March of the Tools: colour charts

Today's March of the Tools post is all about colour charts. I actually thought that I'd already written about them, but when blogless Keely wrote to me enthusing about her new Kona colour card and asking if it might be a suitable subject for a 'Tools' post, I found that the original post had only ever existed in my imagination. So thanks go to Keely for the inspiration for this post.

I first purchased a Kona colour card last year when I was trying to finalise colours for my father's quilt and out of all of my charts (yes, there are others...oh dear) it is the most extensive. A quick body check this morning reveals that I can chart colours from my ankle to just beneath my bust when I hold it up against myself, which gives you some idea as to the proportions of this chart, or for those already in possession of the colour chart, an idea of just how small I am. Don't let this put you off though, Kona have thought of everything: you are not left with an unwieldy body's worth of colour samples, as it conveniently folds up.

When trying to choose fabric, I often work myself into a state of Decision Paralysis, so having a chart that takes all the uncertainty out of buying colours online is invaluable. Thus, it's a completely practical tool. However, in this instance the practicality is entirely secondary to the beauty - just like Farrow and Ball, Kona colours have a subtlety to them that makes them utterly appealing to look at and study for hours on end. If it wasn't so heavily branded I have little doubt that this chart would be framed upon my wall.

But colour charts needn't be limited to quilting. I've frequently referred to my Berisford satin ribbon chart, as well as my velvet ribbon chart, especially when choosing the colours for this woven velvet cushion below.

There's something so lovely about the colours on these cards all lined up together like sweets in a sweet shop that however beautiful they may be in isolation, they seem to sparkle more in unity.

Satin ribbons to the left, velvets to the right.
I think this goes applies to most things from piles of jumpers in the Boden catalogue to rows of lipsticks and nail polishes. Once someone has eaten all the turquoise smarties from the tube, part of the fun has been stolen. Perhaps that's why seamstresses seem to have such an obessission with sneaking contrast linings, bindings and pockets onto goes some way to retaining colour fusion loveliness.

Florence x


  1. I have only recently discovered the wonderous beauty of Kona cottons. I think now I have a couple of half metres, I may end up buying more. Perhaps I need a colour chart, you know, just in case....

  2. I've often wondered about those linings, bindings and pocket colours. I love the picture you've given me to fill that wonder. Thank you. :)

  3. I am so in love with my various colour charts. I have a gorgeous Shetland wool yarn one that I turn to a lot for knitting, as well as the inevitable Kona chart. And a couple more of sewing and embroidery thread... A girl can never have too many colour charts, right? Especially if you happen to live in the UK and therefore have to do practically all fabric/yarn shopping online.

  4. I have been thinking several time about buying the Kona color chart. However I never took the final decision to go ahead, I don't really know why. But now I will reconsider it, definitely! It is so lovely.

  5. I had a quick look at this post last night but didn't have time to read it fully - have I dreamt this since or was there a photo of you all folded up?

  6. Lovely post & photos, thank you. I thought I saw you folded up as well...?

  7. Just wanted to thank you for your Lined,Zippered Cosmetic Bag tutorial. I like the covered zip ends and your instructions and pics are very thorough. Sent payment through PayPal!

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Florence x