Sunday, May 1, 2016

Choosing Colors For Your Quilt

I'm often asked just how do I make my color choices.  And I wish I had a great flowery explanation for all you but I don't.  While I have written about using a color wheel 99.9% of the time I don't use a color wheel when choosing colors for a quilt.  So what do I use?  I use the world around me to help me make color choices.  It can be anything from the flowers in your yard, animals, insects, fashion, or even trash.  If something in the world around you catches your eye there is a reason, snap a picture of it and let those colors inspire your next quilt.  Break away from the rules of what you must put together and put colors together that make you smile.

choosing colors for your quilt

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When I'm not doing scrappy quilts where I'm looking at more of a theme of fabric, i.e. plaids, then I look to the world around me for color inspiration.  I used a rainbow in last year's mystery bargello.  Rainbows are bright and cheery.  Who doesn't love finding one in the sky after a rain shower?  They make the perfect baby quilt or an eye catching statement quilt.


The colors in the photo above would make one think they shouldn't go together.  Orange, red, yellow, green, and blue in your mind you say "Nope, it wouldn't work" but it does work.  Now how do I know that those really work together?  Well first it caught my eye enough for me to crawl on the ground to take the photo.  Yep, it's mine. :)  Secondly, it's been featured many times.  It graced the walls of an art gallery, it was used in the state calendar, and Gizmodo even featured it.  While it really only matters that it caught my eye the other recognitions just supports the idea that it does work together.


Animals can be a great source of color inspiration.  The photo above would make a great manly quilt.  Butterflies also make a great source of color.  Not only are they brightly colored but the world around them is full of color as well.  The color combinations of butterflies are sometimes the most striking color combos you'll find in nature.  Why not make a quilt from them?


Landscape is another great place to look for inspiration.  Trees, lakes, mountains, and hills all change throughout the year.  Find your favorite time and use it to inspire you.  Sometimes you might be shocked when you look at the photo what colors are really in there.  We don't always see all of them when we first look.


What are you going to use for inspiration for your next quilt?  Break a few rules, don't follow the color wheel and let the artist within you come out.  I'd like to thank Shields Photography for the use of their photos.  Thanks hubby for the photos that I didn't take! If you liked this post don't forget to pin the image below to let everyone know.



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Melissa Shields
Melissa Shields

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