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Try Your Hand at Color Shading

Customers walking into the Studio are greeted by hundreds of fabrics in an array of colors. In nearly every bit of wall space, we have quilts with dozens of fabrics.  Fat quarter bundles designed to shade from one color to another are in baskets and boxes. But what if you want to choose your own fabrics? It is easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to selecting colors and fabrics for a project. Many quilters don’t know where to start. It really isn’t that hard and can be a lot of fun once you get started.

On our website, we have three large fabric bundles, Emerald Isle, Indian Marketplace, and Shades of the Tropics, which are examples of my color theory. Each contains 39 fabrics divided into three color groups. While they look great on their own, they are more effective together. We recently decided to add another fat quarter collection, and I’ll use this to show you how easy color shading can be.

BundlesOur Moon Glow quilt has been popular for years and customers love the colors, so I decided to create a Moon Glow fat quarter bundle. I first chose a range of colors and made sure that I had several shades of those colors. There should be no gaps from one to the next, the more fabric the better.

Image 1Next, I added some deep darks, fabrics darker than the others to make my original colors pop.

IMG_5199-2I then added a couple of accent fabrics, both a little brighter than the other colors.

Image4It’s starting to look nice, isn’t it? Now I’m going to add neutrals. Neutrals cover a wide range but I think of them simply as grayed-down or muddied colors. Often quilters skip these because they say they don’t really like these colors. These neutrals, though, make the other fabrics shine. Can you see what a difference they make?

Image3Finally, I took my Portable Palette and went shopping through my stash just as you can do at home. (Of course, my stash happens to be the Studio!) Fill in anything that’s missing with a trip to your local quilt shop. Here’s how these colors work in Moon Glow and in our new fat quarter bundle.

Moonglow collageCheck out my video on our website for more details on color shading. I had so much fun putting together this fat quarter collection that I’m already planning another which will be available soon. Are you ready to give it a try?

4 thoughts on “Try Your Hand at Color Shading

  1. You are the best!

  2. In the early 2000s when I began to order quilt fabrics and supplies from USA I was stunned to find so many wonderful fabrics, comfortable tools and fun patterns. Most I like fabrics which are designed by Jinny Beyer. I thought that I learn a lot of the colors and how they work when I use Jinny’s fabrics and patterns. Eg. Around the World and Crystal Star which I made in 2008 were such quilts.
    Now that I have retired I am even more eager to continue my quilt hobby. It has been really great to find new very practical tools. Eg. I practiced kaleidoscopes, mirroring and fussy cutting with Marti Michell’s book Kaleidoscope ABCs. I made Stunning Stripes (from Country Clare Collection) but however, something was incorrectly. Now after many years when I watch again that quilt top I understood, that it is the relationship between the three borders. Fortunately, I have ordered Jinny’s Golden Calipers Gauge tool. When I measure the borders with Calipers I found that the light border is 0.5-0.75 inc too narrow to be the perfect proportion (which is the ratio of 1 to 0618). I recommend to everybody this very useful and handy tool. Borders have always been more challenging to do than the blocks.
    The Portable Palette Tool should have been ordered years ago. It’s especially handy when you are collecting fat quarters, layer cakes, pixies etc . Thank you very much for showing how color shading work in the Moon Glow quilt. I have admired Moon Glow for years and I want to make it someday. Now when I got the Palette tool I think that the color shading properly opened for me and the tool makes it easy to design color combinations when using this 150-color swatches tool. By the way, I am so excited because now I got very beautiful the 2015 Block of the Month fabric kit. It will be lot of fun to do this BOM quilt because my first quilt in1990s was also a Flower Basket quilt. Best regards from Finland in Europe.

  3. I’d like to order enough fabric to make the Moonglow quilt. Please advise me of the size your pattern makes and all of the fabric required & the cost of these items
    Thank you.

    1. The Moon Glow pattern is a free download on our website – http://jinnybeyer.com/ax_commerce/detail.cfm?productID=8A1DF5D9FFF4524DC933C2258A09F377
      All of the fabric requirements are listed and are available on our website in Jinny’s Palette collection.

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