COLOR FUN…….and a little THEORY


Those who sew, quilt, embellish & embroider have one thing in common…we all love COLOR! That is the fascination and addiction to fabric. We see all those luscious colors swirling around in prints, geometric, floral, stripes, plaids and on and on it goes. BUT, some of us are not innately proficient in color theory or the color wheel. Today I’m going to give a few tips when it comes to coordinating those beautiful designs and colors together to make something pleasing to the eye.

The primary colors are learned in grade school, but just as a review they are red, yellow, and blue and when combined make all the rest! Pretty awesome don’t you think? They are the primary colors! Then we have orange, green and violet which are the secondary colors. The tertiary colors are the ones in between the primary and secondary colors, such as red-orange and blue-green.

Primary Colors Yellow Red Blue
Secondary Colors: Green, Orange, Violet

Then after the primary colors, come the secondary colors and are represented by orange, green and violet. And interestingly these are the 6 colors of a rainbow plus one more…Indigo.

Katie Kortman has a curated collection of these fabric colors at Fabric.com.

So when you start mixing these different colors you are actually making a color scheme. MONOCHROMATIC is a favorite in which you take one main color and then mix with light and dark shades of that same color. This color scheme is subdued and offers a classic look.

Monochromatic color scheme. Different shades of the same color.

COMPLEMENTARY is when you take opposite sides of the color wheel & mix them together. These can be different shades but you are only using two main colors. This color scheme is very striking, so when you want to make a bold statement COMPLEMENTARY may be your choice. If you want to see how really bold this color scheme can be check out Katie Kortman’s COMPLEMENTARY OUTFIT using the Pantone Color of the year: Classic Blue. Since, orange is opposite the blue color on the color wheel, she combined the Classic Blue with Orange and what a bold statement it makes!

Complementary color scheme. See more on Fabric.com

Here are some Batik fabric choices in the BLUE category with some coordinating colors at Fabric.com.

AND here are Quilt Cotton fabric choices in the BLUE category

I hope you have enjoyed this short summary of some Color Wheel Basics. If you want to play around with color schemes we have a coaster that uses a 4×4 hoop called COLOR PLAY in our online shop. This post will followup with additional color schemes as we build upon these basics. Please comment to let me know if you have found this post to be helpful and by Joining our Blog you will be notified every time we post.

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