Choosing Colors Online

One of the reasons excuses the fabric stash grew to be out of control was that for so many years, the nearest quilt shop was at least 40 miles away.  When I went to the shop, after having traveled so far, why buy just what I needed?  Why not buy a little extra . . just in case?  Why not buy this piece because the color is so perfect for so many things?  Why not buy that piece because it might match something already in the stash?

Sometimes I would order fabrics online.  Say I needed green.  How could I be sure that Green #1 would work?  The only sure thing would be to order Green #1, Green #2, Green #3 and maybe a bit of Green #4.  There . . that should do it!  One of those would have to work!  🙂

That’s how it happened!  It’s not like I set out to buy more fabric than I would ever use.  Why am I telling you this?  You have your own reasons excuses, don’t you?  Feel free to use my reason excuse, if needed.

About the yarn — same thing!  No yarn shop nearby that has a lot of the yarns I like so I order it.  When buying yarn for socks, it’s real easy because one skein is needed — no matching anything.  But, what happens when I need three skeins to go together for a mystery project?  From looking at the colors online, I chose Grove (the top one – greenish), Lichen (middle – greenish and purplish) and Curiosity (the bottom purple).  The yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light.  Love the yarn . . do not love these three colors together.

Do I order more yarn and hope for a better match, sticking two of the above skeins in the stash or . . do I give up and wait til I can get to a yarn shop and see what the colors really look like?  And, I might add . . if I order yarn, for $75+ orders, there’s free shipping!  🙂  Decisions, decisions!




  1. 1

    Linda C says

    After the time I really needed a certain shade of navy blue and found the *perfect* navy blue online and when it arrived it was royal purple… I don’t buy fabric online.

    Roadtrip to the yarn store, IMO!

  2. 2


    On my computer the colors look like they go together well, but they are not my colors. I think it would depend on how much of each one is used.

  3. 3

    pdudgeon says

    i would put the top hank aside for another project and in it’s place put “ink”.

    Have you asked the shop if they have a color card they can send you ?
    seeing as how you order so often from them, they might be able to scare one up for you.

  4. 4


    I, too, have many reasons (excuses) why I buy so much fabric – in fact I’m doing a blog post of how I wound up with 9+ yards of blue quilter’s linen in three different shades o:) I am *so* glad I don’t knit, because I know I’d do the same this with yarn – it is so incredibly soft and yummy looking in the photos!

  5. 5


    know what you mean being 85 miles from shop I tend to order more on line than travel to the shops. I will buy some on sale and think I will use this, that, oh that one is on sale too! I have it mostly under control – but with hand piecing, hand quilting and applique I really need to maintain a small stash not a large one or it will never get used up.

  6. 6

    Mary Beth says

    Ya know, I crochet…but only if I have to. Never have I knitted…not that I don’t want to, just haven’t ever learned. Anyway, my mom use to take me to a house in Springfield when I was a kid. The lady there had a red “barn” in her back yard….a large building/garage shaped like a barn and the name of the place was “Yarn Barn”. She had her own yarn store….hey….maybe you could do that someday 🙂

  7. 7


    hmmm what a decision, I say order more!
    you will use it eventually right
    I hope when you move to Texas you will live near a great quilt shop and yarn store!
    keep us posted
    hope Chad is feeling better

  8. 8


    I like Pam’s idea — use the bottom two with a black or gray. I have an order of yarn coming. Even though we live in a large metro area, there isn’t much for yarn shops.

  9. 10

    Linda in NE says

    Life offers such dilemmas (sp?). Ordering is always such a crapshoot anyway. When I was making a quilt for my grand-daughter I bought four different purples before finding the one that looked right. The one I bought in person at the Alco store turned out to be the right one. Now Alco stores don’t even carry fabric any more. Bummer.

  10. 11

    Frieda Z says

    If you call Loopy Ewe they will help you pick coordinating colors. Good luck with finding the perfect matches!!!

  11. 12

    Dorothy says

    I would wait to use the top one, but do like the other two, maybe with black to make them pop!

  12. 13

    Tricia says

    Why don’t you pick your favorite and ask the shop to give you advice on coordinating colors? Then you can look at them online and pick the ones you like best–I do this all the time with the Fat Quarter Shop. The ladies there are the best!

  13. 15

    lw says

    I would call the Loopy Ewe per Freida’s suggestion for an exact match. I sure would love to go to their store…nothing like seeing it all in person. My local yarn store has too many “helpers” who want to get you out of the store as quickly as possible and I can’t browse there.

  14. 17

    Pat C in Washington says

    Well, my theory is Too Much is Better Than Not Enough. That works for pretty much everything: fabric, yarn, money, books, chocolate, etc.

  15. 18

    peggy says

    I love madelinetosh yarn. I used Curiousity in the pattern by Never Not Knitting called Cedar Leaf Shawlette. I love how it turned out because the stitches are well defined by color shading and yarn texture. I agree with others. Use the bottom two and get help from the site contact adding a 3rd color. Good luck.

  16. 19

    Doris - The Quilting Queen says

    Get ready to add to your stash again after your move to Brownwood. Closest quilt shop is 60 miles away and a “good” quilt shop is 120 miles away. I can soooo relate to the reason for stash building. Mine is the same way!

    • 19.1

      Doris - The Quilting Queen says

      Oh yes, I forgot about Santa Anna, small shop but works in a pinch sometimes.

  17. 20

    Sandy says

    At least you have a good excuse to buy yarn—you knit! What’s my excuse? I have a Rubbermaid container stuffed full of yarn, but I’m not a knitter! I quilt. My stash is huge. I don’t make excuses for having so much fabric! Even if I don’t buy fabric it comes to me—as birthday or Christmas presents or won as a door prize. And everyone knows the scraps multiply all by themselves in dark closets. I love every inch!

  18. 22


    Since you already three of the yarns, you can ask the owner of the online shop to recommend other yarns to match with what you have. else you can go on shopping and have more socks that you will last you two or more lifetimes.

  19. 23


    Since you already three of the yarns, you can ask the owner of the online shop to recommend other yarns to match with what you have. else you can go on shopping and have more socks that you will last you two or more lifetimes.