background preloader

Tips & Techniques

Facebook Twitter

Color Blog Series: Green – Play Crafts. In case you haven’t been following it, Michelle @ factotum-of-arts is doing a Color Series this year, where every month is focused on a single family of colors and she and guest bloggers talk about using that color. This month, the color is GREEN, and I am lucky enough to be one of the guest bloggers! First I should come clean. I thought to myself “Green? I NEVER use green!” Green is a wonderful support color. Not to say that green isn’t fantastic on its own, because it is, but green has a habit of taking on a support role when you start pairing it with other colors. Green sits on the boundary of warm and cool, and can therefore play either role.

On the other hand, this Modified Urban Lattice quilt used green to add some warmth to the cool aqua and navy in the quilt. Similarly, the Dissertation Quilt again uses pops of green to add some warmth to all the blues used in the quilt. Green as a background. Green goes chartreuse. Green as a complement. Tips for using green in your projects. Color Clinic – Make Room for the Negative – Play Crafts. Welcome to another installment of Color Clinic. Today I’m answering two questions; that’s right, two for the price of one! They’re both related to negative space, so it seemed fitting to feature them together. So let’s get to it! I often read about “negative space”, this great new adventure in quilting. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but, is there a restriction to the colours you can use (I mainly saw “neutrals” being used), and how does a bold choice of colour affect the rest of the quilt, its contrast, etc ?

–Cecile Thanks for the great question, Cecile! Negative space is used to give boundaries to the edge of the subject matter, and also give the viewer’s eye somewhere to rest. Some people consider negative space to be “boring” but it really doesn’t have to be! Negative space can also be used to create secondary designs. You’ll notice that none of that requires a specific color, which is great. –Joelle First, I feel I need to just point out that there’s nothing wrong with neutrals. Color Clinic – Complementary, my Dear Watson – Play Crafts. As I mentioned last week, I thought I’d try starting up a somewhat regular write-in blog post called Color Clinic. Send me your general questions about color or even something more specific about a project you’re working on, and I’ll answer it here on the blog! You can email me questions ( or post them in the comment section. This week’s question is from J.T. who asks: What is the proportion to use for complementary colors (50-50 never works) and why?

Awesome question! Because complementary colors are as far apart as possible on the color wheel, that means that they are by nature, very high contrast. Like all things in design there is no one right answer, so I can’t answer what the “right” mixture is. Here’s the same design shown with three mixes of complementary colors: 50/50, 70/30, and 90/10. I hope that helps, and J.T. – I look forward to seeing your future quilts using complementary colors! Designing with Color: Marsala – Play Crafts.

Today is the last day to enter the Pantone Quilt Challenge! If you were waiting for the last minute, it has arrived! The link up ends at 11pm pacific tonight and then we’ll move on to voting! I had some people ask me about how I chose my color scheme for my Pantone Challenge quilt which is something I meant to put in the original post but forgot. So instead, I thought I’d take the opportunity to go into a bit more detail here. When designing around a color I like to start by mentally describing the color. I have mentioned in my post about contrast that I like to use hue, saturation, and brightness to describe a color.

Marsala is a red hue, medium saturation, and medium brightness. Given that very scientific description, I move on to thinking about how I want to feature the color. To make a color appear more saturated, there are two general options: put it with things that are less saturated, or put it with the color’s complement. However, I didn’t really want to make a brown quilt… Color Chat: Contrast – Play Crafts. Note: This was originally a guest post on Leanne @ she can quilt‘s blog. Today I wanted to talk about contrast–in particular how it relates to color and how to design with contrast in mind. Introduction to Contrast First, a quick definition. Contrast is the measure of how different two (or more) things are. High contrast means that things are very different (black and white have high contrast), while low contrast means things are quite similar (cream and white have low contrast).

