Have you ever noticed the colored dots on the selvage of your favorite fabric? Do you know what they are? They’re often called color windows and it’s a built-in color palette!
For me, sometimes the hardest part of quilting is choosing fabric for a project. There are just so many wonderful options these days and it can be a little overwhelming. I have found that I try to be too “matchy” sometimes and don’t get enough contrast in color and value. These dots show you all of the different colored inks that were used in the screen printing process to make the fabric design. The colors are typically in order of how they were applied – #1 is the last color, usually the darkest.
Some have a bunch.
Some have only one.
Using these dots really helps me select coordinating fabrics for my project. Sometimes you find unexpected colors and it allows you to expand your color palette. You can also select different values (lightness or darkness) of these colors, like the blue and the green in the image, to increase the variety within your fabrics.
This is just one way to guide your fabric selection. You can get inspiration from all sorts of different things. More on that later…