Pro quilter Teri Lucas recently shared her color truths to quilt by with our Playful Color Quilt Guild members. Choosing fabric and thread colors for a quilt can be frustrating when you’re ready to sew, sew, sew!
Get from go to sew in no time with color truths for choosing fabrics.
Why? Because Quilty Me says ‘I can’t wait to start piecing a new quilt‘. My endorphins are high on the excitement of a NEW PROJECT! But then my impatience takes over (gah!). I rush through choosing fabrics like an Olympic sprinter GOING FOR GOLD.
Is this you, too?!
I’ll choose fabrics I’m crushing on, then realize ONE MORE is needed for the pattern. Or three.
I choose more fabrics, take some away…and now nothing works! (Why did I want to make this quilt?)
Swap some more, scrap a few…
Fine. I’ll start over. I’d like a quilty win and a podium to hang it on.
There goes my serene sewing afternoon. (I knew I didn’t want to make this quilt).
It happens to every quilter. So how do pro quilters make this process easier?
So we asked (okay, commanded) pro quilter Teri Lucas, “Give us your color truths to quilt by – stop us from growing our UFO piles!”
MEET CHIEF CREATIVE Weirdo, TERI LUCAS
I’d like to introduce Teri Lucas, color seer, thread handler and Chief Creative Wierdo at TerifiCreations, who shows her quilt’s true colors with adventurous fabric and thread choices. And complete devotion to stitching with reckless abandon. She’s been “giving quilters permission since 2009.” I love that!
Teri was a guest teacher recently in the Playful Color Quilt Guild. Her presentation – Color is Surprisingly Relational – guided members through her color selection process. She is the author of Color, Thread and Free-Motion Quilting: Learning to Quilt with Reckless Abandon.
Teri became a quilter 28 years ago when her husband suggested she get a hobby. (He even suggests stopping at quilt shops. He’s a keeper.)
Now she is known for teaching free-motion quilting in wildly expressive ways, which has won her recognition and quilt show awards. She lives by her quilt truths to quilt by.
(Check out her tutorial section on her blog, especially burying your quilt threads as you go. Full of good stuff!)
Let’s get to the truth!
COLOR TRUTHS #1: IT’s all about RELATIONships
If you’ve played whack-a-mole when choosing fabrics, you’ve discovered a universal color truth.
Color is surprisingly relational.
If your quilt’s colors aren’t getting along, your quilt is in trouble. The kind of trouble that makes UFO piles grow…and grow.
Mixing fabric and thread colors is easier when you have the right tools and know how to wield them. Like always using a color wheel to plan, shop for and layout your fabrics. Color wheels are THE relationship experts for the color world!
For starters, Teri suggests the Take Along Mini Color Wheel for shopping which fits in your purse. Designed by expert quilter Joen Wolfrom, it features 12 numbered swatches with tints, tones and shades.
Teri showed us how quickly the color wheel works – if your fabrics work together. Or not.
I love my color tools, especially the color chips. Pared with a color wheel, I could be unstoppable.
And less time in the fabric store means more time for quilting. Yes!
COLOR TRUTHs #2: PRIMARY COLORS ARE PERSONAL
Quilting buddies often ask each other for help with choosing colors. It’s hard enough choosing your own quilt’s colors, never mind helping other quilters choose theirs.
Why is that?
Teri says that everyone has a personal set of primary colors, not always red, yellow and blue. What she means is that a three-color “primary” set starts anywhere on the color wheel and changes in relation to where you are on the wheel.
My primary trifecta is probably different from yours. Color is so personal. Start with a personal color wheel and make choices based on where you are starting from.
Color Truths #3: Every Color is a Medium sometime
If you’ve done a value study with fabrics or swatches, you know how colors appear to shift in value and intensity depending on the their fabric neighbors.
Value is the backbone of great quilts and a hoard of medium value fabrics can shut a quilt down…fast. The color truths are in the selection: balance the values in your quilt palette for great results. Teri suggests a value finder tool for both fabrics and thread.
COLOR TRUTHs #4: MIND YOUR THREAD
Mind your fabric and thread choices. During the palette building process, each fabric added to the palette changes how the other fabrics relate to each other. Adding thread colors at the free-motion quilting stage will change how you see the fabric colors. You can save the integrity of a color palette by selecting surface thread colors from the start.
Color truths to quilt by are mind-bending – I usually wing it when selecting thread (not anymore!) – so it’s time to mind my thread choices, too!
Teri sorts her massive thread collection according to color values. She likes the Foolproof Color Wheel Set by Katie Fowler and the 3-in-1 Quilting Tool by Joen Wolfrom for this task.
I can feel my color relationships improving already! Less frustration, more action. Yah!
A big colorful thank you to Teri Lucas for sharing her color truths! Learn more from Teri below:
Playful Color Quilt Guild members are creating with color every week with color quickies, fabric chips and challenges. Learn more about the virtual quilt guild for quilters who want to master color.
About BRYAN HOUSE QUILTS
Bryan House Quilts was founded in 2012 by Rebecca Bryan, an award-winning quilter, author and fabric designer. Rebecca experienced a color revolution when she used rainbow colors in her designs, moving her from color muddler to color master. Today she teaches thousands of quilters how to create color palettes and modern triangle quilts through her courses, books and patterns. Her work is described as fun, modern, playful, classic, and always colorful. Creating a guild of playful color quilters achieved one of her rainbow-colored dreams – where quilters are better when they learn and play together.