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Thread: low contrast quilts? always fail?

  1. #1
    Senior Member stillclock's Avatar
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    low contrast quilts? always fail?

    my gran, ever a force of nature, decided today was the day we were going to buy some fabric so i can make a quilt for her. i love the fabrics she chose, but there really isn't very much ooomph or contrast in the pile. i want it to be really pretty and i can't take forever to make it. she's 88 and my favorite human on earth.

    i was wondering if you thought i could pull off something like this:

    Name:  QQ120501.jpg
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    with the addition of a one or two fabrics to this selection, where the contrast is really more in the design and dimensions of the fabrics than in the colours (monochrome with a touch of blue here and there):


    Name:  7201346652_1ac2a26a6f_b.jpg
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    thoughts? opinions? please?

    thanks!

    aileen

  2. #2
    Senior Member roseirish48's Avatar
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    the selection is nice but is rather monochromatic. i would add something to add a little umph to it--spice it up a bit.
    even just one bright color used for sashings or maybe a border print of the blues/greens with a tough of pink or yellow.
    hope this helps--post a pic when it is done so we can see how it turns out

  3. #3
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    I think that pattern could work with those fabrics, you just have to make sure you have contrast for the colors in the two pinwheels. Just look at the pinwheel in the bottom left corner to see how less effective it is than the others, with similar values in the two fabrics. You'd have to use your darkest and lightest blues for one pinwheel (I think that's the small blue check and the white background with print fabric next to it.) and your darkest and lightest greens for the other (probably the tone on tone green and the white with green vines??). The only fabrics I see which possibly won't work with that pattern are the ones at each end in the pic. You could use one of them for the border, but I don't think either of them would work for sashing strips, because the large print may confuse/lose the pattern. I think the third fabric from the left (dense small blue? print) would work for sashing strips, but you'd have to add another fabric for the other color of sashing strips. I think that's what I'd do with all that, lol!

  4. #4
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    How about a rich dark green & a dark navy blue?
    Sue

  5. #5
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    Sometimes low contrast quilts work just fine. It's the blended look and several books were written on it. If your Gran picked out the fabrics then she must love them and I would hesitate to introduce anything too bright or dark.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Oh no ... low contrast are not always fail. Not at all. That's the Shabby Chique look!
    ITA re the bottom left pinwheel ... If you're using that pattern, watch that the pinwheels have the contrast to let them show.

    You might want to add another one or two fabrics to your mix, though you can get some lovely subtle contrasts with what you have. However, don't get too carried away with add-ins, as this is what your Grandma chose!! And you want to keep it "her" quilt! Have fun making it. What a special project to work on.
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  7. #7
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    i really like the fabrics your Gran picked. not every quilt has to scream CONTRAST! perhaps introducing a solid or mono print green or blue into the border, but not much more. I think the quilt you showed as an example is lovely. and here is the thing....your Gran is going to love what ever you make for her. remember that!

  8. #8
    Senior Member hensandhollyhocks's Avatar
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    I think the colors your Gran picked are beautiful. I am sure she picked what she liked. If you had a little "oomph", just make sure it is a little.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueJ View Post
    How about a rich dark green & a dark navy blue?
    Sue
    I agree with Sue, get a dark for the pinwheels in the sashing, and maybe an almost solid cream, again for the sashing. I think the fabrics and pattern go well and you will have a beautiful quilt with subtle design and color.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    'Contrast' comes in many flavors, and that selection of fabrics has more than you are giving it credit for. It has contrast of scale, value and texture just as it is and your pattern choice adds contrast of shape and size. All together, the voice is understated and restrained, yet solid, strong, and reliable. My sense is that is what your gran was instinctively drawn to. Think about her personality before you decide to add "oomph" or any loud contrast of color.

    Placement of the fabrics within the pattern will be very important to the impact, so try several arrangements before you start to cut and sew anything. I think it has the potential of being a stunning, and very personal, quilt for your 'favorite human on earth'. Enjoy the journey.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  11. #11
    Super Member Delta's Avatar
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    I love your colors but i agree with roserish48 you need some pop material I love the greens and pinks in the tip quilt
    you can add that do your selection too. Anything you do she will love. because it is made with love. don't be to hard on
    yourself.
    SMILE- it will make everyone wonder what you are up to.
    Stay strong and keep looking up.

  12. #12
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    On my screen the 1st lg. floral on the right and the 5th gr. check read the darkest. The 2nd and the 7th from the right read medium. The 3rd and 6th from the right read the lightest. I think you have enough contrast for the pattern you've chosen and it will be lovely. It sounds like your granny loved those particular fabrics so I wouldn't change a thing.

