Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult. While it might not be simple, using Nature’s Color Wheel can help!
Being a quilter who likes to have more than one quilt idea going at a time, I like to use nature to help guide my color choices for a quilt.
If you are in a time crunch or have run across a line of fabrics you adore, choosing fabric and colors for your next quilt can be a simple, quick process. I find that every now and then I need to grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.
Most often, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics. It’s a process. A dance, actually. You know, it involves colors, value, hue, and tints. But also, this requires a careful consideration of how each fabric interacts with one another, based on its placement. And sometimes the fabrics and the project need to…age.
If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire, like me, maybe you cherish this process, too!
When choosing my own fabrics for a quilt, there are two concepts I often rely on: color in nature and value.
First, let’s look at color. Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures, or pin ideas to an idea boards. This might be in the form of photos in an album on your phone.
There are many variations in the blooms above. These petals aren’t the truest red of the color wheel, but variations to the left and right. Shades of pinks and oranges grace these blooms. That’s why they look so beautiful with the very TRUE green!
Observe nature to choose colors and you can’t go wrong. I like to think of it as Nature’s Color Wheel.
The excitement in the photo above is partially from the vibrancy of the colors, but also the difference in value.
This beach sunset below may be dark, but even it has many colors in it, if you look carefully. Notice the purples, greens, pinks, coral, and blues? The values in this photo are more similar. Notice the calming effect?