Grand Central Fabric Requirements - How to pick the accompanying fabric

Apologies for the delay, I've been dealing with a family emergency this weekend.  All should be good.  Take a day at a time, right.  👵

Okay, so are you ready for the fabric requirements for Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series?  

Let's start with a quick recap of what you should know at this point.

Grand Central Quick Recap:
What you should know, so far, about my Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series: 
  • The Series will run from January 17th to April 10th
  • Two Quilt Sizes to choose from:
    • Large Throw - 82" x 82"
    • Queen - 100" x 100" 
    • Note: Due to the design, this quilt is not easy to re-size, especially given it is Mystery.  I elected these two sizes, as the design works in these two sizes.  I do not recommend re-sizing and I can not help you with it, if you choose to do it. Sorry.
  • Border Fabric - Should have a Split Complementary Plan
    • Large Throw - 2 1/2 Yards*
    • Queen - 3 Yards*
    • *If you think you will want to use the Border Fabric within the quilt, as one of the fabrics, you will want to have an additional 1/4-1/2 Yards available. 
    • If you need help with determining if you Border has a Split Complementary see Blog Posts: Start with a Border and Another tool to help you with your Border
  • Required tools are the Studio 180 Design: 
  • Recommended tools are Studio 180 Design:
    • Tucker Trimmer II - for subcut - ideal for sub cutting strips ending in 1/4" and 3/4" 
  • New Grand Central Facebook group for those planning on participating in Grand Central Quilt Mystery Series.  Be sure to answer all the screening questions or you will be declined.  If you are a member, in good standing, of another one of my groups, you will not have to answer the questions. 
Just a few reminders: 
  • Mystery Quilts are not for everyone.  If you are a person who needs to know what the quilt is going to look upfront, this may not be the project for you.   
  • I will be providing fabric color and value recommendations, but I will not be telling you what will go next to what, it is a mystery.  
  • You will have to trust that I know what I’m doing, and you must follow the color/value instructions very carefully, especially if you are going with a different color plan.
  • I will not be able to give everyone fabric selection assistance.  
  • I will do my best, especially if you are in a class or retreat with me, but I will not be able to handle an insurgence of emails, FB messaging, texts, etc. with photos requesting immediate feedback because you are in a store.   
  • Instead, I hope that you will read the advice I provide on here on my Blog.  You can also show the Blog post(s) to a Quilt Shop, and most of the ones I know, will gladly help you.  If you need a referral, I'm happy to help. 
The Clues: 
  • The clues will provide the construction tasks, with step-by-step instructions.    
  • You will be responsible to view or download/print your clue each week.  
    • No excuse will warrant clues being emailed after the fact, however you will be able to purchase them for a nominal fee in my shop.  
  • The Clue downloads are for your purpose only, they are not to be shared, photocopied, emailed or posted on any website or groups (including guilds)
  • Each week, you will see more and more of the units -- just enough to keep you guessing!  On the last week, we will give you the final construction steps and the mystery will be revealed.
  • If you need help with any clue, you should reference the detail pictorials offer on the Blog.  You can find them in my blog post, mid-January 2020 through mid-April 2020 (
Okay onto the FUN stuff!  

Grand Central Quilt Mystery - How to pick the accompanying fabric

Remember, while the Quilt design was inspired by the architect of Grand Center Terminal, my fabric selection was based on the brilliant flower carts found throughout Grand Central Terminal.   

Remember, this quilt is designed and will look best with a Split Complementary Color Plan, ideally a dual-Split Complementary Color Plan.  Pick something that POPS, you need something with a lot of color and inspires you.

Given this is a Mystery, I highly recommend you follow my Color Plan or at least follow my advice on selecting your Color Plan.

             Magenta (17), Blue (11), Aqua Blue (8), Aqua Green (7) and Yellow-Orange (22).

The numbers following the color names above are from my favorite tool, the 3-in-1 Color Tool.    

You can change the colors; however, it is very important to remember the value and contrast when switching colors.  Also, remember the quilt will work best with a Split Complementary Plan Border.  Refer to the 3-in-1 Color Tool to help you switch colors.  