Contrast is important because it’s how we see shapes and lines. Add some contrast between the ninjas and their background, and voila! We see shapes because the edges of a shape contrast with the area around it. Our eye is naturally drawn to the area of highest contrast. Designing with Contrast Now that we know what contrast does, let’s talk about two ways to use it in design: defining shapes, and creating “pops” of interest or areas that draw our eye. Or even a star flower with a background diamond. Summary. Spring Time Fabric Palette – Play Crafts. So here in the US, spring time is upon us (other than that weird snowing thing that happened on the East Coast a bit ago.) Here in California, it’s a riot of tree blossoms, which are some of my favorites! I loved this photo of cherry blossoms by Kenny Louie, and used the Palette Builder to pick out a nice spring-inspired complementary color scheme.

I tried to mix up the fabric picks, but mostly stick with spring-inspired motifs. Fabrics: 1. Pearl Bracelet in Hiho Silver by Lizzy House 2. Stitch Square in Peony by Michael Miller 3. What are your favorite colors and fabrics for spring? Color Chat: Analogous Color Schemes – Play Crafts. We’ve talked about complementary color schemes and monochromatic color schemes, so today I thought we’d cover the last of the major three: analogous color schemes. If complementary and monochromatic were opposite ends of a spectrum, analogous would nestle quite comfortably between the two of them. Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel – so more colors than monochromatic schemes, but the colors are closer on the color wheel than in complementary schemes. As a quick aside, I am realizing that I never explained why color schemes are important to begin with, so let me take this moment to fix that. Are prescribed color schemes the only way colors work together?

Back on track! So what exactly is an analogous color scheme? Analogous colors including Radiant Orchid. Analogous color schemes are usually around 2-4 colors because the further you travel around the color wheel, the closer you get to incorporating a complementary tone. Summary. For the Love of Color: Ochre – Play Crafts.

My local quilt shop was having a big sale on fabric this last week, so I ended up buying a bunch of solids, including one I wasn’t expecting: Kona Ochre. Ochre is such an unfortunate name (maybe because it kind of sounds like okra, which also has an unfortunate name?) But it’s a gorgeous range of colors (albeit including a few difficult colors). This particular solid is the color of caramel cream, and I am a new found fan. It’s lacking the slightly green undertone that makes it go into baby poo brown territory (see aforementioned difficult colors.) I picked it up to go with some forest greens, but ochre is a really versatile color.

I don’t have a lot in my stash that matches this, but ochre is used a lot as a supporting color. One of my favorite uses for ochre is in this analogous color scheme. This range goes from ochre to raspberry, which covers many of the warm tones on the color wheel. Ochre is also beautiful with purples, violets and blues, as they are complementary colors. Color Chat: Monochromatic Color – Play Crafts. I spend a lot of time talking about multi-colored things, so I think it’s high time we chatted about monochromatic color schemes. I feel like monochromatic color schemes get something of a bad rap. They’re often considered boring or uninteresting, but they really don’t have to be. Monochromatic schemes are great for featuring a specific color. There’s no worry that another color will take the focus, since, well… there aren’t any. Additionally, because there is no color contrast, you can be sure that the overall look will have a strong sense of harmony.

In the above quilt–Pink Paper by Allison (allisonsews on flickr)–the colors all work harmoniously, with the pink being a strong feature. Monochromatic color schemes can also be great for bringing the focus onto the shapes created in the quilt. So what exactly is a monochromatic color scheme? As a reminder, I’ll go over them again quickly. Hue refers to the color on the color spectrum. So how do you plan a monochromatic design? Summary. Color Chat: Complementary Colors – Play Crafts. I kept mentioning in previous tutorials that I’d talk about complementary colors in more detail, and I thought I should go ahead and actually do that! The complementary color scheme is one of the standards in the design world.

