Sunday, September 13, 2015

THOUGHTS ON CHOOSING COLORS

I wrote previously about a couple of books by Jinny Beyer on drafting quilting patterns (click here).  Jinny was very instrumental through her books, quilts, and classes in the 1970s revival of quiltmaking.

Here is another one of her books, this one about color published in 1992.  It really goes into detail how she thinks about color and chooses fabrics for her quilts.
Even if you don't subscribe to her methods of shading, a dark color, and an accent color; this book is a visual treat if you love fabric.  All of the pictures really show you how any one color relates to another.
After taking one of her classes in the 1980s, I have used a modified version of choosing fabrics for my own multi-fabric quilts

 Below is one of my old work sheets from a quilt I made in 1989. I picked out a couple of fabrics (shown upper left in photo below) to use repeatedly to unify the quilt; then I chose fabrics from my stash to add.  I laid them out in gradation; then squinted my eyes to see if there was something that stood out in a bad way.  I remember I eliminated brighter yellows, and used the brighter red as an accent.
This is the quilt that resulted from that exercise.  It ended up having 96 different fabrics in it.
Starshine, 1989

For the current quilt I am working on, I also pulled fabrics from my stash in a color story I was considering.  I have modified the process even more as I now have more color confidence, but I still like to do the 'shading' thing.  It helps me see what fabrics I might be lacking; and I can take the cards along to shop, if necessary.

I'm anxious to see how this one turns out.  I had a miss-start as I first tried to work purple into the quilt (instead of the red), but I just didn't feel it.  I like it much better now -- maybe it was that I didn't have a lot of purple in my stash because I am not a purple person!  In the end, I usually go with any gut feelings.  
Color is so very personal!

I'm joining the following:
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday
Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday
Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social Wednesday
Quilting Readers Garden for WIPS Be Gone Friday
Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop Friday



8 comments:

Maartje Quilt said...

I do not understand how you choose your colors, but I like those pictures with beautiful fabrics!! I am sure it wil be beautfiful quiilts too. Love to come back to see your quilts.

Cathy said...

You've pulled some lovely fabrics. I look forward to seeing what you make with them!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

That Starshine is absolutely stunning!

Stephie said...

Oh this is such a perfectly timed post for me! I'm just beginning a series on developing a an intuitive approach to choosing quilt colours and definitely going to link to it! I love the way you make your cards to take with you to the fabric store, a great idea. I think it's great to see how your colour choices end up in the final quilt (and what a lovely quilt it is). Thank you!

Kaja said...

It's always interesting to know how people work, and I like the idea of building your colour story at the start. Thanks.

Nancy said...

Your color card for the first quilt is really interesting, especially when compared to the finished quilt. I don't see any pink/rose/purple/violet/fuchsia on your color card, yet your finished quilt seems to be predominantly those colors. But maybe the camera/computer isn't showing accurate colors?

Thank you for the book recommendation. I'll have to see if I can find it.

Zenia Rene said...

I'm anxious to see it too Sally! All of these colors and fabrics are amazing! I love using many different fabrics in my quilts...though I just go w/what I like and what I think goes. I tend to do a lot of scrappy. I'm visiting from Let's Bee Social. Bee social and stop by my blog for a visit anytime.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

Your Starshine quilt is so beautiful. Mixing fabrics and choosing colors is so difficult for me so I am always interested to see how other quilters work. Thanks for linking up to Main Crush Monday!