The Art of Choosing: Complementary Colors

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Art of Choosing is a series discussing fabric, color, and the fabric selection process! For past posts, click here.

Before we get started on this week's topic, let's announce the winner of the Kona Color Card! Ms. choose #76, who is..

Congrats Jessica! I'll be sending you an email very soon to get your mailing information! Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

The Color Wheel
I want to spend the next few weeks talking about different color schemes that can be pulled directly from the color wheel! These are a great place to start when you're trying to find a color palette for your next project.

Complementary Colors
This week is all about Complementary colors! Complementary colors are pairs of colors that are directly opposite one another on the color wheel. These colors just naturally look good together! So, let's explore the six pairs of complementary colors in fabrics!

Red + Green
Ruby by Bonnie and Camille, Little Apples by Aneela Hoey, Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt, Nest by Tula Pink.

Red-orange + Blue-green
Outfoxed by Lizzy House, Metro Living by Robert Kaufman, Oval Elements by Pat Bravo, Wee Woodland by Keiki.

Orange + Blue
Mingle by Monaluna, Punctuation by American Jane, Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner, Park Slope by Erin McMorris.

Yellow-orange + Blue-purple
Dazzle by Melissa Averinos, Oval Elements by Pat Bravo, Terrain by Kate Spain, Full Moon Forest by Tula Pink.

Yellow + Purple
Metro Cafe by Monaluna, Farmer's Market by Sandi Henderson, 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House, 1001 Peeps by Lizzy House.

Red-purple + Yellow-green
Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry, Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt, Park Slope by Erin McMorris, Oh My! by Sanae.

Not a lot of written explanation in this post, but I hope that the visuals helped make it clear to understand! Now, I'd like to share with you two projects I've made using complementary colors:

do. Good Stitches - June by jenib320
do. Good Stitches - June, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Red-purple + Yellow-green: do. Good Stitches Bee block. Also created a small zippered pouch with scraps from these fabrics!

do. Good Stitches - Front by jenib320
do. Good Stitches - Front, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Orange + Blue: do. Good Stitches Checkerboard Quilt.

Again, if you'd like to pull some complementary fabric stacks of your own, or share your complementary color projects, feel free to post in the flickr group! Next week we'll be talking about Analogous color schemes! :)

Happy Sewing!

Note: I created the color wheel graphics myself, so please don't borrow them without crediting me and linking back! Thanks! :)


  1. I just love these posts! thanks Jeni!

  2. I''m enjoying this series and particularly this post. I have a lot to learn about color (and scale).

    Love that top picture by the way! :)

  3. This posts are just so amazing and helpful Thank you very much for taking the time to do it.

  4. I smile every time I see the toast print! It makes me want to swoop ;)

  5. I always have trouble putting fabrics together for a project. This is super helpful! Thanks :)

  6. Yay that's me!! Thanks Jeni! I'll be waiting for your email :) I am just drooling over your fabrics, haha. I just love the purple and orange together!

  7. Love, love, love these posts, Jeni! Thanks!

  8. You are amazing! Thank you so much for all the effort you put into sharing with us. You are an excellent teacher and I am so very grateful!

  9. Great post. I pulled out some fabrics that I thought I could "color wheel" but, although they have the appearance of solids, they are actually two colors woven together which is why I could never get the "wheel" looking right. I'll see what else I can pull out to try and make my color wheel.

  10. Good job! Nice recap from your class. Nice to have a refresher.
    And fyi, that first stack photo made me want to take a bite out of the screen! *chomp!!! mmmm...fabric!*

  11. Thank you so much for putting this all together. It's so nice to see it again and be reminded of what you talked about in your class. I know it takes a lot of time and I appreciate it all!!
    :) Jess

  12. Nice way to show! When I worked at Cloth World when I was a teenager we had a color wheel to carry around to organize the bolts of fabric on the tables.

  13. Great post Jeni! I love reading about how to put fabric combo's together as I usually just stick with my fav's. Definitely need to play with new colours a little more.

  14. I think I am gonna put a color wheel in my purse. Picking colors is so incredibly scary to me that I usually stay very safe and what I create is nice, but not stunning.

  15. I love your Art of Choosing series! Thank you so much! :-)

  16. Hi, do you think you could please write a book on this series? It would be great to sit and read on paper and I know I'd refer to it a lot (and not just to look at the photo's).

  17. Wow, I've heard before the theory of colours but seeing real examples with the fabrics, makes it all much more clear. It's difficult to associate fabrics you have in your stash with the names of the colours, but you make it simple and clear! Thanks

  18. I love this new "chapter" of your series! Will you be adding these posts to your original "Art of Choosing" tab?

  19. This is such a neat series you are doing. Thanks for all the neat posts!

  20. I am loving this whole series! I never really cared for the look of complementary colors together but I LOVE that blue and orange quilt!!!!


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