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Thread: And another thing…

  1. #1
    Steve's Avatar
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    I’m always flattered when people say they like the colors I've picked out, but what amazes me is all the different theories that fly around about color and quilting.

    One book I read the lady said, “Folks who use over three colors have no imagination.”

    Another said, “You need a minimum of four values.”

    And yet another claimed about color, “The more the merrier, put in the kitchen sink if your heart desires, it all fits somehow.”


    For me a pattern, once fixed in the mind, kind of calls out for color. The last one I did, the ‘lover’s knot’ looked excellent the way some had done it in the four color scheme, yet after seeing the two tone I spent a while translating the instructions to fit. Then after going through that, I felt a third color in the border (yeah orange) was exactly what the piece needed. Low and behold it worked!

    So the question is: do you find the pattern and assign colors, stick to a scheme you’ve seen, or just find fabric and go for it?

    I really don’t think there is a right or wrong way, like the majority of what we do as quilters, but am curious what your methods are. Hummm…?

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    My logic generally goes:
    vision>pattern>color>variations in both

    Some of the things I do evolve enough that it is hard to discern the original intent. I think that is why I am fascinated with the discipline of the birthday blocks, using someone else's colors, and trying to fit them into something that appeals to me.

    Some things work great in 2 colors, but they require a strong design element. Others look great scrappy, with colors galore, and variations standing out mainly from color values.

    I have seen portrait quilts which look photo-realistic, just done in light-medium-dark variations of the same one color. They are striking.

    Like anything else in quilting, the rules are to do what is right for YOU!

  3. #3
    Steve's Avatar
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    Look out for the ladies with visions I always say! HA! :wink:

  4. #4
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I never pay attention to the color a pattern is shown in....I pretty well know what i have for fabric and colors so when I see a pattern I like it appears in my minds eye in my fabrics or I just have to go shopping :D

  5. #5
    Super Member Celeste's Avatar
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    For me, it's the colors used showing the pattern that attract my attention. I seem to be missing that gene that can see a pattern in other colors.

    Take barnbums barn quilt. The picture on the pattern didn't inspire me, but HER quilt did!

  6. #6
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Camp
    it appears in my minds eye :D
    Let's face it Steve, you've surrounded yourself with women of vision... and some menfolk, too!

  7. #7
    Super Member nanabirdmo's Avatar
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    well steve, i have a little note tacked to the wall over my machine. it says
    "color gets the credit while value does the work". not that color doesn't matter, but the mood of the piece is set by the contrasting values. don't you think?

  8. #8
    moderator
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    I see the quilt in my head, then I go on an adventure to find the fabrics.... LOL

  9. #9
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I see the fabric, and can picture a quilt, then plan it out, and change it as I go!!! never the same as originally thought!!!!!!!!! 8)

  10. #10
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I find choosing colours one of my favourite parts of the quilt making process. I see a pattern I like, and then choose my colours. I rarely go with the colour choices that the pattern shows. I like to do my own thing and make it my own.

    I did an Autumn quilt last Sept and it had 26 different colours!! turned out great!!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanabirdmo
    well steve, i have a little note tacked to the wall over my machine. it says
    "color gets the credit while value does the work". not that color doesn't matter, but the mood of the piece is set by the contrasting values. don't you think?
    ABSOLUTELY! :D

  12. #12
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    For me, the process is:

    1) decide on the purpose of the quilt to be made: ie, baby quilt, gift, for me or no purpose
    2) pull fabric collection to work from. The fabric collection is usually tossed in a pile on my sewing room floor and stays there while I am working on the quilt.
    3) pick pattern
    4) start cutting
    5) decide I need another color or another fabric
    6) go out and buy more fabric.

    I am posting two pictures that are illustrative:




    Picture showing the fabric collection I used to make Jack's wedding quilt.
    Name:  Attachment-3372.jpe
Views: 10
Size:  73.7 KB

    Picture of my friend Jack's wedding quilt in progress on design wall.
    Name:  Attachment-7047.jpe
Views: 15
Size:  60.1 KB

  13. #13
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    I can't say that there is any set way for me. Sometimes it is the fabric inspiring me, sometimes it's the pattern. I think all of it is as unique as the person making it.

    M

  14. #14
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    It varies with each project for me. I prefer to let a fabric find me, then pull additional fabrics to work with the original fabric. I pull all kinds of values and colors that will play well together. Then...I mull them all around in my head for several days. Usually I find that the fabrics seem to call for a specific type of design..traditional type block, more abstract, stars, etc. Then if I can't find a pattern that fits what is in my head in one of the books I already own, I make up my own pattern (its way more fun that way).

    I guess there are as many ways to do this as there are quilters.

  15. #15
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    hmmmmm.... for me, some fabrics call for a certain type of pattern, some patterns ask for special colors. I don't often use commercial patterns, but I love mystery quilts! Mostly I just make it all up as I go along. :D

  16. #16

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    Hi there! For me, it's always different for each project. Sometimes I collect fabric to try and "reproduce" a quilt or achieve a look that I really like. Sometimes I find some really fabulous fabric and I go hunting for a quilt design that will really showcase it or use it in an interesting way. Sometimes I'm just kinda "in" to a coupla color schemes...and then sometimes I find a quilt that I try to achieve interest and intesity through value. The only thing that is constant, is I don't generally think "color" or "value" it just kind of happens that way...I get a vibe for what I want to make, and play round until I'm happy!

    I know she's a bit over done at times, but I love that Lynette Jenson in her books offers a palette for the "Thimbleberries" look. I think that's so appropriate, because tastes are so different, there is no one recipe for color or value that always works with everyone, and it's hardly fair to say you must do this or you must to that to make a great quilt. I really love to contain my colors and stick with a few colors in a few values, but then there's women like Bonnie Hunt from Quiltville.com who pretty much likes to throw in everything but the kitchen sink (definitely not my method) and she bangs out fabulous quilts!

    To make a long post longer, I think there are some methods of choosing color/value that are easier than others, but the second you say you can't do something a certain way, someone will pop up out of no where with an amazing quilt to prove that you can. :)

  17. #17
    Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyxquilts
    hmmmmm.... for me, some fabrics call for a certain type of pattern, some patterns ask for special colors. I don't often use commercial patterns, but I love mystery quilts! Mostly I just make it all up as I go along. :D
    A gal after my own heart!

  18. #18
    Super Member twistedstitcher's Avatar
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    It varies for me as well. Sometimes a pattern inspires me and I'll choose fabrics I think will work with the pattern. Sometimes I'll find a fabric I love and choose a pattern based on the fabric.

    I agree, there's no right or wrong...whatever works!

  19. #19
    DJ
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    I never much thought about it. Sounds like the "quilting police" trying to establish rules about fabric. It totally depends on the quilt being created and the person creating it. Isn't that the beauty of quilting, after all?

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