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How to Design a Monochromatic Quilt

Why would you want to make a quilt in a monochromatic color scheme when you have a rainbow of colors to work with when you quilt? A monochromatic quilt is fabulous for that friend or family member that’s obsessed with a particular color. We also love monochromatic color palette quilts for decorating a room to tie together or enhance the existing color scheme in the interior design. These quilts are also perfect for using up your scrap stash if you have an overabundance of one color. Follow along with this fun monochromatic quilt planning tutorial by Andi Stanfield for more information!

Monochromatic does not mean “one fabric.” It does mean a variety of shades, tints, and hues within one color family. Remember, quilting is all about contrast! Raid your stash to select a full gradient of your chosen color from light to dark.

Pro tips for fabric selection:

  • When you have more white or light tones present in the fabric print, it is considered light (or light-medium). The inverse of that tip is true for dark tones, too. Put fabric with dark or black tones in your medium-dark or dark selections. 

  • If one fabric stands out in a way that overpowers the rest of the fabric, we recommend pulling that fabric from the lineup in your monochromatic quilt! 

Five steps to choosing a monochromatic color palette: 

1. Pull a variety of shades in the chosen color family 

2. Sort your fabric into lights, mediums, and darks 

3. Fill in the middle shades (light-mediums and medium-darks) 

4. Add a “surprise” print or a slight variation of color 

5. Audition different background colors with your main color fabrics. Try white, tan, gray, navy blue, or black. 

You can see in Andi’s using pairs of star blocks in her monochromatic quilt project and experimenting with reversed darks and lights in each block pair. 

Additional tools to help you assess and gain inspiration for your colors.  

Use a color wheel with tints and hues to find desirable combinations or border choices.

Look at paint chip samples from your local hardware store for hue inspiration.

Using the Black-and-White filter in photo editing apps is great for assessing contrast.

Red or Green lenses are a great tool to see the fabric variation and balance better.

The fabric itself also tells us a story. Check the selvage of your fabric and find the dots of color along the edge. Those are the exact colors the manufacturer used when they printed that fabric. You can use that guide to select accent colors, shades, tones, or values that are sure to go with your chosen fabric because they are part of the fabric color formula. 

Many fabric manufacturers are printing ombre or gradient fabric styles with a full spectrum of light to dark on one piece of fabric. Ombre fabrics such as those pictured above by V and Co for Moda and Stonehenge by Northcott are some of Andi’s favorite fabrics in this style. Since ombre fabrics contain your whole range of colors in one piece of fabric, they are ideal for achieving a perfect gradient of colors as you piece your monochromatic quilt!  Watch the Monochromatic Quilt Video Tutorial with Andi at TrueBlue Quilts during the Grace Company Spring Fling Quilt Festival

Tag us (@graecompanyquilting) on social media if you make a gradient quilt of your own! 

Happy quilting, 

The Grace Family



- V and Co for Moda and Stonehenge by Northcott

- Monochromatic Quilts: Amazing Variety by Andi Stanfield & Mary McElvain 

- Color Play by Joen Wolfrom

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Posted by The Grace Company


For over 25 years the Grace Company has been the leading manufacturer of high quality quilting frames and quilting accessories. What truly sets The Grace Company apart from other competitors is its level of quality, value, and experience toward all their endeavours. From products to external and internal customer experience, the Grace Company responds to market and customer needs and continues to lead the quilting industry. Grace Company frames and hoops are designed to be easy to build and compatible with most major quilting machines. They'll have the quilting product you need.

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