How do you put colour palettes together? This is something that comes naturally to me so I really needed to think about how I do this. But it is a question I get asked about a lot. So I will try to explain my thought process.
As an example I will tell you how the Big Summer 21 fabric bundle fits in with my colour kickstart fabric bundles which were developed for the purpose of giving you a 'kickstart' on your own colour journey.
As I have already said this just takes some practice and being able to identify which colours you like is a great start.
So, let's continue the chat about how to use the Big Summer 21 fabric bundle.
I use a lot of solid fabrics in my work and tend to work in colour themes that stick around for a while. At the moment I am enjoying primary colours and gradients either side of these. Blues, Reds, Yellow, Orange, Pinks and the like.
This is the Big Summer 21 Bundle which uses shades of blue, muted yellow, deep orange prints with a neutral white. As a summer bundle it was chosen and influenced by sun, sea and sand. Warm and cool tones. This means that it will pair will both a warm colour bundle and a cool colour bundle.
The warm bundle.
In the warm colour kickstart bundle you can see that I chose the same yellow to appear in that and the Summer 21 bundles. Moving along the bundle you will notice that the orange print is the same colour as the orange fabric (third from the right). This anchors the two bundles together as cross over colours appear in both.
The deeper reds create contrast and adds the third primary colour into the bundle. Pinks are used as a gradient between the reds and yellow. And are at the same value as the lighter blues which allows the reds and deep blues to provide depth. The white prints on the mid blue fabric ties to the white fabric with the orange print which are the lightest in tone.
If I was to make a quilt top with these fabrics I would choose a white for the background. There are enough deep and mid tones colours already. Additionally the white background would pick up the white print on the mid blue fabric panels.
The cool bundle.
Let's have a look at the cool colour kickstart bundle. Similarly the bundles are anchored by sharing the blues and the white. The light blue prints on the dark blue fabric in the Summer 21 bundle is the same colour as the mid blue in the colour kickstart bundle also. The orange is used as a contrast pop. I would be reluctant to add any more orange to this bundle and instead keep it as points of interest throughout the quilt top. Perhaps adding a slice of orange to the binding at the end.
With these bundles I think a dark background would work well. Using more of the navy or an even deeper inky blue. And rather than every colour popping against the background the blues would be dappled throughout the quilt top. With the white and yellows being the highlights.
Adding fabric from your stash.
To add fabric from your own stash to either of these bundles you would be looking for a colour match somewhere. A balanced bundle will have dark , mid tone and light tones. The quantities of which can vary depending on the outcome you desire. If you wanted a darker quilt you would colour match and add deep blues and possibly reds. If you wanted an overall lighter quilt you would match with the whites, pinks, maybe a paler yellow or blue.
Getting your colour palette right just takes practice. And of course is down to personal taste. If you like it, that is all that matters. Begin with your core colours and play about with them. The more you use your favourite colour palette the more you will understand how those colours work and contrast with each other.
I do hope that goes some way to explaining my use of colour. As I print more fabric collections I will add to this series.
My limited edition fabric collections are printed four or five times a year. To see the handprinted fabric I have in stock click HERE.
To check out which Colour Kickstart Bundles I have in stock click HERE.
I also wrote about how to use the Big Summer 21 fabric bundle with english paper piecing. If you missed it you can check it out HERE.