Quilting Happiness Forest Path Quilt Pattern + Color Tips

on September 23 | in Books, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 109 Comments

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Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration, and Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful, co-authored by Diane Gilleland and Christina Lane, includes a collection of quilt projects, blended with creative exercises, quizzes, tools and interviews to help you explore how quilting makes you happy.

Published by Potter Craft, this gorgeous book offers twenty projects including lots of beautiful new quilt designs. You can make your own “Plus You” Quilt or explore your favorite parts of making a quilt; the book features all sorts of things– lovely designs, pretty new trends– on our minds lately (plus quilts!, your favorite quilting tasks, etc.)! Don’t miss the Quilting Happiness site for lots of behind-the-scenes looks at the book, free quilting patterns and more.

From the publisher:

    Quilting Happiness is an inspiring collection guaranteed to encourage quilters to enhance and expand their quilting experiences in new and innovative directions. Each step-by-step quilt project is accompanied by a wealth of valuable advice, creative exercises, profiles, and fun sidebar elements.

    Quilting Happiness will motivate all levels of quilters to get more from their craft. Whether you quilt in order to play with patterns, to make art, to craft for others, or to join a growing community, you will discover more meaningful reasons to love quilting.

To celebrate Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration, and Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful, Christina created a special Forest Path Quilt Pattern just for Sew Mama Sew readers!

In her post below she shares her thoughts on how to select fabrics and colors that work well together in a quilt. Christina has some great resources for you and then you can download her Forest Path Quilt Pattern too!

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win a copy of Quilting Happiness: Projects, Inspiration, and Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful. What gives you joy when it comes to quilting?

Choosing fabrics in quilts can be a daunting task. For me, it is by far the least favorite part of making a quilt. I know what I like, but translating that into the quilt from my fabric stash is a stressful process. I have been known to use whole lines of fabric to make a quilt, because everything coordinates and it makes my job easy. There are times, though, when I want that scrappier look. Each of the quilts in Quilting Happiness was carefully thought out and agonized over. A lot of the quilts use lines of fabric, for example the Odds & Ends quilt is Miscellany and the Can’t Help Myself quilt is Good Folks, but there are a few quilts that mesh different lines together to get just the right look.

The Time Stands Still quilt is one example of a quilt that I pulled fabrics for from my stash. The fabrics I used were not my first pull of fabrics, and I had to consult with a friend several times to make sure my choices were working well together. Sometimes having that second opinion makes all the difference. We touch only briefly on color in Quilting Happiness, but what we do have to say is something I rely on quite a lot– take a picture of your fabric selections before proceeding. There is something about having a photo of all the fabrics together that has you seeing the stack more clearly. Especially if you have a few variations of that stack you are deciding on.

Aside from having a color-savvy friend and my camera on hand, something I rely on greatly for color choices is my computer. Almost every quilt I render ends up made in the same colorways it was designed in. In Quilting Happiness, along with the photos of the quilts, there is a full color diagram of the completed quilts in solids, and those solids are, for the most part, how I originally designed them. Most of the time I don’t start designing until I have a visual representation of the colors I like. So, if you are like me, I have some tools to share with you for making the job of finding colors easier.

I mostly use the tools on my computer, but the internet has some great resources I turn to from time to time. Kuler is by far the best color picking program I’ve ran across yet, and it’s free! It’s so easy to move the color picker around and choose colors I like all at random, or a collection based around one color I like. I can also upload a photo and have it populate a collection based on their preset themes.

In the above screen shot I used a photo of some succulents that had a great set of colors (found here). I started with the “Neutral” theme and then moved a few of the dots around for a custom color palette I was happy with. Having a set of colors that I feel works well for a quilt, I can now try them out in my quilt block.

Two great programs for plugging colors into shapes is Threadbias’ Quilt Design Tool (which is free to play around with) and Google Drive’s drawing option (under the Create button, choose “Design”). Threadbias makes it easy to add fabrics to your stash, so once you have colors you like you can find fabrics to use, or you can simple plug in the HEX value of colors. (If you “Edit” your saved color theme in Kuler, you will see the HEX and RGB values.) I also utilize the color grid option on retail fabric websites these days, to help me at least narrow down my choices if I’m buying fabric for the project.

