Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Two-Color Quilts and More

Two-color quilts are all the rage, especially red and white quilts or blue and white quilts. The crisp white background makes the red and blue fabrics pop. These quilts have been a favorite of traditional quilters for more than 150 years. Two-color quilts are often monochromatic and I generally use one color palette, but not always. You can make scrappy two-color quilts or you can use a limited number of fabrics. If you’re making a scrappy quilt, or using a scrap quilt pattern, be sure to use a range of values so the fabrics blend to create a cohesive look.

Electric Blue - Two Color Quilts

Electric Blue - Two Color Quilts
Electric Blue by Nancy Mahoney

When I created “Electric Blue” for Love of Quilting March/April 2015, I selected one white fabric for the background and seven blue fabrics with different visual textures to add interest. The blue and white color scheme combined with two simple blocks creates a high energy design with strong graphic appeal. Blue and white quilts are simply stunning.

For You Blue - Two-Color Quilts
For You Blue - Two-Color Quilts
For You Blue by Diane Tomlinson

In “For You BlueLove of Quilting Associate Editor, Diane Tomlinson, worked with an assortment of blue batiks and prints, as well as cream batiks and prints. Diane used three of her favorite blocks to create this marvelous quilt for Love of Quilting January/February 2016. Using several different background fabrics gives the design a traditional look.

Odds & Ends II - Two-Color Quilts
Odds & Ends II - Two-Color Quilts
Odds & Ends II by Linda Pumphrey

Red and white is possibly the most popular color combination in America, which means you cannot go wrong with red and white quilts – this happens to be one of my favorite color schemes. In “Odds & Ends II,” Linda Pumphrey used red and white prints to create this spectacular quilt for Love of Quilting November/December 2015. The white fabric gives this design a crisp, clean look and helps emphasize the eight-pointed star shape in the middle of each circle.

Lincoln's Delight - Two-Color Quilts
Lincoln's Delight - Two-Color Quilts
Lincoln’s Delight by Nancy Mahoney

I chose a variety of red and cream prints to make “Lincoln’s Delight” for Love of Quilting January/February 2016. Using cream prints that range is value from light to medium adds depth and interest to the design.

Chiaroscuro - Two-Color Quilts
Chiaroscuro - Two-Color Quilts
Chiaroscuro by Nancy Mahoney

Your quilt doesn’t have to be blue and white or red and white to be a two-color quilt. There are lots of color options when it comes to making two-color quilts. I created “Chiaroscuro” for Easy Quilts Fall 2013. The bold contrast between the cream and brown prints creates a wonderful exchange between color and pattern.

Two-Toned Illusions - Two-Color Quilts
Two-Toned Illusions - Two-Color Quilts
Two-Toned Illusions by Carl Hentsch

Carl Hentsch combined yellow and gray to make “Two-Toned Illusions” for Quilty March/April 2014. These two colors play well together to create a balanced and captivating design.

Blue and white quilts, read and white quilts, yellow and gray quilts – two-color quilts are timeless and traditional. I definitely recommend giving them a try. Whether you’re using a scrap quilt pattern or arranging your own quilt design, these quilts make unique designs and lasting impressions.

Nancy Mahoney, Fons & Porter Guest Blogger

 

Happy Quilting!

Nancy

 

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Nancy Mahoney

About Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, fabric designer, and award-winning quiltmaker, Nancy Mahoney has enjoyed making quilts for over 30 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in many books and in over 180 national and international quilt magazines. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. She doesn’t consider herself a specialist in one particular area, although Nancy’s favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué. When she’s not designing and making quilts, Nancy enjoys traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing her quilts, teaching her piecing and machine appliqué techniques, and visiting gardens. Visit Nancy on her website, www.nancymahoney.com, for more quilting information and fun!

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