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Thread: Color Chart Help

  1. #1
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    Color Chart Help

    I'm not the best at selecting colors. At least I don't think so. Do you take a color wheel with you when you go fabric shopping? There is one at Nancy's Notions that looks like a paint sample ring. Isn't there some kind of color wheel that is specific to quilting or fabric that isn't different than what a typical artists color wheel is?

    Any information would be appreciated. I think it would help me to think out of my little comfort zone of color a little more.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  3. #3
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    a color wheel is a color wheel. If you want one, find one that you like that is relatively inexpensive.

  4. #4
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I just received some quilting junk mail to subscribe to some expensive books and in the midst of the paperwork was a color wheel. I cut it out and threw the rest of the stuff away and now I have a free color wheel. I put it in a small ziplock bag to keep fresh. Maybe you will get the same junk mail!
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  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    A color wheel won't help you very much unless you know how to use it. There are lots of websites, classes and books these days that can teach you about color theory...many specifically for quilters. It's great fun, not complicated at all, and can make color use and selection so much easier.

    BellaOnline has a good series on color theory and they start right out with how to use the color wheel (but don't stop there!).
    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art4672.asp
    Last edited by ghostrider; 09-20-2012 at 06:53 AM. Reason: spelling
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  6. #6
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    For someone who doesn't understand color and wants a short cut here is a very old way that still works great. Find a piece of fabric in a print with a lot of colors that you REALLY like, like a plaid or a floral or whatever. The main thing is it should have a LOT of colors Then take this with you to select colors for a quilt. The colors in the fabric swatch are already color coordinated to each other; just match your colors to the colors in the swatch. If you are buying a piece of fabric to be your swatch be sure and get a piece that includes the dots of color in the selvage. Then you can compage selvage dots to selvage dots when comparing fabric colors. Makes it easier in selecting colors. And double check your colors in the sunlight before you have them cut the bolt. Not all lighting in the stores will show the true colors.

  7. #7
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    you should be able to get a very inexpensive color wheel in the art department at Joanns/Michaels/Hobby Lobby, as stated before....a color wheel is a color wheel, weather it is used in art, the garden or while planning a quilt....another valuable lesson to learn is values and intensity and hues....Do some "googling" for a further explanation of these terms.
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  8. #8
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I find a large scale print with colors I like, and buy about a yard. If it has the color registration dots so much the better. I use this fabric as a color map to choose colors for my quilt. Sometimes I don't even use the original fabric in the quilt, just use it to select the other fabrics. The fabric designers usually have better color sense than I do.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I find a large scale print with colors I like, and buy about a yard. If it has the color registration dots so much the better. I use this fabric as a color map to choose colors for my quilt. Sometimes I don't even use the original fabric in the quilt, just use it to select the other fabrics. The fabric designers usually have better color sense than I do.
    Jinny Beyer has a book out that says to START there - and then use colors that 'bridge' from color A to color B to color C.


    Doing that avoids some of the matchy-matchy that can be a bit boring, but still keeps the colors compatible.

    For example: One has a blue fabric and a green fabric - she would use a blue-green fabric as the third one instead of matching either the blue or the green.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    Jinny Beyer has a book out that says to START there - and then use colors that 'bridge' from color A to color B to color C.


    Doing that avoids some of the matchy-matchy that can be a bit boring, but still keeps the colors compatible.

    For example: One has a blue fabric and a green fabric - she would use a blue-green fabric as the third one instead of matching either the blue or the green.
    I just read about Jinnie's color matching and it was on the internet somewhere - I think on her studio site but not sure. When she talked about bridge fabrics, that made a light go off - she showed how to add sparkle with the bridge fabrics . Really great to learn.

    Edit: Went to look realy quick - at jinniebeyer.com under tips and tricks.
    Last edited by sewmary; 09-20-2012 at 10:27 AM.

  11. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Look at pictures of quilts that attract your attention.
    Determine the main colors in those quilts.
    Notice closely what colors are used that might surprise you.
    Then notice how much of each color the quilter used.
    Did she change the value of those colors (using lights, mediums and darks)?

    Google images of fresh flower, or wild flowers, or specific flowers.
    Go through the same process as you find flowers that attract your attention.
    In a red flower, are there several values of red? Does it contain pink? Light? Dark? How about peach or even orange in it?

    Train your eye by spending time doing this a bit every day, or week, until you begin to feel comfortable with colors that work well together. They are all around you! So much in nature is inspirational. Even when the trees bud in spring, you will notice there are many, many values of green.....and even red/pink/rust/burgundy, all at the same time!

    You don't have to carry any tool around with you, just your eyes. And they are always with you!

    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    OK here goes:

    [1] You don't need to buy a color wheel unless you want to spend the money. There are several you can download free.
    [2] Even with a color wheel your material might look different because of the print size and texture.
    [3] Ditto Jan in VA's advice. Look around and see what you like.
    [4] Make it a fun process and you'll surprise yourself.
    [5] However, remember as we 'mature' our vision may not be giving us proper feedback on color. Check with trusted friends. If your color vision is off see an ophthomologist!!!

    Ex: one of my best friends wasn't aware of her miss matching colors. Her family noticed but didn't say anything. Only 2 of us quilting buddies gave her feedback and went material shopping with her. See saw her ophthomologist regularly never telling him of her color concerns and he told her she didn't need cataract surgery just yet. So she followed his advice and did nothing. Finally she listened to us and told the eye doctor of her color problems and has now had her first cataract surgery. The world is much brighter and vivid now.

    Hope this all helps,
    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  13. #13
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    It's true that cataracts will 'muddy' what one sees.

  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    It's true that cataracts will 'muddy' what one sees.
    YES! I felt like scales had fallen from my eyes after cataract surgery. The renewed clarity of color was even better than the renewed clarity of taste after I quit smoking 22 years ago. teehee
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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