Monday, January 10, 2011

Which Colors Make You Happy?

Quilting is definitely all about color. Although our color preferences often change depending on our mood, the seasons, or whichever colors are being strongly marketed, I think most of us prefer one or two colors over others when it comes to fabric selection. Color may also have a huge influence on us in other ways, maybe more than we think.

Strong colors  =  sociability

Cool colors = introversion

I'm showing my age, but do you remember that book about skin tone and color from years ago??

It's January. I tend to wear dark colors or neutral colors in the fall and winter and the quilts I make during those seasons also reflect that tendency. I was just reading an article about color which said that, according to research, we should probably lean toward brighter colors to ward off the dreariness that often surrounds many of us during those seasons and to make ourselves feel better. When the days are stark and we face the winter doldrums in the Midwest, maybe all I need is a little color to perk me up.

Did you know that green is a healing color, the color of nature, Spring, new life?

Blue is calming, soothing and offers immense comfort, like floating in a nice pool of water or looking at the sky on a clear day. Blue is my color and I tend to use a lot of it in my quilts.

Loving pink means you are full of compassion and have an open heart and like to nurture. You might also have a sweet tooth, LOL. A touch of pink in a quilt really gives it a nice Zip, don't you think?

Orange shows high energy, creativity, playfulness. Add some if your quilt seems dull. I do this with patches of gold instead of orange and it really makes a difference in a quilt that might otherwise be "blah."

Yellow refreshes and is associated with mental clarity. Too much yellow can overpower a quilt, though, so watch that. I don't own much yellow fabric. Maybe I should . . .  for the mental clarity part. If I wear it more will I be able to remember names again??

Red is strong and usually shows confidence and passion. Red really pops when you place it in a quilt. I love to balance it with my blues. That way you don't fall asleep from all of the calming blues . . .

If you prefer brown (the color of the earth) it means you  are down to earth as well as warm and practical. Also, brown is soothing. I like to add touches of brown or tan to my quilts to tone down scrappy blocks when they get too excited.

Or use prints that combine brown mixed with my favorite colors.

Listen to this: There's a theory that says if you wear vibrant colors or surround yourself with a lot of color in your home (or your quilts), you are showing the world that you feel great. Then, perhaps you really begin to feel great as well and experts say you can in effect alter your mood as you work with color or wear it.

Uh oh, even though I am definitely a Blue girl, I wear a lot of black - what does that say about me?? (other than I'm always hoping to look a few lbs thinner . . . ). Black certainly makes a fashion statement, but it also makes you sort of invisible and I think I wear it mostly when I want to keep a low profile and not stand out too much (most of the time??). When I wear brighter colors, I'm wondering, do I tend to be more sociable? I'll have to ask my husband (if he even notices, LOL, I wear a lot of black . . .). Making quilts with bright colors energizes me sometimes and, depending on where I plan to use the quilt, if I make it scrappy with a lot of different colors then I will also add calm fabrics.

I'm not quite sure about this theory however and have to start noticing more. Whenever I feel I need a perk (and Starbucks is just too darn far away), I think I tend to surround myself and work with the colors I love - cool colors like blue - to make myself feel better, but I do not necessarily notice that I  feel  more creative or refreshed. Maybe the next time I feel sad or lacking in energy - Hello February - I'll try throwing on a little orange or yellow and see what happens. Time for a new wardrobe? Or maybe I'll just wrap myself in a scrappy, colorful quilt! (Or afghan . . . )


Angie said...

I LOVE red and yellow! I want to make a red/yellow quilt one of these days. :) And I'm most drawn to earthy colors, aside from red/yellow. Interesting post and topic. :D

Sue said...

Well I love the color brown (ask my daughter...she's constantly telling me to change it up a bit), but if it's true that a person who surrounds themselves with brown is down-to-earth, then that would describe me. I really think it's a rich color and I just can't live without it. Black is also a favorite along with greens in the right shade:)

That was interesting learning about the different meanings that go with colors.

Have a blessed day!

Karen said...

I have to tell you once again how much I enjoy reading your blog. Now this is a fun theory about colors and I do believe that it is true. I am a blue lover too. My mom dressed me in blue and my sister in pink. I have brown hair and she is blonde. It seemed to work. I also love red. I have always been drawn to that color. I go through stages of wearing it, but I don't rely on it. My husband has always liked yellow, not to wear so much as just a color he enjoys looking at. I have noticed as I get older that I too have been drawn to yellow and look forward to seeing it when Spring comes along. You said green is a healing color, there must be some truth in that because they say that Green Tea is good for us.
Thank you for always entertaining us with your stories. I always seem to learn something new from your blog.

Lizzie said...

