Color Hexa and how it can help you find the colours you're looking for!

The hugely fun process of picking fabrics for a quilt is often driven by choosing colours that we like together, and finding complementary prints to play out our chosen colourway.

Some quilts will require a little more planning such as the trending modern movement of quilting;  a Transparency Quilt.  Here, your purpose in selecting a colour is finding the right colour to be an equal representation of two other colours, as if the two were blended to make a new colour.

As experienced as we quilters may be at choosing a beautiful palette, and pulling together intriguing colourways, choosing colours for a transparency/interaction effect might be stretching out of our colour choice comfort zone.

For example, I can imagine the colour that these two RJR solids Raging Ruby and Lemon Chiffon  would make when blended, but I can still be quite off-the-mark. 

When I designed my Shawl quilt, I could imagine the different colour threads used to make the plaid, and how these threads interact across a woven Shawl. Sometimes the same colour threads meet, and you have a full saturation of one colour, and sometimes different coloured threads weave into each other and make a new colour.

My goal was to make a process whereby anyone can have success choosing interacting prints or solids, and though this is all discussed in the pattern, I've referred those who have the pattern to this blog post for some additional tips, using the website.  Here, you can first select your main colours, then use the Colour Blender tool to find a colour that's an equal representation of those first two colours.

Here's the process:
Once you have selected the main colours in your quilt, and are only looking for the blending/interacting colours, it’s important to take some time and find the digital equivalent of your colour. This can be done by using the Search field on the Color Hexa homepage. With your fabrics beside you at the computer and with good lighting in the room, try to get just the right colour, and record the hexadecimal number for each colour.  

Here are the colours I was looking to match:

These are both RJR Cotton Solids that I used in one of my Shawl quilts. Now hop on over to

Click on the red dot, and a little colour selector will pop up.

Use your mouse to find the right colour.  First, use the bar on the right to select the general tint of the colour, then move the little dot (found in the top right corner of the square) to make your final selection.  Every little movement will produce a new colour hexadecimal code.

(In case you're curious, a hexadecimal code is one of three digital ways to determine a colour.  1: Colour Name, 2: Hexa, or 3: RGB.  A Hexa code is always a 6 digit code with the first two digits representing an amount of Red, second two digits representing an amount of Green, and the third two, Blue.  Since the amount of Red, Green or Blue could be any number between 0 and 256, letters have been incorporated into the formula to keep the Hexa codes tidy.)

Once you have found what seems like the right colour match to your fabric, click on the code in the search field and press Enter.  This will bring you to a page all about this colour!

Here you can look at some very close alternatives, and maybe one of these alternatives is more like your actual fabric colour.  Record the Hexa code, and start back at the home page to determine the code for your next colour.

So, my deep plummy magenta Raging Ruby code is #ae146b, and my pale buttery yellow Lemon Chiffon is #feea79.  Now to find what these two colours would make if equally blended!

Your next step will be to click on the Colour Blender tool from the home page. 

Follow the method as shown in the "Blend Colours Together" diagram, by adding your two colours together as an equation in the Search field at the top of the page, then press enter.

Next, will pop up your answer!

This colour is a great match to RJR's Rose Coloured Glass, so that was my choice.

A special note to those who are working with the Shawl pattern: Start by finding the Hexa codes for your main fabric choices, then through the colour blender, type in the equation of A+B to get your AB colour, and repeat with other colour interactions listed.

My recommendation is to take a screenshot of every blended colour generated, and bring these screenshots into a word document, list the equation that made this colour and any other important information. This can be saved as a file on your phone while you go shopping, or printed out so that you can properly select these colours. 

This process of finding colours "can" also being used to help select prints, in a general sense. For example, if you have a golden print that you want to mix with a navy, and have no idea what colour that would produce, you could find a colour that well represents the golden print and well represents the navy print, and see what colour is generated. Aim to find a print that is a good representation of the colour generated, and compliments the style and look of the two original prints.

In my experience the Shawl quilt and its plaid effect are very forgiving to loose interpretations of these interactions, so just have fun, and don't be concerned about hunting down the right print!

This Colour Hexa website is incredible!  I'm looking forward to learning more about it!  Have fun as you pick out your colours, and share your palettes with me online!  I love to see what other creatives are up to!