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Thread: Do you have an 'Eye for Color'?

  1. #1
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    Do you have an 'Eye for Color'?

    I don't. If I go to a quilt shop and try and pick out fabric for a quilt that isn't a fabric collection, I make bad choices. I choose warm and cool colors that don't go together. I choose reds that are purplish and orangish. I choose greens that are bluish and yellowish. I can't seem to tell how wrong they are unless someone points it out to me and even then I don't see it.

    I usually have to have the gal behind the counter help me pick out my fabric and lots of times I don't care for what she selects, so I'm stuck with lots of fabric I'll never use.

    I am one of the people who buy quilt kits because I can see them and know i like the pattern and fabric. But I would like to choose my own fabric and pattern and make my own quilt sometime. So I have to buy fabric lines in order for my quilts to look nice.

    Is there a way to 'learn' to have an eye for color?? Any tips? Anyone else out there that doesn't have an eye for color?
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  2. #2
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    If I am stuck when picking out colours, I use the colour dots from the selvage to help. The manufacturer puts the dots along the selvage of every colour that is printed in the fabric and you can't go wrong if you choose fabrics that match the dots. I usually try to pick a variety of small and larger scale prints in those colours to add some variety to the quilt top but sometimes I just go with blenders or solids too.

  3. #3
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If I have the fabrics next to each other I can tell if they will look good together. Lots of times I can match by memory as well. My main issue is getting too many that are in the medium to dark range and not enough in the lighter range.

    I've been matching colors for as long as I can remember so I don't really know if it is a natural talent or if it was something learned. I do know that I've gotten better over time with the memory matching. So there is a "practice makes perfect" component.

  4. #4
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    You can get books on color theory...try your local library.

    I used to have some trouble with putting colors together. But I started working in a LQS 5 years ago, and have grown in this area by observing my employer (who is an expert). I like to begin with a focus fabric, and then choose other fabrics to go with it. The selvedge dots help, but it really takes practice.
    Cindy

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    This was posted by someone in the last few months...

    http://design-seeds.com/index.php/search
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
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    I don't know as if I'm good, but I've always loved color. I seem to do ok. All my friends tell me I have a great eye for color. I know what I like together. If I choose something, and when I get it home, it doesn't look right, I either go out and buy more ( ), or I find something in my stash. You could try the color wheel. I don't use it, but there are many who swear by it. Also, if you do scrap quilts, you can put anything in those, and they'll blend.
    Another suggestion would be to get out your crayons or colored pencils and make samples of colors you think go well together. Take those along with you to the fabric store.
    Have fun!

  7. #7
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    I've been told that I have a very good eye for color by my teachers and friends. Sometimes it take s me a while though. My favorite thing to help me is that I lay different color combinations together and then take a pic of it and look at it awhile to see if I like it. You can also get a color wheel to see how different colors go together. I rarely ever buy kits because I rarely like all of the fabric as a whole. Even when I took the BOM for the civil war quilts and we got the fabric for it each month, I rarely, if ever used all of the fabric they chose. I quickly got a civil war stash built up and would chose what I wanted to see. Just have confidence in yourself and remember that it is only important for you to like it if it's for you and if it's for someone else they normally pick out the fabric.
    Judy

  8. #8
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    If one has some types of color blindness, one doesn't perceive colors the same as most people do.

    If one has cataracts, that can distort how colors look.

    Also, different lighting can affect how a color looks

  9. #9
    Junior Member Bilben's Avatar
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    Jcrow, I'm like you. I can't seem to match colours at all. What I think are dark might actually be medium, what looks red to me looks orange to the LQS staff. I totally understand the need to buy fabric collections, and then i'm stuck with designs I wouldn't have selected myself.

    Tartan, that's good information about the dots on the salvage, I didn't know that. I'm going to try to use that info today at my LQS. I need to get some reds today to try make a patriotic quilt and maybe, just maybe, I can do it right.

  10. #10
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    I use what I like that others do not think is right. If it is right for me then it is right. I have never gone for all this detail and have loved quilting for over 30 yrs
    A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.

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