Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quilting Without Obligation {Part Seven}

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Color.  It the bane of our existence when it comes to fabric, design, and quilting.  The right colors make a quilt stand out.  The wrong ones can make a quilt look like an ordinary, no-sew fleece blanket.  Yes, I really did just say that out loud...  But really, if we are going to go to all the work of making a quilt, let's use some great colors!

There are the typical color combinations.  The obligated ones that we know and mostly love.  Red & Green... Pink & Brown... Red & Aqua... Blue & Brown... all color combos that are fairly safe and easily replicated.  But what about the others?  The less than obvious combinations?

Some of my favorite fabric lines are those that take a risk when it comes to color; and then we quilters cram them back into safe and predictable color combinations inside of quilts.  What if we didn't?  What would happen if we took a color risk instead of looking for the safe choices?

I hear a lot of quilters say that "such-and-such  isn't my color" and I completely get that.  If you would have asked me my favorite colors six months ago I can promise you I wouldn't have said "purple, yellow, and gray".  

Many times our strongest obligations are the obligations we feel towards ourselves; our own likes and dislikes.  Sometimes that is a good thing yet other times, it can stunt our growth.

I'm working on a quilt right now with cross blocks and I decided to go with colors not typical for my taste.  I know that purple isn't really my color but why would I limit the color selection in my quilts to colors that only I like?  So for this quilt I'm using various shades of purple, yellow, and gray.  And guess what?  I love it!  I am now finding myself drawn to purple fabrics that are just beautiful and had I not stretched myself into a new color range a few months back, I'm afraid that I would be missing out on a whole range of pretty fabrics. 

And BTW, I'm sure my hubby feels the same way and is very relieved that now I love purple fabric too... *copious amounts of sarcasm*

Anyways, I would like to challenge you, all my creative friends, to stretch yourselves and find some new colors.  They are out there, I promise! 

So, what colors have you avoided working with?  Or... what colors are you ready to branch out and work with??

10 comments:

AllieKatMom said...

Those ARE my favorite colors :) Cant wait to see your final quilt with all of them. I am actually thinking of doing my whole sewing room in those colors.

stitchedincolor said...

When I made my Colorbrick quilt (http://stitchedincolor.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/colorbrick-for-bloggers-quilt-festival/) it was hard to trust the process and combine all those rich colors and prints together. I think the result is very funky, even carefree. Color is worth the risk.

BTW, love your new look!

Me? A Mom? said...

I've been challenging myself to do more monochromatic work and not be so matchy-matchy with my color selection. I'm finding that by throwing in a not-quite-the-same color into the mix, it gives the quilt character and depth.

quiltytherapy said...

The Botanica line from Timeless is one of my favorites right now. My order should be getting here soon. What is the gray and yellow bigger print flower that you have added in the mix in your photo?

I'm hoping the hubby lets me put these colors in our bedroom. Any suggestions? ;)

Carla said...

I hear you about the purple, Jennifer! But there are some lovelies on the market right now. I recently did some blocks for a virtual bee with interesting color combos that I didn't know I was going to like so much. Now, I want to try them myself: purple and red; grey, green, yellow; grey and yellow. In fact, I only recently began loving grey!

Tamara said...

I like your posts and they make me think. I haven't found colors i dont like or do... but i also am a scrap quilt lover, the more the merrier. I cant even dress myself (seriously... ralph picks out my clothes or i would be monochromatic) and as ive been looking at projects ive been trying to decide what i like and dont, what works for me and doesnt. I still think im going to check with him when im doing something that isn't scrappy and i haven't thrown every piece i have in my stash in it!

elle said...

Obligated Colours- Who'dda thought! I never met a colour I didn't like and I'm for mixing up the colours. I never thought I'd be working on an orange quilt though, never mind two. I luv it! I think grey is going to be the new neutral in decorating and brown is passe.

A said...

Quilting has really taught me to look at different colours. I didn't like green and have just made a sampler quilt in purple, green and blue. I didn't like orange and am about to make two boy quilts in blues and orange (one with farm animals and another with David Walker Robots). I still don't like yellow but have just seen a gorgeous baby boy quilt in the blues and yellows from Nicey Jane! My new challenge is to use sashing in a colour, not just white.

Jennifer said...

there are no colors that i really avoid, but i haven't used a lot of orange. red and orange are extremely bold and so i get scared of them.

by Daisy said...

i had a wonderful surprise when i started quilting: i found out there were more colours in the world besides blue. blue has been my favourite colour for years and i have everything in blue. but then i started buying green fabrics, pink, yellow, orange, purple... and i found out i had lots of second favourites!!!

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