Intuitive Quilting Color Theory




" Wow, I would have never though about putting those fabrics together"  Sometimes this is said as a complement and sometimes not. 

Color is a very personal and subjective. My loud and garish is your peppy and happy. Your traditional might want to make my poke my eye out with quilting needle.

Of course there are all sorts of books you can read on the topic of color theory and quilting. Most are very well versed and honestly make my head hurt.

I FEEL color.

I am an intuitive color person. This often means I put together colors and patterns that others would never dream of and yet they often work ( granted sometimes only for me). As a child my color sense was called "quirky" which was code for "odd" and it vexed my "by the book" mother to no end.

On the other hand it tickled my father who was an artist.  He often let me play with all his special markers and pencils just sorting them into color groupings that pleased my eye. I would give each grouping a name and add a tag.. I was a strange little kid! 

For me it is not about colors "matching".. It is about colors and patterns that play off of each other.

It is also not about only using my "favorite" colors.. such quilts become insipid. But add a contrasting color/pattern and they can really sing!

Sewing from your stash means bringing your very own intuitive quilter out to play.  You might make different choices and that is ok.. the point is taking the risk to  see fabric in a different light and create something different than the next person.


The process.

 I started with this Kona panel made to look like pieced blocks that I am using for a stitch-practice panel. From there I added the outer brown border. In the photo the brown looks to be a match to the brown in the fabric but it is actually a couple of shades darker. 

This would have been a safe place to stop  but I wanted more punch to this piece so started pulling fabrics from my stash that had the right feeling. In this case the fabric had a overall greyed down feeling so bright clean colors were not going to work. 


 I tried something like 14 fabrics and narrowed it down to a few contenders.. this dot made the cut..  the feeling was right and I would have lived with it as a choice. The dots contrasted well with all the boxes in the fabric and the brown, yet another shade added another color dimension. Nice. Had I had more of this I might have used it for the back - but no dice so back in the stash it went.


I did not think I was going to like this one but in the end was really jazzing on it.. sadly the scale of the numbers and the amount of fabric I had did not work. I would have lost most of the impact of the numbers due to having to cut smaller strips to have had enough of this. --Anybody know what this number fabric is??.. I really like it.



This fabric .. well who knew, but  I do  know that it would not have been most people's choice but I really grooved on the contrast of the flowers and the geometric and how the pink of the flowers totally works with the pink in the panel.

Take a risk.. it is just quilting.

Want to see how I am quilting this?.. join me over on my Facebook page where I am posting updates!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I definitely think some people are gifted with the innate ability to "just know" what colors will work and not work. We have an open concept house and walls and rooms flow together. I did not want to paint the entire house one boring color. After purchasing 25 (yes TWENTY-FIVE) paint samples we gave up and called an interior decorator who picked the perfect series of colors for the house in about one hour using just the paint deck. We went with whatever she picked and I LOVE the look. I know when something works, I just can't always find it on my own. You obviously share that same skill set.