As we begin to look forward to Christmas festivities, colour guru Rebecca Bryan is getting excited about revved-up festive palettes that are ideal for making up-to-date heirloom projects…
With Christmas just over the next horizon, Rebecca Bryan is dabbling with traditional and contemporary festive colour palettes
Putting a fresh twist on your seasonal makes can be a challenge, but that makes it all the more fun. Join me in selecting the perfect colour combos to inspire all your Christmas quilting.
In my memory, these are the traditional colours of Christmas: a dark fir-tree green, a rusty red, and a neutral burlap-y beige. To be honest, these colours don’t really excite me. I’m not moved to create anything when I look at these colours. We’ve seen them all a thousand times. Instead, I’d like to take the traditional palette and brighten it up with some modern flair. Hopefully, we’ll see some colours that drive us to create.
To start, I’m going to lay out some deep reds and greens that speak to me. These are no more than colours that grab my eye. I’m not worried about getting ‘the right’ colours at this point. This is just a rough draft to get the feel for the palette.
I experimented by adding blue into the mix, but the result looks a bit too summery. I’ll remove those blues and stick with the greens.
My next step is to narrow down the reds. I have quite a few reds and several are doing the same job, so I don’t need them all. I like the spicy warmth of the Cayenne and the drama of the Garnet and Wine. These three reds really set off the greens very nicely.
My final step is to remove the pink, mainly because now that I’ve got my colours fairly sorted, I think the pink looks too sweet. Also, there’s too much friction between the pink and the green. I’m going to opt for the very pale Shell instead. The final palette looks pretty close to what I envision a traditional holiday
palette but I’ve added depth and dimension to the final version.
This combo builds on the previous palette by widening the range of greens. Instead of two greens, I now have four. The greens I’ve picked are really close in hue (they’re all blue-green) but the value changes. I’ve got light to medium values. I decided against a really high volume, saturated green because I wanted to keep the palette light. The lone red, Poppy, really stands out happily against the greens.
Let’s see what happens when we add a bit of texture to the neutral. Yes! That looks great. We’ve just split the neutral into two neutrals, but by doing this, we really soften up the palette. And it feels more modern to me. This colour combo is simple, but elegant. It would make a cheery Christmas quilt for sure.
Though I love all things colourful, I do appreciate a neutral palette, especially when shine is involved. I’m imagining magnificent evergreen trees dusted with snow while inside is nice and cosy with lots of soft white lights, natural textures, plus, silver and gold.
I’m opting for the larger range of green colours with this palette. Note there are a couple different shades of green this time. The Zucchini warms up the greens while the Celadon quiets the overall palette. A white cloth quilt would be lovely, but so would a star-themed quilt made from this palette of silver and gold. I think adding fabrics with linen and metallic hints would be superb!
And for our last colour palette I have to go back to colourful! I love the fun playful colours in retro toys. These colours would make for a fun tree skirt on any Christmas tree. My grandmother made a tree skirt in these colours using felt and sequins. This year I kinda feel the need to make one just like hers.
Ok, who’s ready for the holidays?! Haha, don’t worry I’m only joking. You still have plenty of time!
Once I've chosen my palette, I move on to making an actual fabric bundle. I like to think of these palettes as living documents. With that in mind, I feel free to let the colours adapt to my fabric stash or my latest fabric purchase. On that note, be sure to visit my blog – each month I choose a palette from my column and build a fabric pull from the colours. It’s been interesting to see how the fabric combos take shape and how the colour palette changes as I pick out prints.
If you create a fabric bundle using these palettes, we'd love to see it! Tag pics with #LPQColourPalettes
I'D LIKE TO BRIGHTEN UP THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PALETTE WITH MODERN FLAIR
Modern Tra dit i o n al: Ta k e 1 Modern Tradit i o na l: Tak e2 Modern Tradit i o na l: Ta k e3 Modern Tra d i t i o n al: Final
Tra d it i o n a l Pa l e t t e
Forest Hues: Final Forest Hues: Ta k e 1
Winter Shimmer: Tak e 1 Winter Shimmer: Final
Retro To ys