Before I settled on the custom pallet, I tried out the other options that Kuler gave me to see what worked best for the block. Even if you don’t choose to use something like Threadbias to help you with coloring, color pencils and graph paper can give you an idea of how your choices will work in a finished block.

Once I have an idea of how the fabrics will work with in a block and a quilt as a whole, I will start selecting my fabrics. I find the best way to approach this is to just start pulling all the prints and solids that are within the range of colors I’ve chosen to render my diagrams with. Usually, once I have them all pulled I start to see how they work together and can eliminate or go forward. Sometimes I make a block and hate it, so I just start again with different fabrics. It’s never a definite thing, there’s a lot of trial and error sometimes.

If you are like me and struggle with color and fabric choices, I recommend you give these tools a try and I have a great block to try your fabrics out on. It’s quick and simple and is a great way to play around with colors.

Enjoy the Forest Path Quilt and don’t be afraid to play with color, especially when you can play with it digitally before cutting into your precious stash of fabrics.

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109 Responses to Quilting Happiness Forest Path Quilt Pattern + Color Tips

  1. Lisa says:

    I like how versatile quilting can be. I used to think it was just for blankets, but it is so much more. It can be especially fun to make bags this way.

  2. Katy says:

    I love knowing that my loved ones are snuggly in something I made 🙂

  3. Jessica w says:

    I love the colors you chose

  4. I love playing with color and working on my skills! Looks like a wonderful book.

  5. Melanie C says:

    I find quilting to be relaxing at the end of the day. Love just hearing the hum of my sewing machine!

  6. Chris says:

    I love the smiles on people’s faces when they receive a quilt.

  7. linda says:

    looks like a great project!

  8. Alli says:

    I’m happy when I think about my friends and family using the quilts I make. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. craftytammie says:

    I love cutting up fabric and playing with the pieces. And chain piecing. It’s so satisfying to feed a bunch through the machine at once. makes me smile!

  10. Emily says:

    Color choice scares me too! I don’t feel very confident about it, but these ideas might help! Would love to win a copy of the book…

  11. sorahart says:

    Ha ha, picking fabric for a quilt is my favorite part!

  12. Karen Funk says:

    I love cutting the fabric in the many shapes and sizes then sewing them back together in a lovely design. I keep coming back to Sew Mama Sew for great quilting and sewing ideas. Love it all.

  13. Lisa says:

    The book looks really helpful. Thanks for the giveaway, and the site to visit!

  14. would love to win, thanks

  15. Taryn O says:

    I really enjoy the time I get to sit down and hand stitch a quilt, especially something like echo quilting. There is something so relaxing about it!

  16. shawn says:

    The book looks like it has a lot of fun stuff in it. I like seeing the design come together.
    smjohns63 at yahoo dot com

  17. Audrey says:

    I love watching fabric meld together to become a treasured piece (and yes, sometimes one that needs to be “stored”!!)

  18. Elizabeth Jenkins says:

    I love watching a project come together but I get the most joy out of sharing a finished quilt with someone else who will enjoy and appreciate the love I’ve put into it. This book will help me continue and enhance this experience. Thanks.

  19. Elizabeth Jenkins says:

    Quilting helps me quiet my mind and spirit and just enjoy the beautiful fabrics as they come together into a wonderful quilt. But I receive the most joy when I share a finished quilt with someone else for them to enjoy. This book looks so inspirational. I know it would help me with my quilting experience in so many ways. Thanks!

  20. Gina says:

    Thank you for sharing advice, especially regarding the use of Threadbias’ Quilt Design Tool. I must take time to experiment with it.

  21. Sangeetha says:

    Love this post very insightful and taught me a lot about color choices


  22. Tamara says:

    I really enjoy piecing a quilt top especially when my seams line up just right! Looks like a terrific book!

  23. Mandi says:

    What gives me joy? Giving my homemade creations to others!

