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How to Plan a Quilt Colour Scheme

So, I started writing instructions for the Mini Charm Medallion tutorial, when it occurred to me: if you have been reading through the #QuiltingTheory series, and about to start your first project, you might be wondering where to start with fabrics and colours.

Today we’re going to look at how to identify the colours and style that you like, using a free app to ‘colour in’ a quilt plan and translating that into fabric.

How to plan a quilt colour scheme using a digital colouring app with tutorial for the Mini Charm Medallion by fabricandflowers

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How to Choose Colours for a Quilt

I remember back when I started quilting, one of the things I was most fascinated/apprehensive about was putting colours together…..it seemed like a magical art (and sometimes, still does!)!

There is lots of information available on Colour Theory – and I am far from an expert.

Planning colour schemes for quilts by fabricandflowers

If you want to learn more about Colour Theory, I can highly recommend the Quilt Colour Workshop. It is a great book which talks you through the colour wheel, colour relationships and tonal relationships, as well as including some fabulous projects!

Having said all that, my top tip would be to go with what makes your heart sing! Try not to get too bogged down by the rules of what should and shouldn’t go together. Have a look on Pinterest/Instagram to see what quilts jump out at you and really look at them;

  • Do they have similar designs, use of colour, or fabric/colour combinations?

Once you’ve identified some common elements, try introducing some of these to your quilt. With each project, you will become more colour confident and soon will be throwing fabrics together with reckless abandonment!!!

For me, I love making projects that are high contrast (normally between background and ‘feature’ fabrics) using textured/tone on tone fabric and quite geometric designs.

Collage of quilt projects by fabricandflowers

To be honest, I didn’t really think I had a preference until I put together a collage of makes for a magazine – at which point I realised there were quite a few similarities!!! – so it’s quite a good exercise.

Choosing Fabrics and Colours

Pre-cuts/bundles are a great starting point if you are new to quilting as they provide a range of colours and patterns that play together nicely. To make a bigger project – such as the Mini Charm Medallion Tutorial – you can add coordinating background fabric.

How to plan a quilt colour scheme using a digital colouring app with tutorial for the Mini Charm Medallion by fabricandflowers

If you are using a candy charm pack, it’s a good idea to lay out all the squares to get an idea of what colours you have – quite often there will be duplicate prints within the pack.

Planning a Quilt Colour Scheme

One of the tools I often use when planning a quilty project is Recolor – Coloring Book, available as a free download through the Apple iTunes store.

It allows you to upload your own images to colour in. It’s a great way of quickly trying out different colour combinations to see what works!

If you’ve not used it before, here is what you will need to do after downloading the app;

You can now open the Planner Sheet image and chose ‘continue colouring’.

Tutorial for how to use a free colouring app for planning a quilt colour scheme and layout by fabricandflowers

In the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, you will see some little coloured dots – if you click on this, you can select the style of colours to use. Images tend to automatically open with ‘gradient’ whereas I prefer ‘solids’.

How to plan a quilt colour scheme using a free digital colouring app with tutorial by fabricandflowers

Chose the colour that you would like to use from the bottom menu (you can swipe across the bottom to choose different colours) and a little white dot will appear in the colour that you have chosen. Now, place a finger on the section of the picture where you would like that colour to go. And play until your heart’s content!

Colour Scheme Plans in Action

Having looked through the candy charm pack of fabrics, using the planner sheet (sign up to my Newsletter for a free copy) and having had a play with different colour layouts, I had decided on a rainbow center and outside, and a neutral second border (as there were conveniently 14 neutral squares in my pack!).

However, what looks good on the screen, sometimes still needs a little fine tuning when it comes to fabric! My initial pull just wasn’t quite right…

How to plan a quilt colour scheme using a digital colouring app with tutorial for the Mini Charm Medallion by fabricandflowers

I was really happy with the light-dark (tonal) graduation that I had with the purple and blue. The orange and yellow didn’t work as well, for me: the orange was too dark and the yellow jarred against the green. So I tried a couple of other squares and was much happier with the final layout.

Join me for the next post when we will be starting the Mini Charm Medallion Cushion Tutorial – if you would like to take part, all you need is one candy charm pack (or 41 2.5″ squares) and one fat quarter for the background.

And if you would like to try out your colour schemes, please join my Newsletter and get sent a free copy of the Quilt Planner sheet.

S x

Today’s sky::: overcast and raining. Boo!

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How to plan a quilt colour scheme using a free digital colouring app for the Mini Charm Medallion by fabricandflowers