Monday, November 3, 2008

Color Selection for Quilters

Over the weekend I took a class from the wonderful Mary Sorenson about how to choose colors for quilts. Part of our homework for the class was to choose four colors from a list of six and pull a range of values from our stash that would be used in class. It took me nearly four hours, and I learned a lot about my stash in that time. I have entirely too much blue, a lot of purple and so little yellow (and almost all of it in the medium range) I couldn't use it as one of my color choices.

In class, Mary actually gave us an inventory sheet that we could use to go back and identify not only which colors we were missing, but which VALUES in those colors, and what styles of prints were needed to fill out our stash.

One very practical lesson was this: If you aren't sure about how the values in your fabric choices relate to one another, remove the color. Take a picture, or scan the fabrics and view it as a black and white image. Here are my fabric choices in black and white:

You can see that I did pretty well in the purple and blue (that was obvious, even in color) and even the reds show a progression, but the oranges are not distinctly different values. I could have thrown out the ones on the ends and looked for a lighter light and a darker dark.

Hubby is color blind. I have often turned to him for help in this way, but now that I can see the difference for myself in black and white, Mary assures me that over time I will begin to be able to "see" it without having to photograph it.

Thanks Mary!


Rachel said...

I am jelous of people that have that natural color sense. I really have to work at it. I think yours looks great! Sounds like a fun class.

Idaho Quilter said...

I use this technique a lot when I am trying to stay in the same value or when working on a bargello quilt where the colors need to graduate. A good lesson to learn, never be afaid of color if YOU like it it is OK.