Friday, January 6, 2012

Another Way to Choose Fabrics

Let's go back to art class - it was one of my favorite classes in school!
You are probably familiar with this image:

We are going to apply it to fabric.

Maybe you want to stay all in one color family - the blues for example.  Or the reds that are so popular.  Or Tangerine Tango, which Pantone has declared THE COLOR for 2012.  That seems pretty simple, especially using the dot method we learned yesterday, making sure the colors will all play together well.  This is a monochromatic color scheme.  Mono means one, and chroma is color.

Or maybe, you want a little more color, but nothing too extreme.  Try an analogous color scheme.  "A who-what?" you say.  These are colors that are right next to each other.  Like greens, turquoises and blues (the cool colors).  Or reds, oranges and yellows (the warm colors).

But maybe, just maybe, you feel adventurous, and you want to start using bolder colors, or more dramatic contrasts.  Start with complementary colors.  These colors are generally across from each other on the color wheel, with red and purple being the exception.  The two favorites in our house:  orange and blue.  Did I mention Hubby graduated from the University of Illinois?  They are also our high school colors, and they are the colors for the Chicago Bears. GO BEARS!  But, I digress.

Let's use the fabrics I showed you yesterday as an example:

Let's say I want to make an item with just the greens.  That would be monochromatic.  Yes, even though there are prints involved.  Either green fabric with the yellow dot would be analogous, and those same greens with the pink dot would be complementary.

Now, I have to share a real learning experience I had with color combinations this past summer.  I was making a little boy baby quilt, and came across this wonderful vintage-type fabric that was turquoise with bright red apples on it.  The turquoise was that wonderful muted tone, almost Crest-toothpaste color.  I never in a million years would have combined those colors on my own!  But, that turquoise had just enough green to it that it acted like a complementary color to the red.  I used that charm square as my guide to choose my reds and my blue-ish's, and, the results were simply amazing!

So be bold, be brave, be confident with COLOR!

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