Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 47

Thread: Choosing colors

  1. #1
    Norah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    659
    How do you choose a pleasing color combination? Someone told me to use the colored squares along the selvege of my theme fabric to match colors. I always seem to throw in a few that I wish I hadn't later. :roll:

  2. #2
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5,721
    :roll
    :
    Your not the only one. I go print crazy. I guess you are supposed to look at a color wheel. I keep saying I will only use 3 fabrics...... but its all so pretty. :D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Greendale Twp: Midland, MI
    Posts
    216
    I like to pick out what I call my focus fabric. This will have the most colors and the largest overall print.
    I then take that bolt and hold it up to the fabrics to check out whether or not I can find other fabrics that are pleasing to my eye.
    I look for at least 2 fabrics of each; light, medium and dark values.
    I also try to include small, medium and larger size prints.
    I stack these bolts sideways on the handle side of my cart.
    I then step back and see which ones speak to me.
    I also like to buy enough of one of the fabrics, usually the focus fabric to use for the backing.
    I always buy extra fabric for my stash. If I have 10 or 12 different fabrics that all have harmonizing colors then I can make entirely different quilts, but have only shopped once.
    I learned the hard way to never buy just 1 fabric at a time. Those pieces always seem to be my orphan fabrics.
    Joyce

  4. #4
    Donna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    73
    I just joined today and have to tell you...... I am great putting two and maybe three fabrics together, but tell me I need more than that and I become color illiterate. I really do have a hard time with more than three. I went out and bought the color thingy, it is two pieces of clear plastic, one red and one green, it is supposed to help. Haven't had the opportunity to try it yet tho and won't til after Christmas. Good luck with your color choosing.

    Donna

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Denver CO
    Posts
    94
    The first three colors are the easiest to choose on any project. For the rest, I learned, while working part time in a fabric retail outlet, these guidelines to help speed up the choices:

    Choose prints, plaids, medley colors that related to those main three--don't expect to have all three in each, just one or two--that can be the same, darker or lighter in color intensity.

    If you need three more than the basic choices, lay out four or five, then eliminate that one or two that obviously don't add spice to the originals. The more colors you need beyond the original choices the more "leeway" is expected, but contrast (dark vs. light, bright vs. light) become more important.

    You might be able to make all selections in one shopping trip, but do not expect to do so. Staple a tiny piece of each choice to a card to carry with you to the second or even a third shop. Purchase one more piece/color than you really need for the project. You may be surprised which of all your choices you may end up using.

    Don't spend a lot of time agonizing over selections. Your natural first rections will be good. You will have a "feel" when a blue (or a cool tone) is needed within a selection, or when two prints are "too busy"

    Ask another customer to choose which of two she prefers...but she will confirm your thinking

  6. #6
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,618
    I usually buy my fabric a a local quilt shop (the salespeople are all quilters) and the employees love to help pick color combinations. It's helpful to have someone else's input and they sometimes suggest fabric that I hadn't even noticed.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    398
    I like the sample card Idea I always get to the fabric store and say gee it would be helpful if I had brought some color samples. I tend to grab alot of the same color schemes that don't always match. If you know what I mean? :? . I am building a pretty good stash of a variety of fabrics tho. It has taken me five years to find the perfect backing for the quilt top I made five yrs ago. hoping to finish that before Christmas! :-o

  8. #8
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Humboldt County, California
    Posts
    1,740
    Norah,
    I took a 'color' class at a local quilt shop early on. It really did help. They used a book by Gai Perry, Color From the Heart, to teach the class. We made 5 different quilts during the class. One thing I learned while looking for a specific green, "All greens go together!" The teacher was adament about this. Same for red, blue, etc. Don't limit yourself.
    It was suggested that you add a little yellow and/or turquoise for a bit of spark to your quilt. It's amazing how those two colors can really jazz up a bland project.
    Later I also signed up for some drawing classes for the same reason. I just felt that I wanted to see what others had to say about color.
    Finally, I think your 'color style' will develope as you make more and more quilts. I used to ask others for their opinion but find I do it less and less now. I know what I want and what I like.
    Oh, one other project from the color class that really helped was to chose a picture or an item that you really like and then use the colors you see there to build your color pallet for a quilt.
    I own a color wheel and it does help also.
    Bottom line, just keep experimenting. There is no such thing as a bad color combination. Do you remember the saying "blue and green should never be seen?" Blue and green make a beautiful combination in my opinion. Thank goodness we got over that 'rule'!!!! :lol:

  9. #9
    Nina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    148
    To keep from buying something I don't really need, I have snipped off a corner of each of the fabric I have and glued them to paper - then I take it to the fabric store and get what I need. It also helps me when I put together colors.