  24. consuelo says:

    Looks like a really great book on quilting! thanks for the chance to win!

  25. What fun block! That is what gives me pleasure in quilting: creating!

  26. Lisa says:

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. Lisa says:

    Great article! Hope I win, LOL. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Darci says:

    Never heard of Kuler. Thanks for the tip.

  29. Diane says:

    Thanks for the great tools and tips. I struggle with fabric selection. I’ve only made one real quilt so I’d say the thing I loved most was finally finishing it and having it survive the wash afterward. 🙂

  30. Jayne says:

    Beautiful book! It needs to be on my shelf so I can learn some new things! Hope I win it…or buy it!

  31. Yan says:

    I don’t do it often enough, but hand quilting makes me happy.

  32. FoxStitch says:

    My favorite part is planning the quilt. For me, focusing on a project lets all my other worries fall away!

  33. Sue D says:

    I love pulling fabrics from my vast stash and then if needed, shopping for additional fabric online.

  34. Dawn Larimer says:

    Amazing how such a simple pattern can look great so many ways!

  35. Amy Lehman says:

    I’ve never made a quilt but I want to try. It’s just so intimidating. This is a great block. Thanks for the tips. Maybe I can muster up the confidence and motivation to try quilting 🙂

  36. Becky says:

    I sure could use this help. What great tips and photos. Thanks for the offering!

  37. Heather says:

    Thanks for or sharing your tips and tricks. I never thought of using a picture in the color coordinating process. I’ll definitely be looking for your book!

  38. Bethany M says:

    Picking out coordinating fabrics make me happy! I love working with the colors and patterns to see which is the best fit.

  39. Jodie says:

    What great tips and resources. Looks like a beautiful book.

  40. Lynne Tilley says:

    Making a quilt is just wonderful because I’m new to it, and it makes me happy just to know I can actually DO it!! 🙂

  41. Carmen says:

    I love picking out the fabric colors for quilts

  42. Nicole Sender says:

    I could use some help in developing projects and inspiration. This book would be a great resource for me.

  43. L says:

    I love starting a new project I’m inspired about!

  44. Kay says:

    Fabric shopping is my favourite part, and finishing of course!

  45. Nupur says:

    The sheer thrill of creating something with my own hands- that’s what gives me joy while quilting!

  46. Jennifer says:

    I thrive on and enjoy the challenge of figuring out a quilt pattern from a picture of photograph but the real joy is seeing the look on a quilt recipients face when they realize just what you’ve given them. That’s the most special thing to me.

  47. Liz F says:

    I struggle with choosing colours for a quilt if I decide to change up what’s dictated on a pattern. Your recommendations for tools that I might try will be very helpful. I love it when a block finally comes together and I can see progress and matched points.

  48. Tsigeyusv says:

    I love to see something made from nothing. I also love the appreciation and look of surprise from the recipient when I have given away a quilt.

  49. joanne says:

    Great tips for using free technology to help with color selection. I wii be trying these resources soon.

  50. Ella says:

    I love playing with the stack of color!

  51. Jess says:

    I love this, thanks so much!! I think it brings me the most joy to know that if I make a quilt for someone, they can literally wrap themselves in handmade love. 🙂


  52. DeborahGun says:

    I enjoy choosing fabrics the most, but the most joy comes from giving a quilt to someone 🙂

  53. Karen A says:

    I love and get great joy from playing with fabric. Any part of the quilting process that involves fabric is okay with me.

  54. Marie Dejn says:

    I find designing most joyfull. I use EQ7 and I like that it is possible to change colors very fast, or to change one color fast.

  55. Isabel A. says:

    I love the experience of choosing the right colors of fabric to put together in a quilt and the effects it creates.

  56. Paige says:

    What a lovely idea for a book. 🙂

  57. Carol says:

    This looks like such a lovely book! I really enjoy searching for/designing quilt patterns, then choosing the fabrics from my stash. Then I get a chance to buy even more fabric. I’m not so keen on making all the blocks but love seeing the finished article . I also love that magical process when the quilting seems to transform the whole thing into something even better.

