I like to keep a file of colorful photos to use as a starting point for most of my quilts. Color experts design magazine pages, so why not learn (or steal?) from them?! As I am planning a new quilt, I go through this file. Usually one of the photos will jump out…
Then I go to my stash and see if I can pull fabrics to match the photo.
It is important to add all the colors in the photo-as sometimes it is the small accent color that makes all the difference in whether or not a quilt “pops”. Also proportion is important here. For example, there is only a small amount of the rose-flower color in the photo, so that might give you a clue to use only a small amount of rose pink in your quilt.
After I have found all the photos colors, I audition fabrics from my stash that might blend well. I add transition fabrics and fabrics that are lighter and darker.
This becomes the quilt stash. Each block is made from these fabrics only. As I progress making blocks, I constantly put them up on a design wall. If my quilt is not “singing”, I refer back to the original photo. I check to see if I have all colors and in similar proportions and that usually does the trick.
So start shredding your magazines, and start your own color file. Give this little tip a try the next time you are making a block or a quilt!