I like to use plain silks or subtly printed fabrics for the background of my crazy patchwork because I want the embellishments to be the main feature. It is best if the fabrics are of the same density in colour - as too much contrast will draw the eye away from the work as a whole.
The background fabrics in the sample, (in the top picture) were antique dusty beige/pinks and I chose the colours for the embellishments from a Mokuba flower tape. The rich lime, purple, green and magenta colours lifted away from the background and gave more drama to the fabrics and lots of inspiration for the added textures. Hand dyed ribbons and threads can also give you wonderful colour suggestions that you may not have thought of.
I usually work the base stitches (which meander over the seams) in a heavier thread than the decorative stitches, so I like to use Colour Streams Ophir - a hand dyed perle silk thread.
I then looked again at the colours in the flower tape and chose the threads for the embellishing stitches from the Au Ver A Soie perlee range which is my favourite. On the website I have organized these in colour cominations to help with your sellection. They are French and come on charming little wooden reels.
I love to ruch ribbons to build up the texture so next was the hand dyed silk ribbon. This also echoed the Mokuba flower tape. Sometimes it is best if it doesn't match exactly as that can become boring or too much colour change. You may choose one or two single colour ribbons instead.
Nestle beads, crystals, charms, ribbon flowers and lace into the ruched ribbons to add some zing.