Making a Quilt? Plan Ahead For Patterns and Colors
By Lamar Dean


You have made up your mind to make a simple quilt. But what kind will it be? Take a good look at your bed, and that will help you decide the whole matter. The kind of bed you have will determine the size of the quilt, the preferable number and size of its blocks, and the best-looking pattern for it.

If the bed is large, the quilt must be of generous proportions...perhaps the old-fashioned kind, but long enough to tuck up over the pillows...and it can show off to advantage the larger blocks with a design that is bold and lusty.

You may have a narrower, modern twin-sized bed. Then a quilt with a smaller-scale design, smaller blocks and a slender border will be more appropriate. The motif should never be so emphatic in size and color as to dwarf the bed. There are so many ways to combine blocks, strips and borders, that it is easy to pick the right grouping to get the best relative effect for the shape of the bed.

The period of your furniture must be considered, too. If your suite is French Provencal the bed would not look right covered with a sharp geometric Pennsylvania Dutch design. One of the softly wreathed figures with smaller blocks would be more suitable. And if you have a slender, carved-stem poster bed, you will not select a sturdy, "crazy-quilt," but a dainty applique pattern instead.

The quilt should take its proper place in the whole decorative scene of the room. It should accent but never drown out the other beauty spots about it. As a covering for the bed, it plays a dramatic role, but must harmonize in color and proportions of the bedroom. In other words, your quilt must blend into the surroundings.

Select your quilt colors carefully. You will use and live with this piece of your handiwork for a long time. It even pays to choose colors which you will enjoy sewing on, for colors do have their influence upon us, though they work quietly and subtly. Haven't you heard of colors affecting our emotions by irritating or soothing, depressing or cheering us?

A color scheme works out in any one of these four ways:

1. The principles of color harmony in relation to other colors in the room.
2. According to the exposure of the room. A dark room needs light or warm colors.
3. Colors should harmonize with the period and the wood colors of the furniture.
4. Colors should repeat or blend with colors and designs of wallpaper and other decorations.

After making a study of the colors in your room, you may have decided what will best harmonize with them. But what will be the proportion of the colors which you will introduce with your new quilt? A good plan is to have:

1. One dominant color.
2. One subordinate color.
3. One or more accent colors.

Warm colors: Red, orange, yellow and their variations. They are also known as the advancing colors.

Cool colors: Violet, blue and green. They are also called the receding colors.

Warm colors are more cheerful and stimulating than the cool colors, which, in turn, are calm and restful. It is possible to combine warm and cool colors, as long as the principles of harmony are employed. This may be done by choosing a pale shade of a primary color...light blue, pink or yellow...for the background of the quilt and making the design of more striking colors.

A room's exposure is a factor in deciding between a warm or cool effect in any decorating plans. North rooms have no direct sunlight, hence are said to have cool exposure. Also, northeast rooms because they have sun only during early morning hours. South and southwest are warm exposures. Rooms with both north and west windows have warm and cool light together, therefore, there is less need of definite attention to warm and cool effect.

Rooms on the north, and those on any side of the house which are deprived of light by shade tress or porch roofs can be helped immeasurably by throwing the emphasis on a cheerful, warm note in your decorative colors. It is surprising to see what the warm or cool colors can accomplish, and the colors of your quilt should be chosen accordingly.

The color tones in a room's furniture and woodwork are important. Maple, cherry and mahogany reflect warmer shades of color than oak and thus require a different selection of decorating colors. A modern bed of the new blond-wood finish looks better with a covering of deep colors rather than with neutral. If the woodwork is too definitely striking in appearance for a becoming background to the furnishings, it may be put in its place by the use of deep, rich colors splashed about the room, particularly in the quilts. On the other hand if the woods are subdued or dark, then a buff, peach or green looks well.

Color preferences of the individual are a large factor in deciding upon bedroom color schemes. One for a girl will be more or less feminine in taste according to her personality. For a boy, a more virile, masculine atmosphere is established. The room for parents usually shows some concessions to the tastes of each other.

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