    Sometimes the prints are overwhelming in appearance and, since I can't picture a small piece, I bring a manilla folder that I have cut several 2" squares into, place the fabric I'm considering side by side on the table, place the "holey" folder over it and get a fairly clear picture of what it would look like.

    Did this with blues for the bluebonnets I'm getting ready to start. By the way, looks like San Antonio is going to lose a bunch of Hancock Fabrics - and they told me that Joann's is cutting back on their fabrics, too. Anyone know the scoop on this?

  10. #10
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,722
    I guess having 20 years of artistic experiance is what helps me choose colors when I'm designing a quilt.

    You shouldn't have all dark or all light colors. Well, you could, but it'd be more pleasing if you had both dark and light colors in your design to contrast each other.

    Using neutral colors (black, white, grey) can help spruce up any color scheme and I'm finding using them in a quilt can make your quilt design stand out a little more.

    You can't go wrong with different values of one color.

    It helps if you sketch out your design and color it in so you can see if the color scheme you have in mind would actually work. Also, know what you like. For example, I hate pastels so I'm not going to want to make a quilt that looks like the inside of an Easter basket. But I love bold and dark colors so I'd probably quilt something that should be up on display at a Hot Topic store. If you don't like a color or how two colors look together you certainly don't have to quilt with them. Go with what you like.

  11. #11
    bbwalkup's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    69
    wow, you guys just inspire me so much. I personally have a fear of the color wheel. I totally understand what the colors are and why their in those spots, but picking colors just scares me to death.
    Most of what I make is gifts for this person or that, I'm always so freaked out if the colors work, will they laugh at my choices. I make a lot for the neices and nephews, with them being so young I can usually pull if off with novelty fabrics for them. But the adults are what worries me.
    I don't have any background in art, actually drawing and painting scare me as well. Maybe it's more of a mental block??
    When I don't buy enough fabric or go looking for something to go with whatever I need, I safety pin the sample to the zipper on my purse, that way it's in my way and I don't forget about it. I can usually get really distracted in the fabric store. All that clearence just begging to come home, fabrics I just know someday would be perfect for God only knows what...

  12. #12
    Norah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    659
    Quote Originally Posted by bbwalkup
    I can usually get really distracted in the fabric store. All that clearence just begging to come home, fabrics I just know someday would be perfect for God only knows what...
    My feelings, exactly. And I have a whole travel trailer full of them. I can't even get in there. I already have the perfect fabric.... somewhere. So I go buy more.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    398
    I am soooo. jealous :mrgreen: of your sewing travel trailer, that's just what I was looking for. Something to put in the back yard and turn into a little retreat. Maybe with a hot tub of my own :) I'm so desperate for sewing space I've got my eye on the dog house! Looks pretty cozy from here :D

    As for choosing color's I kinda afraid of my lack of fear. I don't want to be the only one who can stand the noise one of my "creations" might make.

  14. #14
    quiltmaker101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    780
    Norah, I have to agree with the Flying V Goddess. I sketch out my quilts on graph paper if I am not at home to put them into EQ5. Both of these are good ideas for finalizing your plans without cutting and regretting. I have a box of 100 colored pencils and a spiral bound graph pad I take with me whenever I feel a quilt idea coming on.

    I think half the fun of making a quilt is taking the time to find exactly what pleases your eye, and letting your creativity take its time. "Let the quilt tell you what it needs" is what I have heard over and over. I spent almost a year collecting the fabrics for my "Leaving California" falling leaves quilt, and it was so worth it! Whenever I look at it, every fabric is exactly what it needed, and that makes it so much more worth the time I spent planning and sewing.

    Relax and enjoy being a creative person, and don't rush yourself!

