Welcome to the Quilting Board!
When I first started quilting, I did a mixture of a lot of the above advice I started with a pattern that required not too many colors (up to 5). I would pick a main fabric, usually multi-colored that I loved and would build around that. In the beginning I also used to pick colors from the same line...the matching is done for you! I used to be so paranoid about getting the colors just right...until a quilting teacher once told me: "Why do you always worry about not matching the colors. You dress nicely so you have a good sense of colors; just go with your instinct and have fun with it!" So don't worry, it will get easier as you go along. Now I rarely pick from the same line and love to throw in some zinger fabrics like a black and white or a funky print. I also don't necessarily have a pattern in mind and love to make up my own thing. Now picking colors and fabrics for my projects is my favorite part
As I'm cruising through photos in magazines, I rip out what I like. Sometimes it's the color scheme I like. Then I pick fabrics that match the photo. A variety of values is crucial to the success of a quilt.
I've also picked a color scheme around the mood of the quilt. Several years ago, I was depressed and choose blue shades of flesh tones to express the blue mood of the portrait.
Thanks to everyone for the excellent advise. Everyone on here are gems. I love the sight. I am learning so much from ya'll.
I'm late in reading a lot of these posts, and have enjoyed the ideas here. I've chosen fabric for projects in several ways - Sometimes I have a pattern in mind and choose the fabrics I like (I keep the pattern with the fabric if I don't get at the project right away). Other times I've purchased packets - like a bundle of 20 FQs for a "Turning Twenty" quilt - and just yesterday a Bali Pops and coordinating fabric for one of Pam and Nicky Lintott's jelly roll quilts. I'm really anxious to get started!
When someone mentions quilting, I go to pieces!