Choosing Colors…

In yesterday’s Time Out, I showed how I choose colors for a quilt. If you listen closely, you’ll pick up a variety of other tips that you may not have considered before. Everything I talk about is in The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color—a book I am very proud of :-).

Next week I’m going to show you my favorite binding tricks. See you then!

Color(s) of the year…

I’m busy working away on the next new thing that I can’t tell anyone about for months. It is ever thus. BUT, as I’m working, I can’t get these colors out of my head.

First, did you see the Kona Cotton color of the year announcement? The color is Tiger Lily and it does make me happy.


Click here to see the Robert Kaufman Tiger Lily Look Book. It’s full of designs from their designers using this color.

A few days later, I became aware of Pantone’s color of the year, Ultra Violet. Who knew, right? I remember when there was one color of the year and that was that.

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Do you remember last year’s Pantone color of the year? It was Greenery…


These 3 colors form a triadic color combination that is both lovely and not often used: purple, orange, and green.


I’m hoping that now that I’ve shared this with you, I can stop thinking about these 3 colors because it’s very distracting when I need to be thinking about other colors :-).




My color class…

After The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color was published, people asked me to teach a class on color. I’ve been teaching this class for about a year and, judging from student responses, it is one of my very best classes.

This is a no-sew class. Students come with 4″ squares of white paper and 4″ squares of fabric in a variety of colors and values. I begin with a mini-version of my color lecture and then show how I organize fabric for a project. Students organize their own fabric squares and then the fun begins!

I choose a block from  The New Quick & Easy Block Tool and a color combo and everyone quickly mocks up 4 blocks. ‘Quickly’ is key. Thinking too much about color choices can stop a project from ever happening and it’s important to learn to trust your instincts.

Once glued, we put the blocks together on a table. They are flat and it’s hard to see a pattern, so I use my phone to take a photo. It’s always fun to hear the gasp as everyone sees the pattern emerge on the screen.

These photos are from a color class taught at Happiness Is… Quilting in McKinney, TX.


Grandmother’s Choice Block

Everyone is working from the fabric they brought and it’s a stretch to imagine using them together in a quilt, but it is surprising how well the blocks come together.

We change the layout and take more photos:

Each individual knows what they like and what they don’t. We talk about why some colors/values/settings work better than others. My goal is to empower each student, to make color their friend and ally.

Here is the Homeward Bound block in complimentary reds and greens:

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It’s fun to put different blocks together, just to see what happens.


This was a 6-hour class, so there was time to mock up several blocks. As the day went on, everyone loosened up and color decisions come quicker and with more confidence.

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I love this class because quilters who begin the day nervous, leave knowing that color is their friend. Trust me when I tell you that color is your friend too!

PS: If you are a shop or guild and would like to have me come teach, email me. I’m usually booking about 2 years out.


You never know what you’ll see if you just look…

I stayed in San Clemente while visiting the Surfside Quilt Guild and my hotel was just a mile from the beach. The one mile walk down to the beach was very nice, the uphill mile back to the hotel was good exercise :-).

I walked to pier for the last time Wednesday morning and took photos of seagulls because I think they are cute.


They look like birds with an interesting attitude… sort of nonchalant and friendly. And these guys were posing for me so I got closer…


Close enough to notice that their tails are dotted!


Who knew! And once you notice the dots, don’t don’t you think that they pull the black and white color scheme of the feathers together? Nature is just jam-packed with little quirky details.



A color tutorial and a reminder…

I just sent a newsletter with two news items. If you aren’t on my newsletter list, here’s what you missed:

First, Linda’s current quilt auction ends tomorrow, Friday, May 22, at 12:00 noon, Pacific Time. Click here to go to the auction page.

The other item in the newsletter is a video. When I was at Quilt Market, I spent a lot of time talking to quilt shop owners about my new book, The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color. I used sets of fat quarters to illustrate one of the more important points in the book. It occurred to me that I should share this information with everyone, so here it is:

If the video isn’t showing up for you, click here.

I am hearing from people who have read the book, telling me that it really is helping them with color. In fact, here’s an excerpt from an email that came to me from Barbara B.:

Becky, I am so glad I was able to get your Color book at Market.  I read it cover to cover yesterday on my travels home from Minneapolis. It is full of great info, explained in a way that will make sense to quilters. I am excited to use it in upcoming classes.

The book is not the least bit intimidating and the concepts are easy to grasp.  The fact that the info is provided in bits, using the practical advice boxes and short paragraphs, is good…

I know that books are expensive and many of you have color books that you rarely open. This one really is different, even if I do say so myself. It is not a book on color theory, it is a book with practical advice on color. Plus, there are 10 quilt patterns included. Eight quilts are pieced, and 2 of these have some applique. There are two quilts that are primarily applique. None of the patterns are difficult and each one teaches something about color and design.

If you are interested and want to order The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color, click here.