Friday, June 20, 2014

Colour Play...

Firstly, thank you Mary for inviting me to be part of your Flowering Snowball-Along!

Mary asked me to share some ideas about choosing fabrics for a scrappy quilt with this pretty design.

In all honesty, I have no formal training in colour.
  These are just my thoughts about colour, design and fabric from years of experience making scrap quilts!

1. If you are a bit intimidated by going 
"all out scrappy"
choose a colour palette, 
with something like "Design Seeds"...

That is how I chose mine!

2. Become more familiar with the colour wheel and the theory behind colour.  There is an excellent, easy-to-read article here.
Although I'm not sure what happened to pink?

The "Spring Brights" colour palette (above)
  is taken from   
different thirds of this colour wheel.

This means, I think, that there will be 
balance in the colours.

3. The design of the fabrics also 
needs to be balanced,
having large prints and small prints...

deeper tones and lighter ones....

Tone on tones or prints which read as solids...

And every quilt is better with spots,
don't you think?!

4. Consider your favourite fabric lines and what the designer has created...

Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt
Most of the above principals will generally apply.

5. I wrote another post about colour here 
which suggests instead,
 starting with a 'inspiration fabric' 
and its selvedge.

6. Even after I have chosen fabrics for 
a scrappy quilt,
I continue to make decisions during
the making process,

asking myself questions such as:

* Is there enough contrast between the pieces?

* Are there too many prints of the same value?

* Do I have a balance of colours from 
the palette chosen?

I think the more you play with your fabrics, 
the more fun you will have picking a palette!

Go on- have some colour play!

Happy sewing!



  1. Wow! Thank you, Susan! I do need to visit Design Seeds more often! What a useful site! Thank you, thank you for sharing your process!

  2. A very interesting post and very helpful too. Thank you.

  3. Sweet! But what no brown hehee!!

  4. Excellent advice! I think the most important part is continuing to evaluate, adding or subtracting as the piece comes to life. You never know what print might be "the one!" that makes all the difference.

  5. A gorgeous pile of fabric you put together!

  6. Helpful advice in choosing fabrics, Susan! You're right... every quilt needs a shot of dots. ;o)

    Loving the fabrics you're auditioning for your blocks. :o)

  7. Thank you! Design Seeds looks like fun. I'll look at it. Nice post on fabric choices. I'm realizing I forgot large prints in my line up for the flowering snowball. Love your Shellburne Tartan quilt!

  8. Lots of helpful advice there. Good blog post, Susan!

  9. Even with all your great tips for choosing colors, I think everyone has an innate sense about color... or not. It sure looks like it comes easier to you than it does to me! But in the end, it's all about personal preferences. Sometimes those are good preferences and sometimes they're not. Yours are consistently great!

  10. Great post and I agree dots are always needed!

  11. Not only is your post full of helpful colourful tips and tricks but all the photos of fabrics are so wonderful. I want to play with your stash!

  12. Great advice Suz an excellent post!!

  13. Well done, it's nice to have some guidelines. I am eager to learn anything I can put my hands on when it comes to colors, I hope someday it will comes naturally...For now it is something I need to work on.:)) Thank you.

  14. Oh, yes! Every quilt is better with spots. Good advice!

  15. Great post Susan. Spots rule!

  16. Thank you for all the insights and ideas. I still find colour something I mostly do from my gut, what feels right is what I do.

  17. Thank you for so many "seeds" for thought :) And with so many pretty pictures!

  18. Oh dear... I feel a new project coming on... it might be your fault. But it's OK - I've already dropped off the diet bandwagon... and can feel some new fabrics calling me already. Don't you love the peeks of Mary's quilt with the hand stitching?

  19. Well done. You did a good job interpreting the color palette. I have a difficult time choosing fabrics for projects.

  20. Great job, Suz and I love your little block!!

  21. I can't seem to comment on your latest post but I hope you're having fun! The calendar looks great and I like the sweet Mr Fox! I really enjoyed this post too and need to think more about my fabric choices and spend more time assessing them so this was really useful :)


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