    Wendy

  15. #15
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Butte, MT
    Posts
    478
    Quote Originally Posted by Nina

    Did this with blues for the bluebonnets I'm getting ready to start. By the way, looks like San Antonio is going to lose a bunch of Hancock Fabrics - and they told me that Joann's is cutting back on their fabrics, too. Anyone know the scoop on this?

    I had posted in another thread this morning about Joanns and their fabric. An employee told me the other day, they were told that until they get rid of their clearance fabric, they won't receive any new calicos. I think this is ridicolous that this corporation does things like this. We'll just go somewhere else to find fabric.

  16. #16
    Norah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    659
    Running out of places

  17. #17
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,722
    Quote Originally Posted by bbwalkup
    wow, you guys just inspire me so much. I personally have a fear of the color wheel. I totally understand what the colors are and why their in those spots, but picking colors just scares me to death.
    Most of what I make is gifts for this person or that, I'm always so freaked out if the colors work, will they laugh at my choices. I make a lot for the neices and nephews, with them being so young I can usually pull if off with novelty fabrics for them. But the adults are what worries me.
    I don't have any background in art, actually drawing and painting scare me as well. Maybe it's more of a mental block??
    That strange. If you really do know the color wheel and why the colors are in those spots then you shouldn't have too much of a problem choosing colors. And just because you don't have a background in art doesn't mean that your quilts are going to turn out bad. Personally, I think quilting is an art in itself so to me you do have a background in art.

  18. #18
    quiltmaker101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    780
    Luckily there are lots of online and in town options for fabric shopping. I have rarely found good quality quilting fabric at Hancock's or Joanns. Maybe its not so bad that Hancock's and Joann are giving up?

  19. #19
    Norah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    659
    Keep that rosy outlook! As for me, the more choices, the better. Maybe we will be forced to beat the bushes for other places to shop and find a real jewel somewhere. My best find was the garment district in Los Angeles. I went there with my son. All of the shops are holes in the wall, just filled with fabrics from all over the world, and very reasonable. I only went to 4 stores and spent over $100 for bags of fabric. Maybe I'll get to go again someday.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    398
    Well I've been helping them get rid of their clearance fabric so they should be ready for new stuff any time now :lol: I'm having that same problem finding the exact right fabric for the baby quilt I want to make. Being this is for a baby born in January though I don't feel as if I can afford a year to look for the perfect fabric. Tho I still will keep my eye out. I'm going to have to change the plans so the baby can have the blanket while he's still a baby.

  21. #21

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    398
    I loved all the choices when I was in San Francisco. Tho I haven't been back since 86. The fabric was so cheap then I have wondered if it still is! I have a friend in Santa Maria who has invited me to come visit. Thats not too far from LA.

  22. #22
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    7,248
    Blog Entries
    3
    since i live in georgia, i guess i'd better start raiding the cotton fields right before the harvest so i can spin, weave and dye my own. pretty soon, that and mugging people for their shirts will be the only way to get fabric for a price i can pay without passing out or getting a second mortgage.

  23. #23

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    398
    Oh yea I almost forgot! Mugging people for their shirts. Or the next best thing. Didn't quilters of old use left over fabric or should I say recycled fabric? Thrift stores, are the answer :roll: :thumbup: I do have a good size collection of great fabric from discarded garments. Usually like new and very colorful when the style didn't catch on for whatever reason.

  24. #24
    Senior Member mary705's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Pinellas Park, FL
    Posts
    620
    You can always mottle your own fabric. I buy many different colors of the Country Classic Solids at JoAnns when it is on sale, and then lay the piece of fabric in the bathtub, or outside on a sheet of plastic if it is too big, then I use a spray bottle with regular chlorine bleach in it and spray it. Some colors only require 30 seconds to get the desired color, some longer, then rinse completely with cold water and pop in the dryer.

    I have a queen size quilt top done for my daughter which required lots of different colors, and did it that way, so even using the same base color, the shades came out different. This is the top just in the design stage, trying not to put any of the same colors together, still up on my design wall. Just need to quilt it now
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
    Senior Member annmarie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Rhinelander, WI
    Posts
    874
    Wow - cool quilt. I never heard of your mottling method but sounds good! Thanks for sharing.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.