It’s a simple way to add contrast to any color scheme, and it can lead to a dynamic and lively design. In the contrast tutorial, I mentioned that complementary colors are how to create hue-based contrast (contrast that focuses on the color alone). This is because complementary colors are opposites of each other. We represent that on the color wheel as being on opposite sides, but there’s actually a bit more to it than that. Complementary colors are actually the negative of each other, in that they’re made up of the colors the other is not. As an example, when we use the primary colors red, yellow and blue, we can mix red and yellow to get orange. So that’s great and all, but other than a party trick, what’s the point? Summary. For the Love of Color: Radiant Orchid – Play Crafts. So you might have heard about this color by now: Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid. Adrianne @ On The Windy Side and I are running a quilting challenge using the color, and I thought I’d write up a bit about the color.

Just to be clear, you don’t have to use any of these schemes for the challenge! I’m just writing up this post to get you started. All we care about is that radiant orchid is the feature color of the quilt. Radiant Orchid is a red-violet hue, with a medium saturation and a high brightness. My main excitement over Radiant Orchid being the color of the year is that I’m hoping it means we’ll start seeing some purple choices in fabric.

As always, I like to start with the complementary and analogous color schemes, because they are easy places to start. The complementary of red-violet is yellow-green, somewhere in the chartreuse or lime family. Paired with chartreuse this suddenly reminds me of Napa Valley wineries and vineyards. And with warm greys. For the Love of Color: Seafoam Green – Play Crafts. What? Seafoam green? Seriously?? Yah, seriously. This 1950s color is making a comeback! Anna Maria Horner’s Dowry: Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics: Denyse Schmidt’s Florence: Heather Bailey’s True Colors: To name just a few. I expect it will be popping up quite a bit next year as well. And in all honesty, two of these prints I bought yesterday so I’d have something to photograph!

But what do you do with it? When figuring out color pairs, I like to start with the analogous and complementary color schemes. For analogous colors, we look at the colors next to it on the color wheel. Here’s the complementary color scheme in action. Using analogous colors on the other hand makes a more subdued color scheme, but it has enough variation to keep it from getting boring. As for neutrals, because of the earthy feel to seafoam green, it plays quite well with brown.

However, if you want something lighter, greys also work. A warm grey on the other hand has more contrast. You can really branch out from there! Fabric Palette – Play Crafts. I am constantly inspired by the gorgeous palettes others create with Palette Builder. And you all know I love fabric (if you didn’t, well it’s true. I love fabric. I have spent more money on furniture to house my fabric than on furniture to house myself.

I hadn’t realized that until right now, and I can’t decide if that’s awesome or depressing.) Anyway! Palette by Marika Fabrics: 1. I try not to pick favorites, but that chevron is really working for me, and incorporates a lot of the colors in the palette! Want to see your palette turned into fabric? Do you have a favorite color for autumn? Pantone Spring Colors 2014 – Play Crafts. First off, thank you to everyone who helped me with my artist block last week! Of course, just as I was starting to feel comfortable with a little aimless creating, I received the information I needed to start on the quilts I’m making for Christmas. I’m hoping to sneak in some time with my other less-focused projects, though.

In the meantime, a couple of weeks ago, Pantone released their Spring 2014 Fashion Color Report. I have the fashion sense of … well, a programmer, and generally live in t-shirt and jeans, but I still love these color reports! I love the whole color of the year thing (and I still think navy blue was robbed last year!) There’s a few colors I’m pretty excited will be showing up more next year. But until then, here are some of the fabrics I found that are available now to match the colors. Are there any colors you’re looking forward to on this list? -Anne. New Project – Red Dragonfly – Play Crafts. I started a new project (because I don’t have enough WIPs? I don’t know.) Apparently, I’m not done with aqua, orange and grey, though. The project is called Red Dragonfly because it’s based on a palette from a picture I took of a red dragonfly. I’ve always been fascinated by dragonflies, so I thought it’d be interesting to make a quilt inspired by the colors.

