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Need some help...determining value (of fabric colors, that is!)

Need some help...determining value (of fabric colors, that is!)

Old 01-29-2017, 02:09 PM
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Default Need some help...determining value (of fabric colors, that is!)

Hello folks! I' trying to do the Nancy Zieman fat quarter mystery quilt this year, which requires a group of 24 fat quarters. (Details are at her blog: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quil...-of-the-month/). Of course, she'd like everyone to use her new fabric line, but I'm on a fabric buying moratorium so I'm trying to use my stash.

I had one collection in my stash that had enough FQ's of fabric to make the mystery; it's called "Freshcut" by Heather Bailey. However, when I look at this collection through my value finders (I've tried both the red one and the green one), I just see one fabric value - medium. Nancy says you need a collection of darks and lights in order to make the block "pop", which makes perfect sense. But determining fabric value has always been a huge challenge for me... which is why I end up making a lot of monochromatic projects with different values of one color, because even I can tell a dark blue from a light blue...LOL.

Can you folks take a look at the picture of this FQ collection and tell me your opinions? I don't want to go through making all these blocks and it just ends up looking like one big blob with no contrast. Thank you!!
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:41 PM
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Changed this to B & W to see if it helps.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:54 PM
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I checked out her page and absolutely did not like the last block. It was too busy and not enough contrast. I learned from a video I'd seen Mary Fons had but 2 fabric pieces out great contrast until after the cuts. the prints were large and therefor she has conflict with void. That is the first thing I check now. In fact I open one piece of fabric all the way and play with it like laying smaller pieces around it. Looks like a huge block but at least I get a better idea. I can't imagine 24 fat quarters unless they are all similar patterns. I'm sure others will have better ideas/suggestions. Good luck and I don't blame you for wanting to do with what you have. Maybe make a block or 2 see what you come up with in variety. If all else fails make a sampler.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:00 PM
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I agree with you that most of these are medium. The other issue I see with this set is that you have lots of large prints that may have light, medium, and dark in them but you have little control over where these values will land in the block. You need some smaller prints in lights and darks to create balance.

I'd recommend sorting them again by pattern size and you'll be able to pull out a few lights as well.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:06 PM
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You asked for opinions so I'll give mine. Sorry but these fabrics already look a hodge-podge to me, too many similar florals and mostly mid colour range. They remind me of the OBW blocks. Perhaps you can select a few that you really like, and find some plainer fabrics in darker and white/off white colours.

Here's a link to Bonnie Hunters' last Mystery Qlt, maybe looking at others final results will give you a clearer idea of how light and dark look together. Not everyone stayed with Bonnies' chosen colours, but they look fabulous.


scroll right down the page to see many versions.

Good luck
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:06 PM
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Gay, recommending that DonnaC (and the rest of us) check out the many versions Bonnie Hunters' last Mystery Quilt was terrific advise! I can really see how the use of small prints (US definition of Calico – cotton fabric with a small, all-over floral print) works much better that large prints or fabrics with a lot of stark contrast!

I'm sometimes tempted to use solid colors, or color-on-color (e.g., orange on orange), or low-contrast batiks to avoid risking too much busy-ness. But now I see more easily how calicos are successfully incorporated.

Thank you!
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:25 PM
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I'd also suggest you use Jinny Beyer's advice to include one "deep, dark" fabric so that value contrast is significant.
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:18 PM
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I saw a quilt show ...can't remember which one...but they took a piece of cardboard and cut 3 circles out of it...you lay it over your fabrics, and it really helps you determine light, medium and dark.
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:11 PM
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Part of the problem here is that many of these fabrics have too much contrast in large prints that keep the print from being EITHER light, medium, OR dark.

Jan ini VA
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:32 PM
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I agree with Jan and Madquilter....you need to extract a few and replace them with plainer fabrics in very light or very dark (you have plenty of mediums happening). Try and avoid something with a design, just stick to colourwash/solids. Hope I am explaining that properly.
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