Working in a fabric store and helping people choose fabric on a regular basis I'm always surprised how often I hear that people think that the fabrics they pick out won't look as good as a pre-chosen kit, or that they're scared to do it themselves. This id designed to make you more confident, so you can make beautiful things!
You can find links to other tutorials I've written on my blog at http://antelucandaisy.blogspot.com
Step 1: Inspiration Is Closer Than You Might Think!
You're probably going to want to look for a larger chain type store for a few reasons (I like to hit up Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes). The first main reason is you're not actually going to buy paint. The second reason is not only are you not going to buy paint, but you're going to take color cards and you want a wide selection.
The first photo attached is probably what you're NOT looking for which is a pure color gradient. Unfortunately, there's not much difference in trying to choose from this selection than there is in walking into your local fabric store and choosing blindly from a color wall.
The second photo is the type of paint display you're looking for (this one is from my local WaltMart). Notice that there are lots of pre-coordinated room painting suggestions!
Step 2: Why Reinvent the Wheel?
This is part of my collection of paint chips and brochures from various stores, and various seasons. There are palettes to fit every style, pictured below are Disney, Major League Sports, Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, and several house brands of paint. I do try to pick up new cards about once a year, as colors and trends do change, though I do keep the old ones. This is also useful if you're crafting for a gift, and the recipient's style is completely different from your own.
Step 3: Stepping Out
Step 4: Digging Deeper
Step 5: More Options
Notice the Valspar chips have neat little windows on them to match things with, and the Behr/Disney chips are dual colored.
Step 6: Picking Fabrics
As I find a fabric that matches the paint chip (also another reason to pick up individual chips) I pull the bolt (or a fat quarter depending on what I'm looking for). I choose which ever piece of fabric most closely matches the chip I have in my hand. This is the easy part- Everyone can match!
Step 7: Ready to Move On!
The fabric for the Tinkerbell colors were scattered through our color wall, but the fabrics from the Valspar colors are from Wyndham's Civil War III Reproductions and RJR's Thimbleberries. (see "Color Picking 102: Letting the Store do the Work for You" for more on fabric lines)