Wow, I am a brown person, a little dull for most but brown soothes me and makes me feel calm. I love camel and all soft browns and then the nice rich dark browns mixed in. yummmm I just ordered you new book to9day. Can't wait to get it! Lizzie

Anonymous said...

I love colour, but I am especially drawn to deep red, purples, deep rich greens and rich blues, also don't mind a touch of yellow or mustard. Hated orange, my Mum loved it and had it everywhere when I was growing up... but now I add just a drop or two of orange bits into my quilts now and have grown to like it just a teeny bit LOL. Not long before your new book arrives.....counting the days, can't wait!!!!!......Merilyn

Ann Marie said...

I wear lots of black too, but that's because it hides coffee stains! (I don't think it helps much with the looking thinner.) Red is my favorite color, but I make quilts in all colors. I really love all of them and don't think I play favorites in my quilts.

QuiltNCards said...

I love red, even though I am a dull person. I also love orange and yellow. One time I was in a quilt store that sectioned off the warm colors and turned the corner into the cools, blue specifically, I could actually feel the difference. It made me shudder.
I like all the colors, but warm is what I work with.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I love color! I love primary colors and I love subtle colors and texture in color and it just all makes me happy. The joy from color is what I use to justify my 200 lifetimes of fabric.

MÂȘ Clara Lloveras said...

Hi, my color favourite is BLUE!!!! I love it!!!
because (I think) for the jeans.... The second color red, pink and brown...

quilting Jeannet said...

I am afraid that I loved al the colors Kathleen....only black I wil never use, but blach is,nt a official color. I write someting about your colors on my blog, and I finished the last schoolgirlquilt from the club.

warm greetings, Jeannet

irishgirlsews said...

Hi Kathleen,
I tend to wear alot of black also, and I probably should not as I'm a freckle faced Irish lass, I also love green, and have tons of brown and beige fabrics? I must be mixed up in my color sense???? Red is another favorite, and my mom loved everything BLUE ! LOL

Lori said...

I love lots of color in my quilts but because I have no fashion sense my closet is full of black, navy, white, brown and ecru. It sure makes it easy to get dressed!

sue said...

With my second cup of coffee each morning, I really try to spend a little time in my sewing room, figuring out if I'm going to be able to sew that day. Always, though, I pull out fabric and put things together with possible projects in mind. Its soothing and today what came out, bubble gum pinks on this dreary, snowing day in the upper midwest. Thanks for the insights of color. sue

Anonymous said...

Blue! That is my favorite color for quilts. And I use red in them as well, to spark them up. I looooove the blue fabric in the middle, with the leaves, beneath the bird. If you know the name of the fabric, I would love to know. I love to add reproduction fabric to my collection that combines my two favorite colors.

Have a blessed day,

Kathleen Tracy said...

The blue floral fabric is from the Clarissa collection by Windham -

Louise said...

I must say my favorite color is red! It's such a fun color to wear. Mary Ellen Hopkins used to say (back in the early 80's) that she felt every quilt needed some red in it. I too wear a lot of black, probably for the same reason you cited. Why last Sunday, I wore all black to church! Didn't realize it until I was ready to walk out of the door. I grabbed a beautiful pink scarf my daughter gifted me with for Christmas. I really like your last doll quilt of the month. I think it is my favorite although I have liked them all. Thank you for all of the fun designs.

Anonymous said...

Hm, I can't seem to find it in the Clarissa line. I meant the fabric in the middle. Hope it is not to much trouble - or maybe you know the line by heart.

I really appreciate your blog and your responses to the people who comment on your blog! Hope to be posting the pictures of my version of your Little Red Schoolhouse Quilt soon.

Have a blessed day,

Karen en Marc said...

I love this article, makes me smile. My DH uses a lot of colors in his quilts, all kind of colors. I'm most earth tones. I try to use more colors.

Amy said...

I like all the colors. Can I have em, can I? I've been very good......Oh wait thats for Santa,lol!

marian said...

I love so many colour's really hard for me to pick just one fav colour.
When i was younger i wore a lot of blues but over the years i've come to favour earthy autumnal hues.
However, when it comes to quilting my absolute faves are the 1800s / civil war repros..i LOVE them all lol!

Gloria J W said...

Wow...that was an educational walk through the colours. I just know that I looooove RED!! All shades of red. I do wear browns and greens and oranges too. Maybe I just want to stand out in the crowd. I'll ahve to remember to calm down with a little blue now and again. But when it comes to collecting material..well... any colour goes and the more the Rainbow smiles.. Gloria

Betty Lou said...

This is a great post on color theory, thank you for sharing. I like the primary colors but toned down with black.


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