Last week I promised to talk about color in my next post. So, here we are! Picking out fabric tends to strike fear into some quilters when they are starting a project. I’m here to say: no fear!
Take a look at the following photos. Some of these colors you would probably not think to put together in a quilt, but look at the result!
I like to make sure there is a good contrast between the fabrics I decide to put together into a block and, ultimately, the whole quilt. Having a contrast emphasizes the design of a block.
Contrast is achieved by considering the value (tint or shade) of the each color you choose. Tint is when white is added to a color to make it lighter and shade is when black is added to a color to make it darker. For example,
pink is a tint of red where maroon is a shade of red.
Another way contrast can be achieved is by combining “warm” and “cool” colors or have blocks that alternate between warm and cool colors throughout a quilt.
Where the 20″ line on my cutting board dissects the color wheel, is considered the dividing line between warm colors on the left and cool colors on the right. Colors close to the dividing line can be used as either.
Here’s a quilt I made that shows you an example of alternating between warm and cool blocks:
Here’s a closer look of a row of the quilt. While I didn’t strictly stick to the cool/warm separation, I did try for the most part.
Planning like this is what I call “planned scrappy” because you are choosing and matching up colors for blocks ahead of time. True scrappy is when you just sit by a bin of strips and scraps and work with whatever color you pull out. Here’s one of my true scrappy quilts. Aside from planning the black folded corner pieces through out, each block was made by just pulling scraps and adding them to the block.
Here’s a close up of a few rows:
Here’s a quick experiment you can do with your fabrics to determine how well one contrasts with another. Stack up fabric on your cutting table to do a “mix and match” to get your preferred look.
The above stack does not have a lot of contrast as they are all shaded colors. Now look what happens when you switch out two of the fabrics for two are somewhat lighter:
I switched out the dark green for a truer green and the dark blue for a truer blue. Look how the contrast changes but you’re still using the same colors!
Next here’s some stacks where I have alternated between light and darker within the fabric stacks and then I laid out 3 stacks in warm/cool/warm sequence.
Imagine alternating blocks in those color combinations above! Well, you don’t have to because here is a quilt design using those:
You can even add in a fourth combination of another set of cool colors to get more of those in the quilt. But you get the idea.
So this brings to a close the mini color tutorial. There’s still time to enter the drawing to win my pattern: Follow the Stars!
Leave a comment on this blog with your thoughts on color and you will be entered into the drawing on July 8th! ****We have a winner! Congrats, Debra Miller!****
I like the blue/red on the colour wheel rather than the yellow/red so that means I`m more for winter shades of colour.
An interesting post, thank you. I tend to use colour instinctively which doesn’t always work! I can see that a colour wheel and a bit more knowledge will be very useful 🙂
carol lewin says
A good post, always had a hard time understanding tint and shade. Very useful.
Thanks for the tute. I lack color confidence.
Deborah Boatman says
Very informative. I always forget the distinction between shade and tint. looked at a couple of my scrappy quilts, and it seems I have instinctively alternated warm and cool blocks. But I’m going to be more intentional about.
Debra Miller says
Great tutorial! I need to “mix it up” more as I tend to be matchy-matchy.
Myra Lee Baldwin says
I always appreciate new ideas and learning new things.
Janet Wallace says
Good info, thanks a ton.
Susan Soles says
I love the pattern & colors of your quilt, I really need to learn how to pick fabrics that really make my patterns have everyone say wow I want to make that quilt. Because you see a pattern on some quilts with wrong fabric choices of colors makes the pattern look less desirable, but with the right choices wow love that quilt pattern. Where do I get the pattern? 😁
Hi, You can find this pattern here:
Debbie Horton says
Thank you! That was practically put and very helpful. I’m a visual learner. 🙂