As I looked around the sewing room yesterday thinking about picking up a bit, I had to smile seeing color wheels everywhere and knowing I pay little attention to them.
Notice the feather on the bulletin board under my cutting chart. Chad found that and it makes me smile!
Without thinking much about it, would you share your answers to these questions. I’m more interested in your initial, off the cuff impressions, than the answers you might think about and decide are ‘correct’.
- If making a quilt . . not a show quilt or a scrap quilt, how do you choose your colors?
- How likely are you to use the sames colors as in the pattern?
- In a percentage, how often are you completely satisfied with the colors you choose?
- Do you use a color wheel or other aid, or do you go strictly by what appeals to you at the moment?
There are great articles online on using the color wheel and specifically using it to choose colors for quilts. This is one of my favorite articles.
I usually choose the colors I like, pretty much without regard to the “rules”. Sometimes, usually after everything is done and it’s too late to turn back, I’ll look at the fabrics I’ve chosen, glance at the color wheel and think I didn’t do too bad.
When looking at this quilt, and the color wheel, I see that the yellowish green and the reddish purple are complementary colors and that’s good!
When I look at the other Road to Llano top, I see that the gold and purple are almost complementary colors. My gold is probably a little more gold than it should be to be considered complementary to the purple I used but it works and I’m happy with it.
I think working with tone on tone fabrics makes my job so much easier than working with prints. See .. I always take the easy route! When choosing fabrics, I always go with color combinations I like, colors that look good to me. The next thing that concerns me is blending. I want there to be enough contrast so that the piecing is distinct. I don’t want to go to all the trouble of piecing and often trying to create a secondary design, only to have it all blend together. That’s where the tint (adding white), shade (adding black) or tone (adding gray) come into play.
In my quiltmaking, coming up with the design is the first step and choosing the fabrics is the second step but both are equally important. The wrong fabrics on a perfect design can make a horrible quilt, and vice versa.
When I first began quilting, and what I often see with new quilters, I would find a pattern/design, either a purchased pattern or something in a magazine or book, that I liked. I would choose the fabrics as closely as I could to mimic the colors used in someone else’s design. Then I progressed to where I would go to the quilt shop with my pattern or magazine and tell the quilt shop ladies . . I want to make this quilt. They would help me choose the fabrics and it was most often their choice and not my own. I’m much happier with my quilts these days. I think they reflect “me” and often my personality.
An easy way to choose colors is to use fabrics from one collection or line of fabrics. I rarely do that since I’m almost always using tone on tone type fabrics and working with stash fabrics.
After reading through this (you did, right?) . . if you are answering the questions I posed earlier, are you changing your answers? Are you thinking more about why you choose the colors you choose?