When designing and planning your quilt, one of the things that you need to decide on is your quilt colors and patterns. For many quilt designers, this is often the first step. Inspiration usually comes from seeing a pattern or a color scheme that we want to put on our quilt and the rest follows from our choice of colors and patterns.
Quilt colors and patterns can make or break our quilt design. It is often these elements that come together to make a quilt that is pleasing to the eyes. Different styles of quilting call for different choices of colors. For example in string quilts or crazy quilts, the choice is often freestyle - which means any color and any print is suitable. Some quilt designs call for solid colors. Some designs make use of a color pattern of a set number of colors. Some prefer to use prints with solids and so on.
When choosing the colors that will go on your quilts, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Think about the purpose of your quilt and how it will blend in its surroundings. Quilts that will be used as bedding would do well to take into consideration the existing theme of the bedroom. Quilts that will be used as wall decor should likewise take into consideration the existing color scheme of its surroundings.
2. Warm or cool colors? Warm colors tend to be more dominant than cool colors. Warm colors are great for depicting intense emotions in your quilts - emotions such as love, friendship and so on. Cool colors are great for depicting more relaxing themes such as nature themes.
3. Dark colors vs neutral colors. Highlights of your design - the elements that you want people to notice - would do well with darker colors. The elements that you want people not to notice or to recede into the background should have neutral colors in them.
4. To highlight different patterns, a monochromatic color scheme can be used. In this type of color scheme, varying shades of a single color is used. Neutrals can be mixed into the color palette of a monochromatic
5. You may also opt for an analogous color scheme, where you used colors that are next to each other in the color wheel. Choose your main color, and then choose the colors that are next to it on both sides. Mix in some neutrals to highlight your main colors.
6. A complementary color scheme works by choosing a color that is opposite your main color in the color wheel. This complementary color is used sparingly, as accent in your design. A complementary color scheme can work with an analogous color scheme. In this case, you have your main color and the 2 colors next to it, plus you have accents from the complementary color.
7. To help you visualize how the colors and patterns will look on your design, create a design wall. On the design wall, line up swatches of your fabric choices side by side.
8. If you want to take the guesswork out of your quilt colors and patterns, this is what you can do. Scan or take photos of your swatches. Line them up on your computer, block per block, and then factor in your sashing color. Alter the layout until you find one that you like. After you are satisfied with the color combination, you can now proceed to putting your design together.
When it comes to choosing your quilt colors and patterns, the best judge of harmony is you. Don't be afraid to use colors, patterns and textures. Line them up and see for yourself how well they blend into each other.