Using Color Value in Your Quilting

Color! Those of us who obsessively love fabric, know it’s value – especially in quilting. But, choosing colors is often where we most lack confidence. While we understand it’s value, understanding the actual principles of Color Value is an entirely different thing.

So, a little schooling is in order and I’ve found marvelous help from a variety of quilters. We’ll look at how to evaluate Color Value, then move on to using it in several gorgeous projects. Choosing fabrics and threads will be much more joyful once you’ve spent a little time learning how!

Image Source: Quilt Social

Three Ways to Determine the Color Value of Fabric

A color wheel is a terrific tool for determining and learning about Color Value. If you’re like me, though, you long for an in-depth understanding of how to use that wheel of wonder! Quilter Jennifer explains the concepts of Color Value in an easy to understand format in her post for the Quilt Social blog. You’ll learn three ways to determine the color value of fabrics and how contrast can build the desired WOW into your quilts.

Tint, shade and tone are terms we know, but may not fully understand and Jennifer takes care of that for us. She offers a very detailed explanation of how color works, tools you can use and what’s beyond Pure Color. Grab a favorite beverage and gift yourself the time to read and absorb the color magic in her post. You’ll be very glad you did! Click here for the Three Ways to Determine the Color Value of Fabric tutorial.

Image Source: Seasoned Homemaker

Color Value in a Quilt

There you are with a big pile of scraps and the desire to make a fabulous scrap quilt. But, where do you start and how do you choose fabrics from that tempting pile? Leslie of the Seasoned Homemaker knew she needed help with her scrap pile. So she signed up for a class on Color Value at QuiltCon and, it changed her quilting life! As Leslie shares in her post, quilter Cheryl Arkison skillfully taught her the concepts of color and the value of using lights, darks and mediums.

You’ll enjoy learning along with Leslie as she outlines the journey she traveled to create the quilt in her post. Since she chose her fabrics before the class, she was faced with many value dilemmas in her project! Speaking from what she learned, Leslie offers a marvelously practical and beneficial explanation of how she solves color issues. Your future quilting life will be transformed, too! Click here for the Color Value in a Quilt tutorial.

Image Source: Craftsy

Pleated Patchwork Ombre Zippered Pouch

Creating an ombre effect with fabric is a wonderful way to exercise your new knowledge of Color Value. Designed as a de-stashing project, Choly of the Sew Desu Ne? blog shares her free Zip Pouch tutorial on Craftsy. French seaming rather than a lining keeps the inside charmingly neat and tidy. The pieced pleats and corner patching make this a gorgeous little zip bag that would be a great gift! Start with a Pure Color, then choose tints, shades and tones to develop your awesome ombre. Finish it with a stunning Coats Zipper and let the joy begin! Click here for the Pleated Patchwork Ombre Pouch tutorial.

Image Source: Polka Dot Chair

Color Blocked Baby Quilt

When you’re ready to dive into a quilt, baby size is a great way to go. Melissa of the Polka Dot Chair blog designed a very simple color blocked quilt you can quickly stitch up. Using your new Color Value smarts, you’ll pick out light, medium and dark fabrics in your chosen color. You’ll choose pre-cuts for the white squares in addition to the fat quarters that are perfect for the rest. From there, you’ll arrange your blocks in Color Value order, stitch them together and enjoy the results! Click here for the Color Blocked Baby Quilt tutorial.

Image Source: Bonjour Quilts

Color Explosion Quilt

Once you’re more comfortable with Color Value, this dazzling baby quilt will be wonderfully exciting to make. Choosing contrasting fabrics is essential to the success of this awesome quilt designed by Kristy of Bonjour Quilts! She includes great details on how and where to use warm and cool colors and why they are important. You’ll learn about quilting thread color choice, too. To get you started, click here and take a look at the fabulous selection in Coats Cotton Covered Piecing and QuiltingThread!

Kristy offers a super-great learning opportunity for you by showing the first and second versions of her quilt in the post. She explains what went wrong with her color choices and how she improved the contrast in her do-over. Color can be a bit of a puzzle, but Kristy skillfully helps you with the detective work! Click here for the Color Explosion Quilt tutorial.

Image Source: Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Jenny’s Bargello Quilt

If you’re still feeling uncertain about Color Value, using a shaded pre-cut strip roll is perfect for you! Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company is also challenged by shades and tints, but doesn’t let that stop her from designing and stitching gorgeous quilts. Her Bargello method is based on 2-1/2” pre-cut strips along with contrasting fabric. You’ll create strips sets from Jenny’s directions using three shades of color from dark to light. The sets are re-cut in a marvelous way that makes Bargello quilting so much easier than you’ve seen before! The post includes a fun Bargello history lesson, PDF cutting instructions and a link to Jenny’s helpful YouTube video. Click here for the Jenny’s Bargello Quilt tutorial.