I picked the colors and fabric before picking a pattern (which is backwards from how I like to do things generally), so I waffled quite a bit on what to make with these fabrics. I think this is how I’m going to lay out the colors, but of course it’s always up for change until it all gets sewn together. Hopefully it will cool down a little bit this weekend and I’ll be able to get some sewing done. -Anne. Color Chat: Color in Context – Play Crafts. Color Chat: Complementary Colors – Play Crafts. Color Chat: Monochromatic Color – Play Crafts. Color Chat: Analogous Color Schemes – Play Crafts. Tutorial: Palette Builder – Play Crafts. Palette Builder v2.1 – Play Crafts. Palette Builder v2.0 – Play Crafts.

Intrepid Thread Palette Builder Contest – Play Crafts. Fabric Friday – Play Crafts. Fabric Friday – Play Crafts. Fabric Friday – Play Crafts. Fabric Friday – Play Crafts. Fabric Friday – Play Crafts. Palette Builder – Play Crafts. Color Monday: Back in full swing! Make-A-List Color Monday: Surgery! Make-A-List Color Monday: Non-Awkward Family Pictures! Make-A-List Color Mondays: Rivers! Make-A-List Color Mondays: Weddings! Make-A-List Color Mondays: Summer Sippin' Make-A-List Color Mondays: Strawberries! Make-A-List Color Mondays: Fascinating! Make-A-List Color Monday: May the Fourth. How to Make Rod Pockets. How to Make Star Sashing. How to mark for 1/4" seams. Speed Piecing Half Squares. Quilt Layouts 101: Design your own quilt. Thread catcher pattern. Make a pillow form. How to work with Quilt Patterns. Label a quilt.

Make an envelope backed pillow. How to Hang a Mini Quilt. How to Make a Hanging Sleeve. Must-Know Tips for Pain-Free Quilting. Timing my quilting steps. Thursday Tip #10. How To Quilt Series. Tips and Tutorials Tuesday. How to pick Quilt Fabric. Leaders & Enders – Finished | PioneerValleyGirl. Choosing a Quilt Pattern or Design - Beginner's Quilting Tutorial Seri – Pile O' Fabric. Fabric 101, Part 2 - Beginner's Quilting Tutorial Series – Pile O' Fabric. Beginners Unite! Choosing Fabrics and Color.

Discover 10 Quilting Hacks that you'll want to try right now. 10 Tips Every Quilter Should Know - Melanie Ham. MessyJesse - a quilt blog by Jessie Fincham: How To Hang A Mini Quilt - From Hanging Sleeve to Wall! How to Hang a Small Wall or Mini Quilt – Material Girl Quilts. Fold a Fat Quarter. How to hang a mini quilt. How to Remove the Smell of Smoke from Fabric. Must Know Quilting Tips. The 5 Golden Rules. Leaders and Enders. 15 Tips for a First-Time Quilter. Back to Basics: Quilting Tips for Beginners. How To Make a Quilt {Part 2} Design and Fabric Requirements. Choosing Fabrics for Your Quilt. Quilt Tips: Triangle Troubleshooting. Quilting Tips: Perfect Pinning. Tip Tuesday! Phone Apps. Tip Tuesday! Directional Fabrics.

Quilty math. Tip Tuesday! - Fabric Selection. Back to the Basics: Mixology. Choosing Pink Fabric. Quilt Fabric Preparation. Understanding Different Types of Fabric - Crazy Little Projects. Fabric selection. Fabric Folding Tutorial – Angela Pingel. Choosing Fabric for Quilt. A Few Tips on Choosing Fabric. Choosing Fabric for a Quilt.

Choosing Fabric for a Patchwork Quilt. {Sew} Get Started: Sewing Basics Part 2. {Sew} Get Started: Sewing Basics Part 1. How Many Quiltmaking Techniques Have you Tried? Five Friday Favorites: Quilting Tips and Tricks. Learn to quilt. Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives. Sewing for Beginners: Everything You Need to Learn to Sew. Machine Quilting 101:Picking a Pattern. Beginning Quilting Series. Quilt-Making Technique Basics. Quick Quilting Tips and Tricks.