For over 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influences artists, designers, manufacturers and purchasing decisions across a wide array of products including fashion, home furnishings, graphic design and yes – FABRIC.

 

This year Pantone has chosen CLASSIC BLUE. They describe the color as:

Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

The Quilt Market in Houston had a big display of quilts in blue and white – a sign of the blue color trend already coming into play.

So how can you incorporate blues into your sewing and quilting projects?

As an artist who has watched and worked with these trending colors for over 15 years I can tell you there is no hard and fast rule.

You don't have to use the exact color they choose. You don't even have to use it all if you don't like it, it won't fit your home or the project you are working on.

There are years where the color makes sense to me and my art and years where it doesn't. But I'm on board with blue – it's almost neutral but also has so many shades and saturations that there is pretty much something for everyone.

How will you incorporate blue into your projects? You can go with blue and white (or blue and another neutral like gray, beige or black) or you can play with more color.

 

 

Let's take a look at some ways to use blue, based on Color Theory and the color wheel.

MONOCHROMATIC

An easy way to use color is to use varying shades, patterns and textures of the color. Mix and match light and dark blues, throw in a check, a dot, a texture…

Monochromatic can also include neutrals – white, gray, black.  The blue and white quilts from the Houston Quilt Market are a great example of monochromatic color schemes.

COMPLEMENTARY

A complementary color scheme involves choosing two colors that are directly across from each other on the color wheel – so for blue, we go straight across to orange.

When you start adding more colors into your project you need to be more careful with the proportion – or amount – of each color you use.

If blue is your main color and orange is the complement – you want to use a lot less orange so they don't compete with each other for attention. (Orange is like blue's wingman.)

So if we related color proportion to fabric you might use a yard of the primary color (blue) and a fat quarter of the complimentary color (orange) to create a visually pleasing project.

You can also add in neutrals but still keep the same proportions of color.

The shade of the colors will also affect the feel of your quilt or project. Imagine the difference if you chose the bright blue and orange vs. the more subdued navy and pumpkin – one would be brighter and more whimsical where the latter would be more subtle and sophisticated.

TRIADIC

A triadic color scheme uses 3 colors that form a triangle on the color wheel. Blue, red and yellow are the most known triadic color scheme as they are all primary colors and used a lot for children, especially in bright hues.

Proportion is very important so the three colors don't compete for attention and take away from the overall aesthetic of your quilt or sewing project.

Relating color proportion to fabric again, you might use a yard of your main color (blue), a half a yard of your secondary color (in my visual that would be red) and a quarter yard of the accent color (yellow) to create a visually pleasing project.

You can also add in neutrals but still keep the same proportions of color.

The shade of the colors will again affect the feel of your quilt or project. Imagine the difference if you chose the bright blue and orange vs. the more subdued navy and pumpkin – one would be brighter and more whimsical where the latter would be more subtle and sophisticated.

ANALOGOUS

An analogous color scheme uses 3 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Similar to monochromatic because the colors are very related but an analogous color scheme offers more visual variety.

You will use the same proportion rules for an analogous color scheme as for a triadic since both are incorporating 3 colors into your project.

A yard of your main color (I have two shades of blue in my example – combined they would represent your main color), a half a yard of your secondary color (blue-purple) and a quarter yard or less of the accent color (blue-green) to create a visually pleasing project.

You can also add in neutrals but still keep the same proportions of color.

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