Color is like chocolate, you just have to have it.
It’s one of the reason I enjoy hand dying my own fabrics, to get rich yummy color.
I love working in COLOR, it always makes me happier, I don’t know about you but for me, living here in the mid-west where winter is long and cold and grey and dreary, it really helps to play and work with bright things.
When I am teaching I hear the students say they don’t know what colors to use. I think this is a common problem.
I have several basic and simple ways that I work with color. If you are any thing like me you like to know how other people work so I’ll share my process.
Color theory can be learned and practiced just like everything else. You just have to keep trying. Placing different colors next to each other and referring to the wheel. If you don’t have a color wheel it is well worth the little money it costs to get one, they are not very expensive.JoAnn’s, Dick Blick and all the craft places carry them.
The first way I often work with color is to use complimentary colors.
You can see that Yellow is opposite Violet, and Blue is opposite of Orange, and Red is opposite of Green.
Just picking those colors you already have a successful color combination.
If we flip the color wheel over to the other side you can see the two triangle and two rectangle guides for relationship choices, as you turn the wheel the arrow points to a pure color in the outer row and then the split complementary color choices or the tetrad color choices. It makes it pretty easy to decide on what colors will work well together.
Complimentary color - In my award winning quilt “Dandelions” I used those opposites on the color wheel to help make this quilt POP.
Yellow and purple are the opposites on the color wheel. That was an easy choice. I know I was going to make the Dandelions bright yellow and placing them against the purple made a dramatic statement.
Analogues Colors - And then for the border I used analogues colors – using any shades, tints, or tones of colors that lie adjacent to each other on the wheel.
Also a no brainer because it didn’t distract from the center of the quilt, but carried out the color theme in still a bright and fun way.
My hand dyed fabric combo – Purple Pulp has pink, purple and magenta in it in different tints; color that is lightened. That makes it easy for you to use them together in a quilt.