Tag: Value

Nature’s Color Wheel

Choosing colors for quilts doesn’t have to be difficult but it might not be simple, either!

If you like to play it safe, are in a time crunch, or have run across a line of fabrics you adore, choosing fabric and colors for your next quilt can be a simple, quick process.

I find that every now and then, I want to do that – grab a kit and make it up, quick as possible.

Sometimes, though, I like to have a longer process for choosing my quilt colors and fabrics (including value, hues, tints, size of prints, types of fabrics, etc.) If you like to have more than one quilting iron in the fire like me, maybe you do this, too!

You can refer to previous posts about color here: “One Easy Way to Conquer Color” “Monochromatic by Nature” and “Six Tips for Using Color In Landscape Quilts”

There are two concepts I always go back to when choosing fabric for a new quilt: Color in Nature and Value.

Image of Beach and Sky
How many colors and values do you see here?

Color: Nature just doesn’t get it wrong. Start observing natural settings, plants, animals, bugs, everything around you. Take pictures are start collecting things for idea boards, whether it’s on your phone or computer folder or actual items pinned on a board.

Image of Christmas Cactus Plant
There are many variations in just the flower petals of this Christmas cactus. I would have normally just considered it “pink”.

Value: Nature also doesn’t get value wrong. Winter is the best time to collect ideas about how nature uses value. Some of the most peaceful quilt settings take on the natural values often found outside in winter.

I challenge you to look around you today and collect some fabulous fabric ideas from the nature around you!

An example of using BOTH sides of a line of fabrics: “Holly” was made from two panels by Hoffman California Fabrics and was featured on the cover of their “Winter Projects 2019” Catalog.

SHOP for “Holly” and all “UseBOTHsides” Patterns HERE!

Colorful Wings – Three New Quilt Patterns

Introducing three quilt designs using BOTH sides of your focus fabric.

It all started with Phoebee (See Designing Quilts by Chance) and yardage of a Hoffmann Digital Spectrum print named Crystalia Rainbow.

Classes starting in September. Patterns available now.

After being inspired at quilt market (See Six Favorites from Quilt Market), I knew I wanted to mix lots of different fabric types to make a bee quilt. While I thought the shape of the bee would be “in the mix”, the background is actually where I used a variety of styles of fabrics:

chicken wire fabric from the 90’s, inherited from my mother-in-law, Pat, (love)

modern word fabric,

batiks,

and pieces of selvage…

with a few accent strips of color.

Patterns available in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeBeeStudios

My Crystalia fabric became my bee. Her flowers I made from the “wrong” (such a harsh word) side of the same fabric.

I guess you could call the flower technique a “modern broderie perse” (thank you, Kelly). They are made with simple, fusible applique and are cut without fussing about the edges – in fact, I encourage letting background show through as it ties the two sides of the fabric together in the quilt.

In my classes and in my patterns, I point out that all reverse sides of fabric are not alike — audition your front AND back sides with your background fabrics.

The best way for me to describe a good reverse side is to say that it should “sing” just as much as the front, just with lesser value.

Image of Bee Quilt

Phoebee

One thing I liked most about Phoebee was that she seemed to be getting her life and beauty from the flowers. Thanks to the hubby for her name–which in Greek actually is spelled with two “e’s” at the end and means “bright, pure”.

Image of Class FlyerNext came Belle. She’s a French butterfly. Belle means “beautiful” (I NEVER got that about Beauty and the Beast – blush).

I found Belle’s fabric, Estate Gardens by Andover at my local quilt shop, The Golden Needle. I used similar neutrals in her background, but stayed with different shades of gray (some reversed) for the accent strips. Her binding is made with the reverse side out.

Note: I like to mix all shades of neutrals – white whites, beiges, off-whites- and all types of fabrics like tiny prints with batiks and novelties.

Image of butterfly quilt

Last but not least, meet Lily.

Lily is a sweet dragonfly made from Tree of Life fabric by Chong A Hwang for Timeless Treasures, also found at my local quilt shop.  Her background accent strips are in aqua because a) that’s my favorite color and b) I wanted to connect her to the water locales dragonflies love.Image of dragonfly quilt

Visit my Etsy page or The Golden Needle for patterns. If you are interested in weekend or evening classes, let me know in the comments below.

Next up is a review of value, very helpful for auditioning fabrics for Colorful Wings quilts! Don’t miss a post – sign up below for email notification! Thanks so much for following.  Karla