiple collections is a great way to make a quilt that is personal and just as unique as you are! Take the creativity into your own hands and customize every quilting collection we have to your hearts desire!