Whether you are going to mimic my plan or go with one of your own, you will need to take the steps I’ve outlined next. 

Let's pick the colors and assign them to the proper position in the quilt. 
  • Determine the “Main color” of your Border– Mine is Blue
    • It should be the side with the most tabs.
    • The colors that represent these 3 tabs/colors (4 if you have a 6-tab Color Plan) will be what you use to select your “Assorted Bright” fabrics.   – Mine are Blue (11), Aqua Blue (8) and Aqua Green (7).  
Main Colors Circled in White - You pick your Assorted Brights from this range 
    • Basically, I will want fabrics that are made up of mostly colors within that range.  Depending on your Accent Colors, you should be able to go one tab outside on each side.  For mine, I'm comfortable pulling fabric ranging from Blue Green (6) to Blue-Violet (12) 
    • You want the Assorted Bright to read scrappy but within the same color range.
      • Therefore, you will want the Assorted Bright yardage to be made up of Fat Quarters, Half Yards, 3/4 Yards at the largest. 
      • I recommend going with multi-color fabrics that read as any of the colors within that range
      • I'd actually avoid solids, but tone-on-tones will be fine as long as they are in that color range. 
    • So, I pulled my Border from Stash, so I did an initial pull of fabric carrying my Color Wheel Companion around my different fabric bind.
Assorted Bright - Initial Selection
    • I was very happy with my selection, however I felt I was lacking some Aqua Blue representation and I needed more fabric.  I want to make the Queen.  So, I went back to my bins.
Assorted Bright - Final Selection
    • You can see I added some fabrics that represent the Aqua Blue (8),Turquoise (9) and added some Blue (11) and Blue-Violet (12).   I pulled from Amy Butler, Kate Spain, and more lines.  Do not be afraid to mix lines/things up whether it is from your stash or at a Quilt Shop.
  • Determine your “Accent color” – Mine are Magenta (17) and Yellow-Orange (22)
    • These colors will be on the opposite side of the color wheel from your “Assorted Bright” colors.
    • Ideally, your accents, opposite the “Assorted Bright’s”, should be at least 4-5 tabs apart from each other.
Accent #1 and Accent #2 Circled in Black
    • So, I went back to the bins, the Yellow-Orange (22) came easily, as it was part of the same line as my Border.  However, I didn't have anything, that matched the Magenta (17), so I audition tons of pinks (too many photos to share- poor Lynn W got stuck with my IMs).  Anyway, I found something in my Art Gallery bin that I loved!
Accent 2 and Accent 1 overlaid on my fabric selection
    • Note: How the Orange pops off the Blues, that is because the are Complementary of each other.  Plus, how the Pink pops off the Greens, same reason.  
    • I elected the Pink as my Accent 1 and it is darker than the Orange which became my Accent 2.
    • My final stack!

So, are you ready? 

Fabric Yardage: Downloadable here

*I’m working an extra pieced Border, to make the Large Throw a Double or the Queen a King, if you think you would be interested in doing this, get an extra: Throw/Double - 1 ½ Yard or Queen/King – 2 ¼ Yards of both Background and Assorted Bright.
  • VERY IMPORTANT - Color 1-3* - Should be pulled from “main color” in your Border and be on one side of the Color Wheel while the Accent 1 and 2 should be on the opposite side of the Color Wheel.
*Queen Size – You may want to have pull a 4th Color – For my selection, I’d probably use anything in between, my existing tabs (11) – (7), so maybe. 9 or 10

So, that is it for today, you can download a printable summary, from the Grand Central section on my Retreat page: Download here

Over the next few days I hope to use some examples from the Grand Central Facebook groupI can't guarantee it will be tomorrow, but sometime this week. 

I hope you will post feedback here or in the Facebook Group.  I tried to make this as easy as possible, but to get the desired effect that I designed in this quilt, you will want to pay attention to the advice.  I hope you enjoy this color journey! 

Keep stitching, 


  1. Love this color journey. This is a great brain exercise. My fabric selection for border on FB


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