These are simple and practical Tips for Choosing Fabric Combinations

Start with a color palette

That color palette might start with a fabric you fall in love with. Or an art print. Or a rug. Whatever it starts with, keep that theme going. In my living area, I have aqua and yellow accents with gray walls and black furniture. I love the feeling that these lighter colors give the space, but I wanted to make sure it tied into the furniture as well. That’s why I chose the A Whale of a Time print–it’s got the aqua in there, but the watercolor effect gives a whole range of blues and grays that tie in everything in the space. And they’re stinkin’ cute.

These are simple and practical Tips for Choosing Fabric Combinations

Choose prints with different scales

Just like in quilting, when you combine fabrics, you want them to serve different purposes. They can’t all have a bold print or they’ll be competing. I love pulling in a solid color to keep things from competing normally, but this time I didn’t. Instead, I chose a yellow Basketweave print with a small-scale print that gives a nice overall color and still has lots of interest when you’re sitting next to it. The Painted Feathers have a medium-to-large scale, and while I typically wouldn’t have put two larger scales patterns together, this time it works because the feathers are a light color while the whales have more contrast, so your eye treats them differently.

Throw Pillow Fabrics5

Get a feel for them all together

If you’re shopping online, put all the fabrics together in your cart, and visualize them together. Step back, and mentally treat them as one–do you see anything that seems off? If so, identify what’s sticking out and try a few different alternatives until they feel more cohesive.

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Lauren English
7 years ago

Great tips! I especially love the ideas of mixing scale and texture. Fun textures on pillows are perfect for snuggling up to! 🙂

Kristie
Kristie
7 years ago

My sister in law just re-did her living room pillows and valances. And she spent just over $100. This would be an awesome give away to win. I was so jealous of how fresh her house was looking!

Janie
Janie
7 years ago

Love your colors. Thank you for the tips. I have difficulty figuring color combinations.

Heidi
7 years ago

Wow! I had no idea Minted had fabric! Now I want even MORE things from there haha! They have such a fabulous selection of fun stuff that you can’t find anywhere else. Those pillows are awesome, Lisa!

Catherine
7 years ago

I didn’t know Minted sells fabric! Too cool.
I was just making some onesies last night and had a heckuva time pairing fabrics, but I don’t really have a process. It’s interesting to read about yours.

Veronica Marks
6 years ago

I think my biggest struggle with choosing prints comes from not knowing which scales to put together. I love the basketweave you put with the others, and it really makes them all work together well! I’ll have to try a few different things and see what I can come up with. Thanks for a great article!

Veronica Marks
6 years ago
Reply to  Lisa

Thank you! Hopefully I can get my patterns to look as good as yours!

Ashley
Ashley
6 years ago

I have recently started reteaching myself to sew and have been able to complete one project. I had noticed when facing all those rows of fabric it can be a bit intimidating, especially when i decided to take on a few window projects. So far i have the plans but the scaling seemed so foreign to me. Im glad i found your 9 Tips For Choosing Fabric Combinations before making any purchases. Next time I go shopping I will feel more confident that my home wont look like a circus tent. LOL 🙂 Thank you for the awesome tips!