  58. Karen says:

    For me it brings me joy watching it come together. GOing from a pile of fabric to hopefully a beautiful quilt!

  59. Genevieve says:

    So pretty!

  60. Sheila Barnes says:

    My favorite part of quilting is picking put the fabrics that go together & make each other “pop.”
    Would love to win a copy of this book.

  61. melissa says:

    I enjoy the sewing and the satisfaction of producing something with my hands.

  62. Margaret says:

    I love the process — starting with a pile of fabric and ending up with a finished quilt. Every step in between brings me joy.

  63. What gives me joy is to see a finished quilt and know that itis something handmade, someting personal that I have made with my own hands, dpending my time and giving it a bit of myself.

  64. Anita says:

    This book sounds very interesting and I like the different concept of it. Thank you for the chance to win it.

  65. Sandy A in St. Louis says:

    Finishing a project and giving it to the person I made it for gives me joy!

  66. barbara says:

    I love seeing the finished quilt but I get a lot of pleasure out of the process, too. The simple task of holding needle and thread (or guiding fabric through the sewing machine) drains a lot of tension out of me.

  67. i love quilts… i love hand made quilts. i love putting fabrics together… but mostly, i love to see my kidlet snuggled up in something *I* made. Full of time and pricked fingers and love for him. 🙂

  68. Jansie Martin says:

    What gives me joy is seeing the finished squares coming together. Especially if all the seams match and I think, I made that?? It’s a great feeling. 🙂

  69. Kristin S. says:

    I get a lot of joy our of the planning process. Especially when I can make something that is personal for someone through an inside joke or a special theme, etc. No matter what, it is something I like that represents me but it can also be something wrapped up in the recipient which makes it extra special.

  70. VickiT says:

    I forgot to finish my thoughts so I’m replying to add to my comment. Sorry. The thing that gives me the most joy in quilting is finishing my quilt blocks when they don’t have to be ripped out because I messed up the seam allowance or something. And, of course, when I finish a quilt of course as well.

  71. VickiT says:

    Great tips and thank you for the links to the sites to help with choosing the colors and fabrics. That’s one area I struggle with a lot. It sounds like a great book that could help me. Thank you for the pattern.

  72. Megan Collins says:

    Choosing colors is hard for me too! Any time quilting is happiness for me. Usually these are stolen moments when the little ones are napping. 🙂

  73. Karen W. says:

    When it comes to quilting, making beautiful and useful things gives me joy. It’s even better when I can use scraps!

  74. dannyscotland says:

    Those are some cool programs. I’m fairly new to quilting, so to answer what gives me joy about it is hard. I have made a couple of “quilts”; I say it that way because while they are pieces of fabric sewn together, they aren’t exactly quilted very much. I really want to make some more, but I’m so nervous because I’m afraid I’ll get started and then get distracted or not enjoy it (the tedious cutting part is my least favorite; I actually love choosing the colors). Having a nice book with inspiration would be amazing for me.

  75. Susan V says:

    I love the feeling of relaxation and peace I get when quilting.

  76. Laura B says:

    I love when the individual blocks come together to make a complete quilt top.

  77. Mary says:

    I love binding quilts. It gives you plenty of time to appreciate all your work, and really look at the colors and quilting and how everything came together. And there’s something about hand stitching a binding on a quilt that feels very connected to every quilter ever. Because even if you machine most of the quilt, you’re probably still stitching down that binding in the same way they did a hundred years ago.

  78. ang says:

    beautiful colors!

  79. Donna says:

    The joy I receive from quilting is handing the finished product over to someone and seeing the stars in their eyes when they learn the project was for them. So Joy!

  80. Tanja H says:

    I love the Forest Path quilt. I would make my favorite type of quilt; monochromatic. I love finding a color and finding different shades and patterns.

  81. i will have to try out those sites thanks and thanks for the giveaway

  82. Choosing fabrics is MY favourite part, lol! Playing with colours and combinations… happily do it for hours before actually cutting and sewing. Binding on the other hand… bleugh.

