Rose's Quilting Blog

How You'll Know if Your Fabric Colours Work for You!

How to choose the right colours for your quilt
How to know what colours will work together
Choosing colours for  a quilt
This is “Definitely” how you’ll know if your colours work for each other!

The house was quiet and not a mouse stirred, so to work I begun....

This week I thought that I’d still touch somewhat onto the subject of colour
once again, and give you all a glimpse of just what I’m working on at this present moment to bring your way as quick as I possibly can.

It’s 1.15 am and this is my worktable where I’d been working for many
hours. I needed to make sure that my husband was woken at 1.30 am as he needed to leave at 2.30 am to go somewhere, so of course how did I fill in my time?

Do I really need to ask a question like that?


The house was quiet and not a mouse stirred, so to work I begun....

The fabric stash was examined, out came colours of all manner of types,
patterns, shades, brights & pastels, until I decided on a palette of hand dyes.

Out came the scissors, the freezer paper and iron, as I settled into cutting
this way and that, then out came the Roxannes glue baste  for the next step of this creative appliqué piece I’d embarked on. How far could I get before it was 1.30 am?

Once I’d finished my cutting of these very seductive, evocative and
almost tantalising fabrics, I reached across to pick something up when my eyes caught sight of the pile of fabric scraps that I’d just finished cutting out and I instantly knew that I’d made the right choice of fabrics.

You see, as my eyes caught just the slightest glimpse of these fabrics my

brain automatically thought ....

“Wow, don’t those colours look fantastic together, almost seductive”, and I knew in that instant that the piece I was working on would look absolutely perfect colour wise.

You see I hadn’t actually looked at this pile with asking the question,
“Will these fabrics work okay together”, it was actually my brain that told me these were perfect.

Sometimes when we’re unsure if our colour choice is correct or not,
we get confused and cannot really answer the question, but when we are caught out like above, then we know it’s right, just like when you look in a cake shop and one particular cake will “jump out at you”, and you instantly know that’s the one you have to have.



So what is it that I’m actually working on here?

These pieces are what I’ve designed for my using within my new on-line
class that I’m close to finishing... Advanced Trapunto. This follows on from the Basic Trapunto on-line class which has been very popular.


So the next day the house was quiet once again, as I don’t make much noise when on my own, and this morning out came the paints, as I really wanted to “just play”.

What would I create and what colours would I use?
I wanted something totally different to this appliqued piece here that has all been stitched down with using Maderia monofilament thread. It obviously still has some work needed on it, but at this stage it's now ready for the Trapunto to start happening.


I decided on a rose, and off I started to paint, but she needed more, she
needed some life and movement, ..... hmmm I pondered for a moment or two, when suddenly...
On the window just next to me, a butterfly landed on the fly screen, so a butterfly or two was to be added to this rose.

I was so lost in creating these butterflies; I could almost feel the gentle flapping of their very delicate wings. Deciding on the actual colours was the most difficult part, as these paints are absolutely “delicious” and of course there’s still lots of stitching to happen yet that’ll marry it all together.

I’m very happy with these little pieces so far, as I can easily picture the
finished pieces.

By now its tea time, a storm has just blown up with heavy rain and lots of

wind, the power is threatening to go off, but it “JUST CAN'T” as I still have a whole night in front on me..... with not a mouse stirring.... as my husband will still be away.

So a quick evening meal I partake in, with a nice hot cuppa as well.
I’m feeling revived, and a quick clean up is needed before I start once again.

This piece I’ve decided will be quite a bit larger than the other two,
and once again I feel like painting this piece, but this time with a very different type of paint.

So I come up with my design, and away I paint, an odd cuppa or two
along the way, when I suddenly realise it’s after 11.00 pm.... hmmm do I really need to go to bed?

I look at my piece and see that there’s not much more I can do anyway as

now it’s time to hang it up somewhere to be able to have a better look at it tomorrow.

The next morning I looked at this piece and decided that I’d add some more to the poppies and some extra ones as well, which is now what you see, but once again there's still lots to do.

These poppies above here  certainly grew much quicker than the ones in
my garden here.


