Color can be one of the most intimidating components of quilt design. Even if you have a clear understanding about color theory, sometimes just making choices can be a challenge. Start off by simply jotting down or sketching your favorite colors. Simply doodling with markers, pencils or pastels can help get you started. Fancy pants art supplies are not needed. Dig in to the crayon box if you have to. I also like to use swatches from my college dye class but paint chips can be a lot of fun, too.
Need a little more help with color? Look at art or nature and pull from there. Flowers are an obvious source of inspiration, but even the subtle variances in wood, plants, stones, and other objects can prompt an interesting project. Take photos and then use apps like Adobe Kuler or Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap to help build your palette.
If you already have your fabric picked out, the selvedge edge has a series of registrations marks. Each mark represents an ink color used in the printing process. This works really well for fabric with complex patterns, and can help with matching prints with solids and exploring color stories.
For more design inspiration, also be sure to check out the available resources in color theory. Josef Albers’s Interaction of Color is the classic color theory bible. Jeni Baker’s blog post “Art of Choosing” is also a fabulous color resource for modern quilters.
Do you have any favorite processes for picking your colors?
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