When it comes to choosing fabric, we all know where our own individual tastes and preferences lie. Whether you tend towards a modern or traditional aesthetic, or like a little bit of everything, the one thing that can challenge a lot of people is finding a way to combine colors in a pleasing and functional way. Throughout the month of July, we are going to be providing some insight into the world of color and how it can help take your quilts to the next level.
Understanding color on its own can be difficult enough, but as a quilter you’re combining color, pattern, texture and so much more. So we’re going to walk you through the basics of color theory in hopes that it will give you a better understanding of the world of color and make you a pro at choosing your own fabric combinations.
The “hue” of a color is a way to identify the purest form of a color–that is, a color without tint (adding white) or shade (adding black).
The “temperature” of a color refers to how “hot” or “cold” a color is. For the most part, colors are broken into two categories—warm or cool (although some may say neutrals are a category of their own). Warm colors are perceived as stimulating, vivid, and energetic. Cool colors are calming and give off a soothing impression. Reds, yellows, and oranges make up the warm side of the color wheel while the blues, purples and some greens make up the cool side. Although some give neutrals their own category, for the most part, they can be lumped into either side of the warm and cool spectrum.
One of the most helpful ways to understand color theory is to actually test it out. Play around with your stash experimenting with organizing like values, intensities, or breaking it down into similar color families. When you’re comfortable with your new-found knowledge, start designing! Try out new color combinations and use tools like the design wall to help you visualize your combinations. Don’t quite feel confident enough yet? Check out the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool to give you that extra assistance with finding the perfect combination.