Choosing Fabric Colors & Prints

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Choosing fabric colors and prints should be a fun experience. But sometimes it's confusing, even for experienced quilters. Not to worry.

I'm going to teach you a basic, but effective way to select the right fabrics for your quilt.

It's worth the time to learn about fabric colors. After all, you're investing time and money in your quilt. Make them sparkle with dynamic color combinations. After reading this lesson, you might want to learn more about advanced color theory. Here are a few good books on the subject:


1. Color: The Quilter's Guide by Christine Barnes.

2. Jinny Beyer's Color Confidence For Quilters


Choosing Fabric Colors & Prints

Choose small, medium and large-scale prints. This gives your quilt texture and movement, and it brings visual interest to the eyes.


Choose light, medium and dark fabrics for contrast (value). Light fabrics recede, and dark fabrics pop out at you. This gives your quilt depth instead of a flat look.

For help with color value, try using a product called, "Color Evaluators." Hold this plastic tool over your fabric, and it hides the print. That way, you only see the color value. Use the red for warm colors and the green for cool colors.


Match the Dots

Here's another great trick! Look at this photo. See the row of colored dots along the edge of the fabric? These are called "dye markers." Each marker represents a certain color in the print. All you need do is select fabrics that match the dots! How easy is that?


How I Select My Fabric Colors

Now I'm going to show you how I select my fabric colors. First, I choose ONE main fabric that has a few colors in it.


Next, I choose matching fabrics from the colors in the main fabric. See how the colors coordinate with the colors in the print?


These fabrics have all the basics:

1. Small, Medium and Large-Scale prints

2. Light, Medium and Dark Values

3. All colors have been "pulled" from main fabric.

When you're selecting fabric colors and prints, keep the basic rules in mind. Your quilts will be so much more appealing.


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