My husband arrived back home at approx 9.00 am which was really nice,
so the painting was put aside for the time being. I finished this piece off to this stage with the sashing painted and added over the following couple of days.

A few days later, I started the next step with creating the videos, etc for
this on-line class, and as I said above, I still need to finish this so I can deliver it my website. These pieces are now starting to look very different to how they are above, as I start adding the trapunto etc to them.

I’m not too sure just what designs I’ll create that’ll actually be within the course itself for the students to work on who purchase it, maybe it’ll be these pieces or maybe something different.

Hopefully within approx 2 weeks time it’ll all be finished and up ready to deliver to the many many people that are patiently waiting for its arrival.

At this stage I’m still working, sewing, filming, and then editing the videos, then I still need to design the actual pieces that’ll be the ones that you’ll receive within this course, so do stay tuned for notification of its arrival with bells, whistles, horns and confetti.

Once again I hope that you’ve gained some more knowledge about
colour, as to me it’s always such an important aspect of quilting.

For those that’d like to check out the Basic Trapunto on-line course, you can click here for more info and a video as well.


I’ll be back again this time next week,
so until then hopefully you’ll find lots of time
to do something creative within your life.

Have a beautiful & inspiring day

Do You Know, "How to Blend Fabrics to Create Shadings in Your Quilts"!

How to create brilliant shading through your quilts
An easy way to create the right shadings in your quilts
Blending fabrics for shadings in your quilts
How to create the right colour and shadings for your quilts
Choosing the right colour for your quilts

Do you ask yourself any of these above questions?

Good morning everyone,
Today's posting is somewhat a follow on to last weeks posting about
"choosing the right colours of fabrics for your quilt", using my little "tool".

For today’s posting though, I want to bring to you an interesting way to
add "shading to your work" that many people are not very aware of doing, but
when I show this within a class while teaching, students become rather
intrigued and somewhat awe struck.

When an artist is drawing a picture, to give it dimensions and life it needs
to be shaded. Shading transforms a picture from a flat image into a 2 or 3 dimensional picture, it brings it alive and gives it a character or personality, whether that image is a person, a skyscraper building, a rather decadent
cake that makes you just want to “take a bite right into it”, an old knurled
tree or a lady in a red dress.

Here's  just a couple of my simple drawings, although I must admit I
never got back to finishing my tree, and these drawings have scanned in much darker than they really are, but even just light shading makes a huge difference to a drawing,






So what are some of the ways of bringing shading into your fabrics,
quilts and your very own personal masterpiece?

We can use water colour pencils, paints, thread, and even
embellishments, but what about using fabrics in a different way to create the shading?

When shading, we’re looking to give the image its personal character,
by creating depth and shadows. Shading can give the image light, it can make a person look slim or rounder, it can show movement as within a nice flowing dress, it gives shadows which is where it starts to come alive and then also be more realistic.

Shadows are within or upon everything we look at in life, and are
reflected from the sun, the shade of something near that object, our own personal shadows on ourselves, the shadow on part of our arm where the light is hitting across just one part of it and the rest of our arm may be shaded because of the angle we are standing, or the shaded area between our arm and our top/dress, etc.

Within much of my applique work I like to add some form of shadings
and I’m going to use a little piece that I’m so often asked about whenever it’s out and about at teaching events, speaking or demonstration events and so forth.

One day I’m going to create the pattern for this little piece as so many
people ask me for one. I won’t promise when that’ll be though.

So when I’m looking for different shadings, particularly rather subtle
shadings of the one colour then this is how I’ll create that.

I’ll often take a different shade of a particular colour fabric, and lay it
"underneath" the already existing piece of fabric that I’m using. Now I know that this isn't making much sense to you, so I’ll use my little "Lady in Red" quilt for an example.


This little quilt was a challenge quilt and it could only have red, white
and a touch of black, so when I was doing the face, arms and legs of the lady, of course I needed a "flesh" colour, but as I was restricted to using only the above colours, how could I achieve a "flesh" colour within this appliqued piece.

