Colour has been my thing ever since I was a little girl. I remember one Christmas after months of working on covers and clothes for a fancy Silvercross pram and baby doll, how disappointed my Mum was when I ran in to their bedroom on Christmas morning shouting “Mum, Mum, I got colouring books and pencils”. Oooops!
It seems some things are just ingrained in us from an early age, and so for me, when quilting, pulling together fabrics has always been a pleasure and not something I find difficult. However, I hear from students that it can be hard and even stressful. Who needs stressful sewing, certainly not me!
So if you’re not confident about your colour choices, here are some things that might help.
• Choose fabrics from the same line – this is probably the easiest way to ensure it all goes together, after all it’s been designed that way, but what if your chosen store only has one or two of the fabric line designs available?
• Check out the selvedge on your focal print. All printed fabrics have a little colour key or print registration on one of the selvedge sides, you can use this to isolate your colour choices. That’s at least half the battle.
• Look outside sewing for colour inspiration e.g. head to the local DIY store and pick up some of the paint company brochures, inside you’ll find nice room displays and they’ll show how to use various colour palettes. Those paint chip samples are free too of course, so feel free to pick up a range of those to play with when trying to decide what works for you. Speaking of which, there are a gazillion colour palettes on Pinterest, have a look!
• Have a favourite dress, rug, bedding or painting. Check out the colours in there, is there something that makes you happy be it brights, pastels or monotone. Take it with you, snap a pic, or better still wear it (not the rug, bedding or painting of course, don’t make it weird!!) , when you next visit the fabric store and see if you can find prints that echo the colours.
• Look to nature. Check out the colours in your favourite flower, bird, bug or beast. Mother nature does amazing things with the land, sea and sky. Have you seen the viral drone footage of the rays swimming together recently? That set my mind thinking about how pretty and peaceful a quilt in those sea colours would be.
• Go back to basics and use a colour wheel. These can be really helpful if you want to figure out whether you want to aim for a strong contrast or something more soothing. Most quilt stores will carry a version. It’s a bit like going back to secondary/grammar school art lessons and can help you at least get clear as to what colour families you are aiming for.
I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. Let me know if you decide to try any or all of them. Hugs and Stitches. Amanda