Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Finding your color

Do you ever struggle with picking colors? I do. Every. Time. So where do you go for inspiration? How do you decide on colors to pull?

I have a few different resources that I would like to share.

My local quilt shop (LQS) 
My own ideas
My testers

Let's explore these a bit.


Yes, yes, Pinterest. If I'm feeling like I'm not absolutely loving the colors I've put into a mock up, or if I'm struggling to even come up with a color plan, this is where I start. I highly recommend that you start a board just for color inspiration. You can find mine here.

Sometimes I just simply put in: "color inspiration" and I get so many ideas.

Hello gorgeous! (Although I'm not sure about those towels...) I cut off the top, because you don't need to know how many windows I currently have open. It's scary. Trust me. Start scrolling down that screen and you can't help but be inspired. 

Feeling spring like? Search "spring colors." 

Beautiful. When I clicked this one I was brought to the Color Palettes #1253 page. Whoa whoa, whoa. There's a Color Palettes page?? Yes, yes there is, and I just found my new best friend. I just bookmarked their main page.  I love when I find something new when I'm researching for you! Nice!

Local Quilt Shop aka LQS

Sometimes, I have no idea what I want color wise. (This may be true when asked where I want to eat as well, but that is a whole 'nother post.) If I need to bounce ideas off of someone, I go to my trusty girls at the LQS. They never fail me. We don't always have the same plan, but we've worked together enough now that with a little time, searching and conversing, we come together for some great color schemes. I also trust them to tell me if I'm way off. 

Softly Circled is going to be released April 24th. When I went looking for colors for the larger sample I had this pallet in mind: Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis for Robert Kaufman. My idea was to use the low volume fabrics as the background and the brights for the main pattern. I was worried though, because I couldn't see them in person. So off I went to Fabrics Plus, my favorite LQS. Where Cami took my hemming and hawing, and "I'm thinking...., but maybe that's too much and I need....but then I would really like....." and found exactly what I wanted, even though I didn't even know what it was myself. 

Here's a sneak peek.
I highly recommend building a relationship with those at your LQS.

My own ideas

Sometimes I draw up a pattern, and when I'm playing around and just adding colors I get one that just hits perfectly. It doesn't happen often, and I tend to question most of my choices, but sometimes it speaks to me. If that's the case I run with it. I hit up my LQS, and say I want...show them picture and we start pulling fabrics. 

This happened for the next pattern coming out in May, Gradient Stars. Both samples were just made to be in the colors they were made in. You can feel it. They are happy being them. These are the colors I drew it up in, and I think you will love it. 

I don't know if it was because I was picking these colors out in Jan, but I was full on green mode when I chose the colors for the second sample for this pattern. It too is a beauty, in my humble opinion. 

Sometimes you just need to go with your gut. 


Sometimes, though, you need to pay attention to those who are also making your patterns. Many times I have seen a color combo come together and been inspired. 

The small sampler for X-Squared was inspired by Kelly, of Handmade Boy, and her test quilt.

As well as DeDee's. Their jewel tones really drew me.

Spinning Bow Ties was my second quilt pattern.

Kelly's version inspired me. I loved her color pallet. 

I still like her version better. ;)


There are classes you can take on color and value. I think these are great classes to take. I did an evaluation on Understanding Value in Quilt Design from Craft University, taught by Grace Errea of Amazing Quilts By Grace. You can read that blog post here

That class really helped me find the right combination for Gradient Stars. Ooo, this post is just full of sneak peeks!!

Where do you find your color inspiration? I would love to know!

Happy Stitching!


  1. Jen, wonderful ideas for finding a starting point!

  2. Thank you Jen. Very helpful.

  3. Great information Jen. I always have trouble choosing colors.

  4. Excellent article, Jen! Choosing colors is always a struggle for me. Thank you!

  5. This is a great article, Jen. I am having this problem with something right now, so it is perfect timing. And, I am really trying to solve this with something in my stash.

    1. I'm glad you found it useful. Feel free to email me if you would like another set of eyes. :)

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