I took a small piece of the same red fabric that I was going to use within
the binding, and as you can see it's very red and quite dark, and laid it underneath the white fabric that I’d used for the top, and this then gave me a "flesh" coloured shading. The white fabric is actually a very fine muslin, which was absolutely perfect for using with shading, as it let just enough of the red colour to show through, but shading it enough to not look like its actually red but more of a skin tone.

When doing the street lamp, I was only using black within the stitching
because the rules of the challenge did not allow me to do the whole lamp black as it would’ve been too much black, as well as in scale comparison to rest of this little piece.

I placed some black under the white once again, which gave me a
darker shading of "white". I’d tried several black fabrics without achieving the desired result I was looking for, so ended up using a piece of synthetic felt.
Synthetic felt doesn’t normally bleed colour as do many of the natural fibre felts.
I then just stitched the shapes of the lamp in black thread.

You’re able use this idea for many places across your quilt when
doing any appliqué work to give different shadings and tonings. The thickness and sheerness of your fabrics will make quite a difference to how this’ll look. In general you’ll need your shaded fabric to be much darker than what you want it to show as. Straight dark black under sheer white gave me a very soft shaded effect. The red was very deep and dark.

If you were going to do a bird for example and you needed different
shadings of the one colour for the breast of the bird, then you can easily add different colours under the breast material.

So if the breast was a light coloured beige, by adding darker
fabrics under the beige, it won't actually change the colour but give a feeling of shadow across the breast. You may even find that to achieve the desired effect and colour you’re looking for, try colours like dark burgundy, even if the breast of the bird is not to be a reddish colour.

I can’t give exact guidelines on this, as it’ll depend on the thread
count of the weave of both the fabrics, the depth of colour, and what you may be working on, in one particular place of your personal masterpiece, may not work the same on another part of that piece. It’s also fantastic for under leaves, animals and pretty much anything that you wish to shade or shadow somewhat.

Another thing to take note of about this, is that when I created the arms, 
face and legs, I wanted the whole of those pieces to be shadowed, or really in this case I was changing the colour of my arms and legs, but when creating the shading effect more, you can just cut different shapes of fabrics to place under
the top fabric.
Let me explain more...

Let’s say you need to create a shadow between an arm and a dress,
you wouldn’t place the fabric under the whole dress, you would just place a piece under the edge of where these two parts join.

If you want to maybe lighten the breast of an animal, you may place a
circle or oval shape of possibly gold fabric under that area of the animal. You may be working with leaves or bark, and instead of adding just one fabric under these pieces, you may add many different colours and shadings under the tree trunk, and some of those pieces overlapping to give lots of shadings throughout the tree.

It truly is all about “playing”, and who needs an excuse to
“play with fabrics”? 
Not me!

You can use something like Mistyfuse which you can find here, to hold the shading fabrics in place, as Mistyfuse doesn’t leave the “thick” layer on your fabric that some types of iron on papers do.

As we want to shade our top fabrics, if we were to use a product to hold
these layers together that is quite “thick”, you won’t get the result that you may be looking for, as much of the underneath "shading" will be "blotted" out due to using a thicker style stabilizer, and as you can see how red my red fabric was, and it was quite subdued once added under the top fabric. 

I truly hope that this new knowledge has given some insight and
inspiration to try out in possibly your next personal masterpiece. As I always say, "knowledge is a powerful tool", regardless whether that knowledge is big or small, it's a powerful tool in the right situation.

Anyway, I’ll leave you all here with this one once again today.

Also if you missed last weeks posting on colour and How you
can "Work" your fabrics you can read it here or just check out this on-line class.


What ever you’re planning for your day,
I do hope that it’ll be somewhat enjoyable.

See you all again in approx a week’s time,
with something else that’ll hopefully inspire you
within your own personal creative journey.

Rose Lewis Quilting

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to Easily & Confidently choose the right fabrics for your quilts?

How to choose fabric colours for your quilts,
Choosing the right Colours for your Quilts,
Fabric colour choosing,
What colours do you use within your quilts?
and sooo much more!

Good morning everyone,
Hopefully you’re feeling very inspired & creative this morning.

