Thursday, July 28, 2011

color choices... tutorialish...

Apparently, I'm not as lousy a caregiver as I thought. BOH (Beloved Other Half) gave me an iPad! Have gone crazy over this gadget and thought I'd share some apps that I've found that are helping me design stuff as well as some more low tech ways to create interesting colorways.

MyPantone is fantastic for developing color palettes. You take a photo and then the app pulls out matching swatches from the fandeck or formula guide. Use these swatches to pull fabric, yarn or embroidery floss from your stash. You can buy formula guides or chip sets at Pantone but also cheaper ones on Ebay . The accuracy is not perfect for print professionals but the palettes the app creates are a great starting point for us textile people. Above is a picture of yet another tile and the colors suggested to replicate it. Shots of flowers from magazines such as Martha Stewart Living also generate gorgeous arrangements. In the app department, I'm also loving Sketchbook for jotting down ideas and inspiration and am learning to use Robert Kaufman's Quilt Calculator to improve my fabric acquisition and execution skills (just a fancy way of saying buying and using)...

The old fashioned but no less effective way to create colorways is to use paint chips. This is the palette I chose pre-iPad for my Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along project using the Benjamin Moore range. Fandecks can be bought inexpensively at any paint or DIY store. They will often give discontinued ones away. Incidentally, Benjamin Moore also has an app that while meant for home decor can also apply to textile work.

Lastly, one of my favorite resources is Mix magazine

You can get this publication at newsstands and bookstores in larger cities. The subscription is not inexpensive but it is a fantastic and inspiring mag for color trend watching as well as other facets of the design world. The art direction is stunning. This is a small sampling of aids I use to choose color for all my fiber work. I'd love to hear how you make your choices and what inspires you...


  1. I'm always inspired by color, and the whole world and science of color trends is fascinating. Thanks for the tip on mix - even a visit to their website provides a fresh vista of color inspiration.

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I'm really enjoying exploring color through technology. I always feel limited by my own camera work... BTW Love your blog!

  3. Love the cover of that Mix magazine! I'll have to go look for it. It looks very interesting!

  4. It is a fantastic magazine... I dog ear almost every page of every issue!