Saturday, February 07, 2009

Looking at Color

I have been looking at my stash a little differently after reading a post in Quilt Gallery about a new book called 'Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts' by Maria Peagler. The concepts in this book seem to be something that many quilters are looking for. I don't know how many times in the last few weeks I have heard, "I don't know how to pick fabric that looks good together." I think I have occasionally said it myself. Maria lets you read the first chapter in her book and create a color wheel with your stash when you visit her website (click the link above for her book). I am working on my color wheel now. Last night I pulled out the big box of scraps that I have been holding onto for those times that I might need just a little piece of something. I separated them into piles by basic, blue, green, yellow, purple, brown. I know brown is not on the color wheel, but I had lots of shades of brown. I did find that I don't have very much purple. As I was doing this I had a brainstorm of an idea for a quilt of some sort. I am not sure of what size, but I have a feeling it could be big. Today I worked on my red block. I pieced together 2.5 inch squares with a natural Kona cotton between each one. it was amazing how good these pieces were looking next to each other even though I had never thought to put them together before. Everything is from some past project I have worked on so I was having a lot of fun seeing them come together and remembering what I had done with each one. Maria gives you projects in her book to do as exercises but, I don't have the book yet so I made up my own exercise. She is doing something she is calling a blog tour and hopping to several different blogs to promote her book. It really is interesting. She points out that creating with fabric is different than painting in that you can't blend your fabric colors to make a new color, but you can change the way it looks by choosing carefully what you put side by side. The interesting thing is how different one block can look depending on the fabric choices or how the same fabrics used in a different block with only one or two color changes. I feel like I could go on and on about this, but I need to end this post and don't want to bore anyone. It really had my mind working last night so much so that I was dreaming about colors and quilt patterns.

I did another experiment with some of the 9 patch blocks I was making and cut them in half in two directions then turned the pieces and sewed them back together. It was fun, but I decided that I was liking the simplicity of the 9 patches for this project and in the end I sewed 9 nine patches together to make one block I guess it is an 81 patch...hmmmm. I am going to make one using each of my sorted scrap bags so I will have one in green, blue, yellow and maybe brown since I have so much fabric to work with. Then I will decide just where to go from there. I was thinking of making strips of color for the back instead of squares...

I tore myself away from my sewing machine Thursday to go out in the rain to a local thrift store where I found a few treasures. This very colorful plate is stamped on the back "Limoges France". It is a beauty with lots of gold paint on it. It made some Lemon Poppy Seed muffins from a box mix look extra good. I usually like to make muffins from scratch, but we had the mix and it was looking tasty to me so I cheated. I used the plate to make them look more special and it really did the job.

I also found some pretty little hankies and this tiny little doily with the cutest little ribbon embroidered flowers. It looks very fragile so I am thinking I will put it in a frame with some nice fabric behind it to show off the delicate stitches. I really felt like I had won a jackpot on this trip. I also found a few tops for myself and they all fit perfectly! Lucky me!

Take some time to check out the c
olors in your world. It is amazing what you will see!



Maria Peagler said...

Hi Ferne -

Glad you found the sample chapter helpful! I really want to help quilters "get" color, because for so long I didn't understand it myself. Good to hear I really got you thinking about color, and I can't wait to see your color wheel. Don't forget to send me a photo for a chance to win the book!

Anonymous said...

What a great post, Ferne. I love the plate as well, being a dishaholic and all... ;)