I was speaking with a group of ladies a few days ago, within a class I was
teaching, and they were very concerned with colour.
Colour is something that many people struggle with, even though we're totally surrounded with it, in every form, shape, shade and colour that could possibly be imagined.

We all have our favorites, even if we don’t actually realise this.
If someone asked you, “what is your favourite colour”? , how would you answer that?

I could say that I don’t have a real favourite colour, but with clothes I love
autumn and rusty type colours and shades, but then again I love pink as well.
Definitely not blue or black, and never have.
If I was to choose a bunch or two of flowers, normally roses from the florist, I’d always go for pink of some shade or deep strong definite yellow.

Many of us have shades that we're drawn to, more than colour.
Look around your house, your cups, your towels, your underwear and even right down to your toothbrush, or the flowers in your garden. We’ll normally surround ourselves unconsciously with the colours that resonate to us and our fabrics are just the same. If you check out your stash, you’ll find that 60-80% of them will be either colour or shades of similarities. Of course there'll always be colours there within your fabric stash, that aren't a colour that you resonate with, but of course these colours are also important as for example you may need a blue for a sky, etc.


With all this, many people really struggle with finding the right fabrics
and colours to go into their quilts, and they become quite concerned about it and wonder why they can’t seem to “get it right”, when others seem to have it perfect.

This is where the ladies were, that I was speaking with.
They felt apprehension and almost “less than others”, they said they "felt silly" at not being able to easily choose colours. They advised that they had no problem "buying" fabric because they'd always buy what to them "looked nice", and they "Just had to have it" fabrics.... we all know that feeling.

So I very quickly gave them lots of information to give them more
confidence and knowledge to be able to choose and also “work their fabrics” both visually, and verbally and then within the whole class room.

There is more science to colour than what most people realise there is.
It’s like when people are trying to learn to paint either on fabrics or canvases and they can get quite upset as nothing they mix seems to work, it all ends up looking like mud. Here’s an example... if you mix red into green, you’ll end up with a totally different colour and shade then if you mix it in the opposite way, being, mixing the green into the red.

I always like to teach colour in different ways than many people do.

Once you've chosen your main colour, or even possibly shade,
next look at it to see if it’s a bright vibrant shade, is it like a mid shade or is it what I like to call a dirty shade which is really more of a muted shade.

Sometimes you'll look at a quilt in a show, that'll often stand out from the
rest, and you can't actually decide what the main colour is, that's because they have all their colours with matching shades and they all blend perfectly together, just like nature often does.

Once you have your shade decided, then quite often the rest will all come together.

Make sure that you stay with the same sort of shading, and if your quilt
allows then have several different levels of that colour, meaning if you’re using let’s say a muted type yellow colour, then choose approx 6 different shades of that colour from dark down to light but always being mindful to keep them all as muted shadings.
Hope that makes sense.

When I made my, A caterpillars dream quilt it had approx 120 different
fabrics within that quilt, and many of them I had approx 10 different shades of each colour. Now these don't really stand out, they just "blend in". You'll also see here, how they're all a "dirty muted shade" which is why they blend so well together.

It's very important to have just one colour that’ll actually “pop” to then
give your quilt true impact. In the above quilt it was the blue in the flowers, dragonflies and wrens that did it for this quilt.

There are many things that you can do and access to help you
work "your" colours out better and easily.

Here are just a few examples:

Take an image, a photo etc, bring it up onto your computer screen, next
click on the image and just keep making it bigger & bigger until it’s totally pixelated. You may be surprised at just what colours you’ll see within that image.
Have a try at this,.... try a face, a flower, a piece of bark, an ice cream, etc etc

Now something else that I often direct people to use is, by going onto the
computer and bringing up colour palettes. These are absolutely brilliant to work with, as most of these are from graphic designers who really understand the blending of colours and shades. 

Here are just a few that you can check out.

Canva  ... This one here allows you to place a photo in and it’ll pull out
the colours that are within the image. Click on the pink link here to be taken to "play"... Have fun but do come back for the rest of this here, as there's still lots more playing to be done. Just hit the back button to return back here.

