The Art of Choosing: Triadic Color Schemes

Thursday, December 15, 2011

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

As I mentioned in previous Art of Choosing posts, I want to spend the next few weeks talking about different color schemes that can be pulled directly from the color wheel! :)

Triadic Color Schemes
Today is all about Triadic color schemes! Triadic color schemes . They're simply made of 3 that are equidistant from each other on the color wheel! So each color in the scheme has three other colors between them. There are only four triadic color schemes! So, let's explore them in fabrics!

Red, Yellow, Blue
Red, Yellow, Blue. Otherwise known, as Primary colors!

Red-orange, Yellow-green, Blue-purple
Red-orange, Yellow-green, Blue-purple.

Orange, Green, Purple
Orange, Green, Purple. Otherwise known, as Secondary colors!

Yellow-orange, Blue-green, Red-purple
Yellow-orange, Blue-green, Red-purple.

Now I'd like to share with you a project I made using a Triadic color scheme.

Zipper Pouch by jenib320
Zipper Pouch, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Red (pink), Yellow, Blue: A sweet little zipper pouch. Patchwork framed in a calming neutral.

Again, if you'd like to pull some Triadic fabric stacks of your own, or share your triadic color projects, feel free to post in the flickr group! Until next week! :)

Happy Sewing!

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


  1. Thanks Jeni, for helping us with I know why some of these combos really appeal to me! I didn't even know what triadic color schemes were, but I liked 'em! I think I like the last stack of FQs the best.

  2. I always have had this issue with color. I guess that's why I buy the whole line of fabrics. Thank you. I'm going to save this.

  3. love how these color combos look so great together, any one of them!!! thank you as always!

  4. I LOVE the red orange yellow green and blue purple color scheme!


    1. as do i! for a moment, i was thinking that i was just some crazy person who couldn't decide amongst the color families... then i found this site and realized that i can have all three and didn't have to pick just two!!!

  5. Thank you for this!!! I struggle big time with picking colors that compliment each other so I totally pinned this to refer back to. :)

  6. Your new pouch is fabulous! And I want that stack of orange/purple/green fabrics you pulled. Beautiful choices!

  7. Beautifully explained! These are combo's I would never think of putting together, LoVE the pouch!!!

  8. This was very informative. Thanks for sharing.


  9. I've loved looking at the different color combinations in this series. I'm starting a sampler quilt, and I think I'll try using each of these at least once.

  10. Hi Jeni. I jsut went through the whole series and i LOOOOVE everything. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into this series. But I'm just now confused where my greys, blacks an browns fit in here with the other colors? I'm not sure what to do with them. Or how they work, or when they DON'T work.

  11. To Jen, my congratulations on a great series in "The Art of Choosing". I can see there must have been so much effort put into these posts, especially with all the supporting photography and graphics. It's hard to find quilt sites which incorporate clear colour theory advice so well. As someone who is mainly a mixed media artist who has then dabbled in a quilt, it's delightful to find this series explaining complementaries, split complementaries and triadics so clearly and encouraging people to step outside buying just a range by organising their fabrics out of range! Well done!

  12. It would be really great if you'd turn your color wheel graphics with accompanying text into a small paperback book. I know I can just make a list of definitions of what each kind of color scheme is but having it all in a book would be nicer. Also, the book wouldn't need to have every three color color scheme printed in it. It could just have the examples you gave to give an idea.


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