  13. #13
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    I like the colors your GM picked for her quilt. It can be very pretty just with her colors. Please don't get carried away.

  14. #14
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    'Contrast' comes in many flavors, and that selection of fabrics has more than you are giving it credit for. It has contrast of scale, value and texture just as it is and your pattern choice adds contrast of shape and size. All together, the voice is understated and restrained, yet solid, strong, and reliable. My sense is that is what your gran was instinctively drawn to. Think about her personality before you decide to add "oomph" or any loud contrast of color.

    Placement of the fabrics within the pattern will be very important to the impact, so try several arrangements before you start to cut and sew anything. I think it has the potential of being a stunning, and very personal, quilt for your 'favorite human on earth'. Enjoy the journey.
    Oh Ghostie .. you have said so much there!! Not just about this selection of fabrics but some very valuable words for all of us as quilters to use as guidance in choosing fabrics and placement within a quilt. I'm awestruck ... and saving these words of wisdom!!


    StillClock ... These fabrics that your Gran has chosen are so typical for her generation. Very few of her age are drawn to the bright and bolds that we see many quilts made from today. In using Ghostie's thoughts, you can ensure that her "time" will stay in the finished quilt and not become something otherwise. I love the gentleness of the fabrics, and the comfort they seem to exude.
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  15. #15
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    I'm like your gran, I like the low contrast quilts. They are very soothing and comforting. I vote to leave the fabrics like they are just maybe change the one that has 2 florals so that they don't blend together. Everything else has plenty of contrast and is so pretty.

  16. #16
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    I agree with ghostwriter. You have a wonderful mix of scale and texture. A burst of very dark or bright would be jarring. Sometimes a mix of low contrast prints need plaids or stripes for variety in texture. You have a blue gingham. It could be used as the contrast for the pinwheels.
    Elizabeth

  17. #17
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You have more than enough contrast there to make the quilt work. All quilts don't have to "pop." Quilts can also be serene and restful.

  18. #18
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stillclock View Post
    my gran, ever a force of nature, decided today was the day we were going to buy some fabric so i can make a quilt for her. i love the fabrics she chose, but there really isn't very much ooomph or contrast in the pile. i want it to be really pretty and i can't take forever to make it. she's 88 and my favorite human on earth.

    i was wondering if you thought i could pull off something like this:

    Name:  QQ120501.jpg
Views: 3124
Size:  212.2 KB

    with the addition of a one or two fabrics to this selection, where the contrast is really more in the design and dimensions of the fabrics than in the colours (monochrome with a touch of blue here and there):


    Name:  7201346652_1ac2a26a6f_b.jpg
Views: 3189
Size:  445.1 KB

    thoughts? opinions? please?

    thanks!

    aileen
    Maybe the low contrast is soothing to her, if that's what she chose.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  19. #19
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfletcher View Post
    Sometimes low contrast quilts work just fine. It's the blended look and several books were written on it. If your Gran picked out the fabrics then she must love them and I would hesitate to introduce anything too bright or dark.
    Agreed! If she didn't ask you to "fix" it, use what she chose.
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  20. #20
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    It's really just a matter of personal taste. Some people LIKE soothing, gentle colors, quietly blending together. Others enjoy the splash of contrast. If you're making for your gran, what does SHE generally like?

  21. #21
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    I think those fabrics offer a soft and rather soothing combination. Maybe that is just what your grandmother is looking for.

    I wish I had the privilege of making a quilt for either of my grandmothers, no longer living!

    Enjoy the project and the privilege!

    Dayle

  22. #22
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I agree with this. Maybe use the check blue for the bigger pin wheel and bring in a similar darker green picking up on the green she chose for the little pinwheels. I really like the fabrics she picked and love low contrast shabby chic quilts.


    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Oh no ... low contrast are not always fail. Not at all. That's the Shabby Chique look!
    ITA re the bottom left pinwheel ... If you're using that pattern, watch that the pinwheels have the contrast to let them show.

    You might want to add another one or two fabrics to your mix, though you can get some lovely subtle contrasts with what you have. However, don't get too carried away with add-ins, as this is what your Grandma chose!! And you want to keep it "her" quilt! Have fun making it. What a special project to work on.
    Anna Quilts

  23. #23
    Super Member Vicki W's Avatar
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    I think a dark green to pick up the dark green little flowers and a bright green to go with the bright piece on the left would be all you need to add. These would high her choices.
    Vicki W

  24. #24
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    If you add to her chosen fabrics, it becomes YOUR choice, not hers.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfletcher View Post
    Sometimes low contrast quilts work just fine. It's the blended look and several books were written on it. If your Gran picked out the fabrics then she must love them and I would hesitate to introduce anything too bright or dark.
    Dotto to this.
    A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.

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