If you did the above suggestion of pixelating your image, and then
adding that same image within the above link, you’ll be able to really get a fantastic idea of the colours of your fabrics that you’d choose.

Scroll down the above Canva page, when you have it opened, a little and
click on the colour wheel or click on the link here and you’ll find a brilliant colour wheel that I think most will say its brilliant.
Have a play with it.

Here’s another one that I’ve randomly opened for this, that has blends of
different colours and different shades of colours

and of course there’s always Pintrest.

These are all just from doing a Google search, and of course there are
thousands of different ones. So just Google something like "colour palettes"
and see what comes up.

If you’ve never checked these out before you’ll very quickly see how
useful these can be when you’re trying to work with colour and fabrics, and even for a contrasting thread to bring real impact within your personal masterpiece.
For many people looking at these charts, really opens up a whole new way of looking at their fabrics.

I personally like looking at ones that also have an image with the palette
like the ones here from within Pintrest.
Always aware of people's copyrights, I've added the names of who's Pintrest boards these belong to.


These above two absolutely luscious and rich in color images are from Jessica Colaluca's Pintrest board.


The image on the left is from "In colour Balance"  and the image on the right is once again from Jessica Colaluca's Pintrest boards.

These images give you a fantastic idea of some of the things that I've
explained above, but colour doesn't finish here, the above suggestions are just a starting point, as you then also need to know "just what and how" you can work those colours to give yourself the maximum amount of confidence that you, yourself deserves, and the maximum and best results that you now deserve to achieve.

You, your fabric and your quilt deserve to expand your personal
knowledge to gain the maximum results. 
Knowledge is a very powerful thing, and without always expanding and growing within ourselves we lose confidence and settle for mediocre results, regardless what it is within your life.

Gaining knowledge doesn't always mean it's hard, or hugely time
consuming to learn, often all that it takes is just the right positive attitude to want to learn and to grow within yourself. It can be very enjoyable and inspiring, it can be easy and simple, and the results you gain from that new knowledge can be very powerful and inspiring. 

Now here's another way that’ll give you a whole new unexpected way of
looking at and working your fabrics is with my Fabric Selector Tool on-line class.

What you learn within this on-line class is very different to what you’ll
see and learn within the above Colour palette Google searches.

I teach you a whole new way of looking at your fabrics that most people
have never thought of doing, regardless of whether it’s at home or when you’re in a shop purchasing.
This is how I achieve many of the results that I get, just like these flowers here, where the petals look very 3 dimensional. This is achieved with "how I work my fabrics", and you too can achieve these results, "easily...... simply and with fun".



It’s a simple and easy program, as there’s nothing for you to do, but to
make a cuppa, grab a bickie or two, hit the play button and settle in for approx 90 mins, that's if you wish to watch all in one go, otherwise you can watch some now and some later, etc and your knowledge about how to “choose and work your fabrics” will be totally enhanced, and you’ll never look at your fabrics in the same way again.
How easy is that?

This Fabric Selector Tools on-line very easy class  comes with 4 videos,
a booklet and a pattern sheet to try out your new found knowledge about
"fabric choosing & working it", which is just as important as choosing it.

So do look at all the above different methods of colour, etc and you’ll find
that you've gained a huge amount of knowledge and confidence here today already.... simply & easily.....

This posting has now given you lots of different ways of how to look at,
choose and work your fabrics within your next “masterpiece”.

As usual, this is once again starting to become a book, but once I start
writing, my passion just takes over me, as I really love to share knowledge, as I like to know that others are also able to grow within their personal creative journey.

You can also check out this video or just click here to see it.


So now I’m going to go and make a cuppa, sit in the very cool winter’s
sun for 10 mins or so, then I’m spending the rest of my day working with fabrics and paints, while developing my next on-line class that hopefully will be ready within approx 2 weeks time.

This is the Advanced Trapunto class which is a follow on from the
Basic Trapunto on-line class.

Hoping that you enjoyed this today, and I'll be back again this time
next week hopefully, with something else to inspire you and your personal creative journey.

Enjoy your day,
and try to find some time this week just for YOU,
as you’re more important than you think.


Remember to leave a comment below  and I always answer them all.