  83. I’m still a new quilter and recently finished a quilt to keep for our family room. I really felt the joy pulling it out of the dryer all crinkly and soft and warm and fragrant. Also, as it gets used by my hubby and granddaughter and daughter and even the dogs, I am truly happy!

  84. Rhonda Laws says:

    The joy for me is the selection of the fabrics. I love the whole process but the true joy is the fabric. I love it!

  85. Allison D says:

    great tips for playing with color combos and picking colors/fabrics!

  86. Abigail says:

    I find “JOY” in seeing little pieces of other projects in quilts since usually I use scraps. It’s like a scrapbook to snuggle with!

  87. Beth says:

    Great post! Can’t wait to check out some of those sites to help with color. Actually, choosing the fabrics is one of my favorite parts of quilting. Thanks for the chance to win!

  88. jonquil says:

    What gives me joy is playing with my color palette & sewing how it springs to life when finished.

  89. Betsy says:

    The ideas and projects posted about the book look fabulous! Thanks for the chance

  90. Linda says:

    Hi,Book looks so neat!
    I feel joyful when handling the new soft fabrics and thinking of the nice projects I will make with them! Some are so pretty that I need to fondle them for a while before using them. Thank You!

  91. Jill says:

    Quilting gives me joy because of how it connects me to people. It connects me with my grandmother, who taught me how. It was something special that we shared and, now that she’s gone, that I carry forward for her. And it connects me to great grandmother and great grandmother that I never met, but who’s quilts I treasure. And it connects me to the people that I’m able to give a quilt to. My quilts are all so personal and I spend so much time on them (I hand quilt almost exclusively) that it’s really like giving them a part of myself.

    Also, I’m in love with the cover quilt for this book! Thanks for a chance to win!

  92. Allison C says:

    I love that quilting gives me a creative outlet and is like therapy for me.

  93. Zoeyjo says:

    Love the pattern!!

  94. Wendy says:

    I would love to win this book. I too struggle with fabric choices for quilts!

  95. Sarah says:

    I think it’s the quiet of my sewing room that gives me happiness.

  96. Stephanie says:

    The concept for the book sounds great. I am looking forward to seeing some of the “extras”

  97. Carole Ann says:

    This book looks so wonderful! Congrats, Christina and thank you for sharing your creativity and inspiration with us!

  98. Rachel P. says:

    This is great and so helpful!! Thanks, and I’ll have to try using the Kuler next time for my quilt designin. I’m pretty bad with thinking outside the box of my favorite color choices. I tend to blend colors but can’t do contrast too well, which I’d like to work on. 🙂

    I get joy just in the planning stages and seeing how it all comes together when I make a quilt block! If I get to use up some fabric I’ve already got in my stash it’s even better. 😉

  99. beth says:

    Picking fabrics really makes me happy! I also love sewing the binding on.

  100. Stephanie O says:

    It gives me joy and gets me excited when I think about the finished product.

  101. Tamie says:

    Doing my own thing gives me joy.

  102. Marci Girl says:

    Just creating something from scratch is what gives me the most joy!

  103. Becky N. in MO says:

    When it comes to quilting, a quiet house brings me joy. It makes it easier to concentrate. So, I ‘m a nighttime sewing enthusiast.

  104. Bekk Sk says:

    For me the most important part of any project is colour. Seeing how colours come together and respond to each other making every piece tell a unique story is the most rewarding aspect of being an artist, a designer and a crafter.

  105. Anya King says:

    I love watching a pile of fabrics combine together to become a piece of art.

  106. Jocelyn says:

    Fabric. It is so much fun to see new fabric and enjoy the beauty of color and design.

  107. Nan says:

    Gorgeous! And so versatile. I’d love how easy it is to change it up!

  108. Samantha says:

    When I quilt, I love picking the fabric and all the beautiful colors. It’s fun to see the receipient open the gift of a quilt as well. They are always amazed.

  109. Samantha says:

    Looks like an awesome book. I really enjoy piecing my fabric and seeing if the reality matches my vision!

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