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Our Guide to Ombre Fabrics

What are Ombre Fabrics?

Ombre fabrics! What are they? How do you use them? These are a couple of questions that we hope to answer for you here today, on the blog.


Maybe you’re sitting here reading this right now and you don’t fully understand what Ombre is, if that’s you, right now, here’s a definition of Ombre : Ombre is a word of French origin which refers to the shaded or varying tones of a color that fades from dark to light.


An Ombre effect can be done with any color and what makes Ombre unique is that it is a gradation of one color in shades of either dark to light or light to dark. So fun right?


Autumn ombre fabric selection

Ombre draws the eye, without you even thinking about it and Ombre projects stand out in a crowd.


Think of a sunset, how the sky around the sun slowly taper into different shades of oranges, reds, or pinks. Beautiful isn’t it?


So in a way, Ombre was invented by nature and now as a lucky quilter or sewist, you can copy the awe-inspiring design of Ombre and harness it for your next masterpiece!


What can you do with Ombre fabrics?


There is so much you can do with Ombre fabrics! From clothing, to quilting projects, to small diy sewing projects, home decor, and more, Ombre is versatile and so fun to experiment with!


When you see a bolt of Ombre fabric in your local quilt shop, you will most likely see the fabric on the bolt as we see it being exhibited in the picture below.

Two women stand in front of a rainbow colored quilt holding ombre fabrics

Most often the salvage ends of your fabric are going to be the darkest part of the fabric and then the color will graduate from dark on the salvage ends to lightest in the very middle, so keep that in mind.


Below is another picture of what we mean by that for a visual reference.

Section of a purple ombre fabric gradient

In the video, creator of the eye-catching quilt, “Tessalla”, Tiffany Hayes, shared with us that the inspiration for her design of that quilt came from her love of tessellating shapes.


Tessellating shapes is a pattern of shapes that fit together perfectly.


A tessellation is when you cover a surface with a pattern of shapes that are flat so that there is no overlapping or gaps. Tessellating shapes are interesting on their own now just think how much more fun and interesting a project like Tessalla would be, using Ombre fabrics!


At Stitchin’ Heaven we have a beautiful fabric collection that has all of the most gorgeous Ombres you’ll need in order to start your Ombre project!


Ombre Bloom is a visually stunning collection, with a wide variety of colors, shades, and vibrancy, there are plenty of options to choose from.


This collection also has precuts which is important if you’re interested in learning how to cut a specific triangle, like the one Tiffany demonstrates in the video.


Tiffany shared with us that for the Ombre she used in her quilt, she used a Jelly Roll that had 20 different Ombre colors in it and two of each. The Ombre Bloom Fabric Collection has a 40 piece Jelly Roll that includes two of each color, so it’s a perfect choice!


You can use just one strip to make two different blocks.


Now it might confuse some of you to hear that strips are being used for this project because you can clearly see what looks like squares, that are placed in the middle of the sides of each tessellating shape.


But looks can be deceiving and those squares are actually made up of two rectangles!


There are some smaller squares in this project as well as half square triangles and we’ll walk you through, step by step, how to cut those half square triangles, in a moment.


In Tessalla, Tiffany used the darkest part of her Ombre strips to make up the two rectangles which form the larger squares.


For the smaller squares she chose the lightest part of the Ombre strip and for the half square triangles, she used the medium shade of Ombre .


Are you ready to learn how to cut the half square triangles? Tiffany has some great instructions and a couple of neat tool suggestions that we hope you’ll love!


The first thing you’re going to do with your strip is cut away the salvage.


Pictured below, you can see a really creative way Tiffany uses the Creative Grids Quilt Ruler 3 ½” x 6 ½” and the Creative Grids 6.5” x 18.5” Ruler to cut her salvage end. The two ruler method used here enables your fabric to be firmly held for cutting with accuracy.

Ombre fabric gradient over a distance

Are you ready to learn a fun and easy way to cut half square triangles?


This simple yet accurate technique is going to save you so much headache in the future as well as providing you with a cut half square triangle that you will be very proud of.


If you are familiar with the traditional way of cutting half square triangles, you are aware that you have to start with a 2 ⅞” square and if you’re new to quilting, then there’s a bit of quilting knowledge for you!


Now here’s the hack for getting that perfect half square triangle, get ready, you’re going to be obsessed!


It’s simple, Tiffany Hayes, Needle in a Hayes Stack Goddess Tool (link once inventory request has been made) If you don’t have the Goddess Tool, a good substitute is the Easy Angle Ruler 6.5”.


What’s desirable about both of these tools is that the top corner is blunt.


Which means that since one corner has already been dog-eared before you even start cutting that the remaining cuts will measure down to the exact size you are needing (which for a half square triangle is 2”.)

Ombre fabric gradient with two triangle rulers

An important differentiation to make between the Goddess Tool and the Easy Angle Ruler is that the Easy Angle Ruler can only cut triangles as opposed to the Goddess Tool which can cut three different shapes.


We also have a video that explains the Goddess Tool and how to use it so to learn more about that, click here: The Goddess Tool with Tiffany Hayes


Now that you have cut off the salvage, place the blunt edge of the ruler even with the top of your fabric strip and with the straight edge right along the edge of your fabric.


Then make your first half square triangle cut!

Cutting an ombre fabric

Another bonus that is provided by the Goddess tool is the fact that there is zero waste when cutting your half square triangles!


For your next cut, you are going to turn your ruler over as pictured below and cut again! Continue this process for as many pieces as you need to/ are able to cut out of that strip.

Ombre fabric gradient example under a ruler

Now let’s dog-ear the other side of our triangle. Simply flip the piece over so that the dog-ear is facing you, from the bottom right corner.

Ombre fabric marked to make a quilt block

Now place your Goddess Tool back over the half square triangle, making sure that the 2 ½” line is aligned with the bottom of your fabric and then, using your rotary cutter, dog-ear the other corner of your fabric.


Cutting off those dog-ears is not required when cutting your half square triangles but we find that when it comes to piecing them together, dog-earing makes allowance for much more ease and accuracy.


Now your half square triangles are ready for the machine! Simply put the right sides together and you’re good to go!


We hope you learned a lot here about Ombre as well as some fun techniques to do with Ombre .


Let your creative process begin!


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