Color Theory for Quilters: Color Dominance in Quilts


A successful quilt will almost always have contrasts. It will have light and dark fabrics, so that the quilt has depth. It will generally have a range of prints — from busy, bright or large-scale to solids and blenders — so that your eye will have a place to rest. Finally, a successful quilt will have a range of colors.

Dominant colors are the colors we notice first in a quilt. They tend to be bright — such as yellow or orange — and to pop out when you view the quilt. Sometimes you only need a little bit of this color — traditional log cabin blocks, for example, used bright red or yellow only in the smallest center block. Neutral colors such as beige, grey or black will  recede into the background of the quilt.


Note how the bright dominant yellow seems to come forward in the quilt, while the black recedes.

The secret to a successful quilt is doing some planning. Look at the fabrics carefully — especially prints — to determine the underlying colors. Choose one or two colors to be dominant and let them draw people’s eyes into your quilt.

This article will help you learn about color dominance in quilts

The degree of dominance will help determine the look of your quilt. Have a look at these color schemes  and see if you can determine the dominant color.

As with all color decisions, there is no right or wrong answers. However understanding color theory will enable you to make informed decisions that can only enhance the look of your quilts.


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