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Thread: Having trouble with matching multitude of colours

  1. #1

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    Hello again. I sure was glad to find this quilting forum today. The quilt I've started is very complicated in some ways but should be easy to put together once I've got it organized. It's a Kaffe Fassett one with bright colours, no whites or really light colours and they all run together with several repeated (21 different fabrics). The outer pieces will be dark green so it looks like a flower garden.

    I have over 20 different fabrics of different colours and am having quite a time putting them together so they blend nicely. Would you say that if one colour is duplicated in the next fabric they go together? Or would it be O.K. if the colour just matches the other, isn't the same? I have everything from bright orange, fuscia, hot pink, red, blues, turquoise, greens and yellows.

    Joan

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have used a color wheel and have read books about color, hues, tints, tones, warm and cool. I finally learned to go with the colors I liked next to each other. If it pleases me then it's the right choice for me. :D

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Hi Calico,

    Welcome from upstate NY. BellaBoo offers excellent advice about the color wheel but even better advice about doing what you like. I think, as quilters, we all have good color sense but we often obsess so much about it we fail to trust our first instincts. It is most definitely trial and error. If you think they look good together... go for it.

    FF

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    With colors as bright as Kaffee Fassett I would not worry so much about them blending, they are going to pop unless you use them sparingly. Weren't the bright colors what attracted you to the fabrics? Let them sing next to each other in a way that you imagined when you bought it and that pleases you! :wink: 8)

  5. #5
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Amen to go with what pleases you! Don't over worry about it, and it will be fine. Just remember, when you see gardens, they look great, and the colors work! :lol:

  6. #6
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    I have been to a couple of his lectures, and if I remember rightly (they were a long time ago) he said that if he wasn't sure of his colour scheme, he just threw in another dozen colours. In other words, the more, the merrier to his way of thinking. Go with the flow, and don't worry too much.

  7. #7

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    Thank you all. I am feeling much better and not so frustrated. I've never done anything so daring before but love the colours.

  8. #8
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    All the Kaffe Fasset quilts that I have seen sort of just seem to be a happy riot of color. I would second what everyone else is saying- if you like it, go for it.

    Do you have a design wall to test your blocks? I heard an idea on this board and use it all the time- you just tack a flannel backed tablecloth on the wall with the flannel side out and you can stick your blocks to it and move them around. Works like a charm and cheap, too!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    I agree, the more colors the better!

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    When I am in doubt about fabric/colors. I audition them. My method is that I fold the fabric into smaller pieces and lay them next to each other similarly as to how they would be in the block. Then I walk away from the layout and pop in a few times just to glance at it. UNLESS a fabric jumps out at me as a garish mismatch, I use them. The sum of the parts is usually so much more/better than the focus we put on individual pieces.

    Give yourself permission to be creative. The fabric line you mentioned is designed to work together. The more, the merrier.

  11. #11

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    Thanks again for all your suggestions. They are terrific. Martina, I actually have been doing that--lining them up and then leaving for a while and when I walk back into the room I see what doesn't fit. I have a feeling it will all come together and be wild with colour like it's intended to be.

    I'm going to see about a flannel backed tablecloth for the wall. Great idea, too and thanks.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    I just read somewhere that we're all so used to blending colors, matching them up, but as quilters we need to learn to contrast colors. So one answer seems to be, if two pieces of fabric are the same color, move them apart.

    Then there is what I call "color progression," by which I mean the gradual change from one color to another. Some quilt have pieces ordered so that dark blues are next to light blues, which are next to greens, which are next to yellows... I think those are so beautiful.

    Then there's the idea of balance, where you may want to spread a color out over different sections to balance the brightness or the hue.

    Martina's practice of auditioning fabrics is one I learned in my beginner's quilting class. To me this seemed really obvious. But all I was doign was laying them out the way I thought I wanted. My class taught to try other ways as well, even if you're fairly sure about what you want, just to see if something else looks better.

  13. #13
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    I really love the "more the merrier" advice. I just love his fabrics and I think they all play together nicely. I can't wait to see your quilt! Please post pictures. It's going to be a stunner!

  14. #14
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    If you like the way they look together use them. I can't wait to see your quilt.

  15. #15
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    I have found that leaving them overnight is a good thing. It seems like that next day I can walk in and what I do not like sticks out like a sore thumb. I make the changes and am on my way.

  16. #16
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calico
    Thanks again for all your suggestions. They are terrific. Martina, I actually have been doing that--lining them up and then leaving for a while and when I walk back into the room I see what doesn't fit. I have a feeling it will all come together and be wild with colour like it's intended to be.

    I'm going to see about a flannel backed tablecloth for the wall. Great idea, too and thanks.
    I'm really glad I found this forum about colors. My son wants me to make him a quilt in Virginia Tech colors, where he went to school. They are orange and maroon. And he wants it to be mainly just those colors, but I do plan to use some black. The pattern he wants me to make calls for 48 different fabrics. It's not easy to find maroon and orange in that many fabrics, much less ones that are not feminine. I've been buying for the past several months, and have been placing them folded in rows. I need to try the leaving and coming back though, and a design wall too. Good advice from everyone. Thanks.

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