How do you choose colors for a quilt?

When you are choosing colors for a new quilt, how do you decide on the overall color scheme? Many times, I see quilters who will choose the same color scheme as the sample quilt on the pattern. Some quilters don’t really even look at quilts in magazines or books if they are not made in colors that appeal to them. While there is nothing wrong with this method or line of thinking, and for beginners it can be a necessary step toward success, it can really limit creativity and growth as an artist in the longer term. Yes, there will always be a color or color scheme that does not appeal to you, but try to see past the colors in the sample to imagine the quilt made in colors that you do like. I see many quilts in books and magazines that I would never make in the colors shown, but my imagination paints them in a different scheme, and they are beautiful. The reverse is also true: I see color schemes that I like in quilts that I would never make for myself.

Ask yourself this question, as well: What is your favorite color? My children have always wanted to know this, and my answer has always been, “I don’t have a favorite color; I like combinations of colors.” They don’t understand this really, and maybe nobody would if they did not work with color as artists do. I don’t even have a favorite combination, truly, but some combinations are more appealing to me than others. While I’m not a huge fan of yellow and blue together, I have seen yellow and blue quilts that I really liked. And, when all is said and done, any color combination or scheme can be beautiful if executed properly. As I said in a previous post, Choosing colors for the next quilt, any colors can be used together successfully in a quilt, if they are blended together (even yellow and blue, or olive green and fuchsia!).

Bottom line: if you’re in that box, choosing a quilt to make based on the colors of the sample, and making the quilt in that color scheme, BREAK OUT! Be creative, and go your own way.