Big Ocean Sew Along Fabric Prep: Building A Color Palette
July 25, 2023
I’m so excited to get started on our Big Ocean Sew Along in just two weeks! We’ll get started with a color party on Zoom. Okay, maybe not exactly a party, but I am looking forward to seeing the colors you choose for your quilt. While we’re together on Zoom, I’ll also help you all troubleshoot any issues you may be having with building your palette. If you haven’t signed up for the sew along yet, click here to join us!
In the weeks leading up to the sew along, I’ll share some of my process for building a color palette for the Big Ocean quilt. We’ll start with color this week. Be sure to come back next week when we’ll look at the values we included in our palette.
One great thing about the Big Ocean quilt is that you can build a palette using scraps, long strips, fat quarters, or yardage. Really any cut will do as long as you can get the right sized HST out of it. This quilt looks great in a limited palette or a more scrappy approach. The pattern calls for 26 colors, but you can add or subtract colors to make it your own. Check out the pattern announcement blog post here to see examples of the different directions you can go with your palette for this quilt. And if you’d like much more in-depth guidance on building a color palette, check out my video course, Creating Color Palettes Lecture.
Grab two or three colors and start building your Big Ocean color palette. We’re not going to think about value for this first part. We’re just going to start with some of our favorite colors, or maybe a palette that you’ve had stuck in your mind for awhile, and build from there.
Add a few lighter and darker shades of the colors you chose. From here, just see where the process takes you. You might be surprised to find how many different colors, and shades of those colors, you end up with.
Take some photos of your palette along the way to help you edit. Seeing your fabrics from a different perspective - in a photo on your device or from farther away will help you see those colors differently and decide what you like.
Move your colors around to see how they interact with other colors in the palette. You might like them where they are in the pile, but maybe they don’t work well with some of the other colors. This will help you edit even further. If you find that one of your colors doesn’t work after it has been moved around, audition some slight variations to find what works for your palette. For a dark coral, for example, try some fabrics that skew more pink or more orange.
Once you have your 26 fabrics - or more or less if that’s what you like - get ready to work on value. The number of dark, medium, and light fabrics in your palette really makes the design of this quilt pop. Join us next week for tips on value! And if you don’t want to wait until next week, or you‘d like a more in-depth look at building a gorgeous palette for your Big Ocean quilt along with step by step guidance for making the entire quilt, check out my video course here.