3 Easy Steps to Picking Great Quilt Colors

by Nicole

Picking a color scheme for a quilt can be one of the most challenging parts of quilt making. I used to agonize over picking colors until I paid attention to the fabric.

Fabric designers have already done the hard work of selecting colors that go together beautifully. Letting the fabric be your guide in color selection makes it easy to choose a color scheme for a quilt.

There are three steps:

1. Select a multicolored fabric that you love.

Lark fabric_Amy Butler

In my case, I picked a print from the Lark collection by Amy Butler.

2. Look for the little circles of color on the selvedge. These circles show you the different colors that were used to make the fabric. Some fabrics may use 2 or 3 different colors. Others may use as many as 12 or more different colors. Either way, the circles provide you with a color scheme that coordinates nicely.


In the Lark example, there are 6 colors that make up the print: 3 blues, 2 greens, and 1 cream.

3. Go through your stash (or the fabric store) and pick colors like those on the selvedge. The colors of the fabrics don’t have to be exactly the same as the colors on the selvedge. A color that is a different value, either lighter or darker than the color on the selvedge will work. But be sure the fabric color is in the same color family as one of the circles on the selvedge.


Put the fabrics all together and I guarantee you’ll have a great color scheme for your next quilt!

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Anne April 10, 2015 - 12:09 am

What a great tip! Thank you.

Debbie April 10, 2015 - 3:51 am

Obvious in a way, but something I rarely do. Thanks for the reminder!

Patchwork and Play April 10, 2015 - 4:36 am

And a very good reason to keep those selvedges too!

HeatherK @ A Reformed Heath'n April 10, 2015 - 4:44 am

Doh! Seems so obvious when you say it =) Thanks for a great tip!

HeatherK @ A Reformed Heath'n April 10, 2015 - 4:44 am

Doh! Seems so obvious when you say it =) Thanks for a great tip!

Pierro April 10, 2015 - 1:26 pm

Rosemary B here:
Those dots are VERY helpful…. but sometimes I can't make up my mind
The colors you chose here are marvelous.
I hope you have a happy Friday without too much drama from the weather. It looks like today is our day in Northern Virginia

Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge April 10, 2015 - 2:46 pm

Love this technique… but then again, you had me with the selvage pic. Mmmm… selvages!

Linda Parker April 10, 2015 - 3:10 pm

Thank you for this!!! So simple and practical and new to me!

wish2stitch April 13, 2015 - 1:52 am

Great idea! I haven't ventured out of the fabric range itself unless making a completely scrappy quilt. But this makes so much sense when using farbics outside of that range. Thanks

Rachel April 25, 2015 - 5:17 pm

I should do this but never do. We just make it harder than it needs to be 🙂

Teacosy May 1, 2015 - 2:04 pm

Thank you for your Tip, it will help me in the Future choosing the right Fabrics.
Viele Grüße Sylvia

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