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Thread: How do you choose coordinating fabrics?

  1. #1
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    I have a hard time choosing fabrics for quilts. I'm worried that once I put a quilt together it's going to be terrible looking. I've been looking at fabrics that coordinate in a line so that I know they match. How do you go about choosing coordinating fabrics?

  2. #2
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I usually pull colors from my focus fabric

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Honestly, I lay them out on my cutting table (which is large). I can see my table every time I pass the room. Sometimes I'll look at them for a few days in different lights until I'm happy.

  4. #4
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady
    I usually pull colors from my focus fabric
    I agree with this

  5. #5
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl
    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady
    I usually pull colors from my focus fabric
    I agree with this
    Me two!

  6. #6
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I cross my fingers and just hope they look good when I am finished. Honestly, I am no good at selecting colors. Doesn't keep me from trying though. I also tend to lean towards two or three colored quilts....can't mess up too much that way. :)

  7. #7
    Kas
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    Super Member Kas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom
    Honestly, I lay them out on my cutting table (which is large). I can see my table every time I pass the room. Sometimes I'll look at them for a few days in different lights until I'm happy.
    This is so me! And then I rearrange the order I had them out in and wait, think and look for another couple of days! It takes me forever and a day to decide. Sometimes I will take it all to my LQS and ask for opinions. My husband is no help. He just says he likes them all!

  8. #8
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    On the selvedge, there are coloured dots with numbers. I match fabric with these colours.

  9. #9
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I have not used this idea however it sounds GREAT....

    If you buy a main fabric or if you find a fabric that you just HAVE to use in a quilt take that piece of fabric with you to the local hardware store, or chain store that sells paint. Then go through the paint swatches and find colors that you think will go good. Take them home lay them out then with natural sunlight take a photo of them. I always photograph fabric to make sure they look right together.

    Another thing is printed fabrics all have swatch dots on the selvage. These colors are the colors that the fabric were printed with. You can use them to find matching colors!

  10. #10
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    Jinney Beyer had this way of doing colors - she would match exactly the colors in the focus fabric - and then she would add "bridge" colors between each of the matching colors - and then she would use the "bridge" colors.

    Actually made for a more interesting quilt than being exactly matchy-matchy. Which is kind of boring in the mid-range colors.

  11. #11
    Super Member mimom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady
    I usually pull colors from my focus fabric
    I do the same, I have also just discovered that using black for a 1 to 1 1/2" inside border can really make it pop

  12. #12
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I found this site a while back and its sooo much fun playing with the different colors.

    http://colorschemedesigner.com/

  13. #13
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I buy from the same collection.

  14. #14
    Super Member Veronica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nana2Sew
    On the selvedge, there are coloured dots with numbers. I match fabric with these colours.
    I will have to try this, it sounds like it would make sense.
    Love your avatar, you must be a nice Irish girl.
    Is it you own pattern?

  15. #15
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Sometimes I buy from same collection, other times I go with what looks good to me.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I choose the fabric that I like to see together. I aim for contrast not so much the color.

  17. #17
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I've been trying to use fabrics from my stash if at all possible so I just start grabbing fabrics and place them next to each other till I find a combination I like. Then I have to put up all the ones that didn't quite work. Lol!

  18. #18
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    I will have to try this, it sounds like it would make sense.
    Love your avatar, you must be a nice Irish girl.
    Is it you own pattern?[/quote]
    Veronica....
    I'm Irish decent.......My avatar is clip art.......I wish it was a pattern......I would love to make it as a wallhanging.

  19. #19
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    This is one of my biggest challenges. I spend the most time looking through fabrics. I usually start with my own then check several stores to see who has something I like, but I can spend hours looking.

  20. #20
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    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. Thanks for all the great tips. I can match colors OK but it's deciding which prints go together.

  21. #21
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I've found that it often looks nicer if you find things that blend or "play nice" with the others than it is to try to exactly match a color. I usually have a focus fabric to start with and play around with my stash to see what looks good. If I don't have enough, at least I've got an idea of what to look for that will narrow down my choices. You don't have to have every color in each print. You might have a focus fabric with several colors, then each other fabric may have 2-3 colors that blend with the focus fabric. Sometimes what we perceive as an ugly fabric is actually the one that pulls it together!

    Also you need to vary the scale of the design for added interest. If you used the same print in different colors or fabrics too similar in design, it can look blah.

  22. #22
    Marion T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nana2Sew
    On the selvedge, there are coloured dots with numbers. I match fabric with these colours.
    Yes, this is my favourite way, especially if the "focus" fabric is a print with lots of colours in it.

    I also sometimes want some contrast or clash, so I "audition" other fabrics against each other.

    Sometimes I pull out so many fabrics, I just confuse myself and have to start all over again!! Still, its fun and never boring.

  23. #23
    Member QuiltNGanny's Avatar
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    I have used the same fabric line, matched colors to swatches and just pulled what I liked. Now I'm working through a book called Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts. It is helping to explain color relationships. Besides it's fun playing with the colors.

  24. #24
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    I'm a sale shopper so it's not often that more than a couple fabrics from the same line are sale table. For me, the creativity goes out the window when I use fabrics all from the same line. Usually start with my focus fabric, and add several colors/patterns that are complementary. Am very careful about the scale of the prints I use as well as the textures. Seldom use solids as I prefer tone-on-tone. My goal is to create a quilt that someone wants to reach out and feel. So I also tear apart my stash, searching for the right pop of color. Taking a quick picture of potential fabrics combinations helps. Amazing how they can look so different on the computer. Plus it gives you a visual reminder when you decide you like the first group of fabrics you picked out!

  25. #25
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    I like to use a color wheel, it can help with picking out colors. Usually I just use the focus fabric or what I like. Something I neglected to do, which would've prevented a goof on my DH quilt-I couldn't decide which green to use in between star points- ended up using one too dark and the star is not as visible as it should be. I should have made a black and white copy of the greens I was considering. You can tell value that way. Lesson learned.

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