Are you ready for Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series?

Are you ready for Grand Central Mystery Quilt Series? 

Clue # 1 will be revealed in just 5 days!  

That's right, it starts on January 17th!

Have you selected your fabric yet?  You will want to have it ready to start this 12 weeks of great fun! You are not going to want to miss this one. 

Over the last few weeks you will find several posts that I posted that will help you with your Fabric Selection.  I'm going to provide a summarized version below, and highly recommended you go to the full post if you still need help. 

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 - See below for help with this...
    • 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. 
  • 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 copyrighted, and therefore 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 offered on the Blog.  
It all starts with the Border:

Color Plan - Split Complementary
The quilt is designed and will look best with a Split Complementary Color Plan.  Given this is a Mystery, I highly recommend you follow my Color Plan or at least follow my advice on selecting your Color Plan.

You probably have some questions:
  1. What is a Split Complementary Color Plan?
  2. How do I start?
  3. How do I determine if a  Border Fabric has a Split Complementary Color Plan?
Let me help. I've summarized a mini-lesson below, for the full lesson, go to my Blog Post: Start with a Border.

1. Split Complementary color plan means that half of the colors in the border fabric are from one side of the color wheel, with the other half of the color in the fabric being from the opposite side.  This is beautifully displayed in my Border fabric below.
  • The Main colors in my Border are in the Blue Family, and are on one side of the color wheel.
    • Blue (11), Aqua Blue (8), Aqua Green (7)
  • The other colors are from the opposite side of the color wheel.
    • Magenta (17), Yellow-Orange (22).
The numbers following the color names above are from my favorite tool, the 3-in-1 Color tool.    
3-in-1 Color Tool

I highly recommend you purchase this tool and learn to use it.  Below, I've given a basic lesson.   I offer Color Workshop Class at Quilt Shops, Quilt Guilds, and Quilt Shows throughout the country and I'm telling you owning and using the 3-in-1 Color tool along with the Color Wheel Companion will help you learn color.  

Color Wheel Companion

2. Start with a Border that you love.
  • Pull a few borders fabrics that you love and that you think will work and let's take them through the identification process below, to see if they have a Split Complementary Color Plan.
3. Identification Process -Determining if your Border Fabric has a Split Complementary Color Plan
  • To figure out if the Border selected you want will work.  You will want to work through this exercise for all of your "audition" borders and your final border, 
  • To determine if your Border has Split Complementary Color Plan, you need to first determine the colors within your Border.   
Use the 3-in-1 Color Tool to determine the Colors in the Border Fabric.

We are going to take the 3-in-1 Color Tool directly to the Border Fabric and use the Color Circles on the Selvage to help pull the colors.  
  • Check to see if your fabric has the Color Circles on the selvage that were used in the fabric.  Mine did.  These are a great starting point.  I elected to pull from stash, I went with a earlier line of Amy Butler.  It is Meadow Blooms.  It is still available in several shops. 

  • Next, match the circles with the proper tabs in the 3-in-1 Color Tool.  If your fabric doesn’t have the dots, then you will need to use areas within the fabric.
  • started at the left circle, locate the proper tab, by auditioning the tab's left side/edge along the selvage.  If you go through all the left side/edges and don't find a close match, try the right side of the tabs, these are the same color family but have tints of white, black and gray. 
  • I usually find, that more than one circle is on that tab, as the designer often uses 2-3 shades/values of that color in the fabric.   Therefore, as I work my way across the circles, I will skip the ones that are already on the another tab.  See below, 4 of the circles are on one tab, just different shades/values. 
Notice the Pink line, matching the Circles to the one Blue Tab (11)
  • Make your way to the next circle that needs a match. 
Aqua Green tab (7)
  • Continue through until you have located all the tabs for all the circles on the selvage.  I was able to locate all of my colors on 5 Tabs.  Your fabric may net 6 tabs .  Its rare for there to be more, most likely those colors are shades of tabs you have already pulled. 

Aqua Blue tab (8)

Magenta tab (17)

Yellow Orange tab (22)
  • Now let's look at the tabs and determine if any of your colors are directly across the color wheel (or 12 tabs apart).   These would be Complementary Colors.  

  • If not, is there a combination that is just one or two away of being directly across from each other, this is Split Complementary.  
  • You can determine this either by looking at the back of the 3-in-1 Color Tool Tabs or at the Color Wheel Companion.   
Back of my Border's Color Tabs
  • Let's take a look at mine.   Above is the back my Border's 3-in-1 Color tool's Tabs.  Below I've marked my color tabs on the Color wheel Companion Tool, with my Mini-Clips.  This is the best way to get an holistic view of your fabric and will be very helpful when it comes to picking out the accompanying fabric.
My Border's Color Tabs Marked with Mini-Clips.
  • On the Color Wheel Companion, it is a little easier to see that the Blue (11) is almost across from the Yellow Orange (22) and that the Magenta (17) within in a few tabs of directly across from the Aqua Green (7).   
  • While on the 3-in-1 Color Tool, you can locate the "Split Complementary" section on the back and determine that sure enough Blue (11) and Aqua Blue (8) are listed as a Split Complementary color to Yellow-Orange (22).

  • And that Aqua Green (7) is listed as a Split Complementary color to Magenta (17).

So, all the colors in my Border fabric are Split Complementary to each other.  I do not have any colors, in my Border, that are not a split complementary color to another color in my Border.  Therefore, my Border has a Split Complementary color plan and is an excellent choice for this project.  

Now, let's pick the accompanying fabric

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

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– Very important - 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 should 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. 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, does it make sense now?   Fabric Yardage: Downloadable here

*NOTE: 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.
  • For the Background, pick something complementary with your Fabric, however it should have a high contrast to the fabrics you selected.  I plan to use White, but you should use what works best for your fabric.  
*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

You can download a printable summary, from the Grand Central section on my Retreat page: Download here

·        For more assistance in picking your colors see my Blog Post: Picking the accompanying fabric

That's a wrap for today, go pull or purchase your fabric and be sure to prep it for cutting.  You can check out my Blog post from a few years ago (Preparing your Fabric), to see how I prepare my fabric.  The only thing that has changed, is I use a large wool mat on them Ironing Big Board and I use a Mister for my Best Press

Keep stitching!  5 more days to Clue #1!


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