Taken from http://nls.interweave.com/track?t=v&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0xJmF1aWQ9Jm1pZD04MzIwMSZtc2dpZD03NTYwNSZkaWQ9MTgwNiZlZGlkPTE4MDYmc249MTY3OTEwMzkmZWlkPWNsbWhhcnBlckBhb2wuY29tJmVlaWQ9Y2xtaGFycGVyQGFvbC5jb20mdWlkPTFfMzU4MiZyaWQ9MzU4MiZlcmlkPTM1ODImZmw9Jm12aWQ9JnRnaWQ9JmV4dHJhPQ==&&&2000&eu=1&&& 
They were talking about bold colors like Pantone's Colors of the Year, but it applies to any color selection that might "overwhelm" a project. The following is a modified quote, with some sentences rearranged for purposes of this post...
...“practice and play” is good advice for any aspect of fiber art: don't close your mind to a color (or an idea, pattern, or fabric) because you think you don't like it. Try it out in different ways and you might find a new favorite.
[Y]ou can interpret a color many ways, with a variety of shades and tints. And you don't need to let it take over: a little can go a long way to enhance the other colors with it, especially when you're talking about quilting and surface design.
Studying the color wheel can help you figure out what combinations you like best. But sometimes, you just have to practice and play. For example:
--- If you have a particular bold color in your stash, pull out the fabric and pair it with different colors. Try not to pre-judge: toss a few scraps on your floor or worktable and let the combinations surprise you.
--- If you don't have the fabric in your stash, use a paint chip sample. Hold it next to different fabrics to see how the hue works with the colors and patterns.
--- Another way to try out a new color is through fabric painting. Start with a plain white piece of fabric and stamp or paint other colors along with the new color to explore different combinations.
--- [Or] try fabric dyeing techniques like ice or snow dyeing using ... complementary or analogous colors, and a fat quarter of plain white fabric. See what develops as the colors melt and combine.