The Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong - Fabric Selection

The Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong - Fabric Selection

The first week of the Mini Plaid-ish Quiltalong! In this post we are going to talk about fabric selection so if you have no idea which fabrics you are using (I don't!) you have all week to figure out what you want to use from your scraps or stash or order fabric. This quiltalong is meant to be fun and creative, not stressful!

The Mini Plaid-ish Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Two reminders before we get started.

  1. If you want to simplify the fabric selection process, there are several shops that are offering super fun kits
  2. If you do not already have the pattern, you can still get it and it is free. Use the form below to sign up for my email list and you will get an email that has the download for both the non-rainbow and rainbow versions of the pattern. If you don't see it in your inbox, check your spam folder. 

You have tons of options for fabric selection, but I am going to talk about 3 different avenues that work well: yardage, rainbow, and scrappy. 

Some Preliminary Info About Value


One important skill for all versions of this quilt is being able to determine value. You will need dark, mid, and light valued fabrics. You can decide how dark/light you want your darks/lights to be and the quilt can still work within a more narrow range of values BUT there needs to be a distinct difference between the dark, mid, and light values. You do not want a mid-valued fabric to look too close to a dark-valued fabrics, etc. 

dark, mid, light

The easiest way that I have found to tell the difference is to take a black and white photo of my fabrics. Sometimes you can just eyeball how light/dark the value of a fabric is, but sometimes it is trickier. For example, I have found that green fabrics are darker valued than I expect them to be and yellow fabrics are lighter valued. 

As you can see in the photo above, some darks are more dark and some lights are more light. You can be as strict as you would like about the categories — as long as there is a distinction between the values, the pattern will work.

Tip: If you are unsure about fabric choices, I highly recommend looking through the #plaidishquilt hashtag on Instagram. Find some quilts that you really like, take a screen shot, and convert them to black and white in your photo app. That will give you a good goal to aim for with your own quilt. 


If you would like to use yardage, you will need 1 1/4 yards of a dark fabric, 1 7/8 yards of a mid-valued fabric, and 5/8 yard of a light fabric. Here are a couple of examples that I really like using yardage.

Vintage Garden

Mini Plaid-ish in Vintage Garden

Dusk Fusion

Mini Plaid-ish in Dark Fusion

You can use fabrics from a single collection or from different collections, a mix of solids and prints, pretty much whatever you want. I am a big fan of the monochrome versions that use a single color in different values.


You guys know I love a rainbow which is why I included separate instructions for making a rainbow version of this pattern. If you are not experienced with picking your own fabrics, I highly recommend picking up a quilt kit of rainbow fabrics for your quilt. Having to balance both color and value can be a little tricky!

Sewfinity — Kona, Dark Grunge, and Light Grunge

Stash Fabrics — AGF Pure Solids

Web Fabrics — Kona and Cotton Couture

Woodbury Way — Pastel Rainbow

If you are planning on tackling this project from your stash, this is so much fun! I will definitely be making a rainbow quilt, but I haven't decided if I am going to use FQers from my stash or go scrappy.

Rainbow Mini Plaid-ish Quilt - Kitchen Table Quilting

Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  • There is more than one way to do a rainbow — it can be muted or bright, prints or solids, and you don't necessarily have to include all of the colors. You also don't have to start with red/pink and end with purple. 
  • Lean into the colors that you prefer. Do you have a lot of greens and blues in your stash but not much purple? Instead of going straight from green to blue, you can do a blue-ish green row and a green-ish blue row and leave out the purple all together. 
  • Value still matters, but is more important within a row. Take a look at the image below. This is the yellow (top row) and green (bottom row) from the Pure Solids mock-up. The dark yellow fabric is similar in value to the mid valued green fabric. The quilt still works because the dark yellow is distinctly darker than the mid-yellow.


Scraps are such a satisfying way to make a quilt. They are leftovers, but they are also a new project. The best.

This will be the most time consuming way to make the quilt since cutting will take longer. If you are a slow fabric cutter, I recommend that you start cutting pieces this week so you don't get overwhelmed next week.

Color vs BW

This is how I approach making a scrappy version of this pattern:

  1. Sort through your scraps and identify pieces that are large enough to use in your quilt. 
  2. Separate these pieces by value: one pile for dark, one pile for mid, and one pile for light.
  3. Now take your phone and open the camera app and put it into black and white mode. Look through your piles and pull out anything that doesn't work. 
  4. Now (important!) press your fabric. Unless you are a much neater quilter than I am and your fabrics are already nice and flat, mine tend to be a jumbled mess. Cutting will be much easier if your fabrics have been pressed.

I always make adjustments later in the cutting and piecing phases so don't be afraid to add more fabrics or take some away if they just aren't working.

The most important rule of a scrap quilt is that if you don't like the fabric before you put it in a quilt, you won't like it in a scrap quilt so don't use it! Scrap quilts are most successful when they are full of fabrics that you love.

Phew, that was a lot of information! Since I am still deciding which fabrics I want to use for my quilt, I am planning on doing a video this week where I discuss my fabric choices and I will post it on YouTube. Once that is ready, I will put the video here and share about it on Instagram.

Just remember that you even if your values aren't perfect (notice in the photo above that mine are not!) your quilt will turn out great. I like to prioritize using my scraps over a perfect quilt, but do what works best for you.

Don't forget to post a photo on IG this week using the #miniplaidishqal hashtag so we can all see your fabrics!

Comments 15

Rosemarie on

Vielen Dank!

Lisa on

Thank you for all your help and advice. Looking forward to sewing along.

Rose Nelson on

I keep trying to get the mini pattern, I have never received anything about it. I have subscribed multiple times, but nothing happens. How do I get the pattern

Deb on

I’m trying to pull together some Ruby Star wovens and blenders. I’d like to use grey rather than white. Do you have a favorite light grey like the one you used on that Ivy quilt?

Rosemary B on

Hi Erica, have you already sent out the pattern? I would love to try…. even if I only make a place mat haha
Thank you

Patti Burns on

I’d like to make the original size. I purchased 2 sets of @woodberryway pastel fabrics. Will the fq work for the bigger blocks? Also, I can’t seem to find the link for the pladish. Not mini


Jacqueline Richardson on

If I received the pattern for the mini Plaidish quilt, it was accidentally deleted. It is not in any of my mailboxes. Can you please resend????

Jules on

Question!? I have lots more dark than mid & light. I know it’s because I buy really colorful, bright fabrics. My color scheme is going to be scrappy with rainbow colors. I do have some whites in my light pile. Do you foresee any problems with a larger dark pile? Maybe I’ll need to use more repeats of light/medium fabrics.

Rosemary B on

I have to check and see if I got the free pattern to try this.
It looks really great, Erica. Thankyou for being so generous to get us started on
a project. I am grateful.

Deborah on

I am planning to do a scrappy version. I have lots to choose from.

Claire Alvarez on

I’m going to try to go scrappy, but not committing to getting it done on schedule. I’ve got young ones at home and an older husband- it’s a high demand situation…

Donna on

I will be going scrappy but want to do a small piece… That means math! I’ll work on the numbers for what I’ll need this week .. into the scrap pile…😀

Cathi on

Thank you for all the eork you are putting into this QAL, it’s the first one I’ve ever done! I will be doing a rainbow 🌈 mini from 30s reproduction scrap fabrics….I’m very excited!

Jannis Sherman on

I am going to attempt a Halloween scrap version. Wish me luck🤞

Rebekah on

I hope you choose to make a scrappy quilt! Or both rainbow and scrappy?

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