I’m just about keeping up with the Quilter’s Color Quest, a series of challenges designed to expand knowledge about and understanding of colour both on a objective level and on a personal, emotional level. The Quest is being run by Rachel Hauser over on her blog Stitched in Color and is designed to be followed in conjunction with her book, ‘The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’.
Challenge 9: Neutrals. I’ve enjoyed picking through my boxes of neutral scraps. I have neutrals sorted in two boxes, one contains white, grey and black fabric scraps, the other box has light beige through to dark brown scraps. This made for a quick start to playing with the scraps for the Neutral challenge. Rachel gives lots of helpful information about how neutrals – white, grey, black and brown – affect the colours around them. It was absorbing picking out swatches and fabrics and laying them next to the neutrals I’d chosen: Black, Smoke, Chocolate and Parsley.
Most examples of how to use the word ‘context’ are geared towards words and ideas, obviously for the Quilter’s Color Quest we are thinking fabrics and how they relate to one another on a quilt top. The swatch challenge involved grouping shades, tones and tints of a colour around a swatch deemed to be the pure, classic hue (colour). I had a go with Apple Green, Blackberry and Sapphire. Our perceptions of a colour will alter depending on the other colours
I’m falling behind with the Quilter’s Color Quest 🙁 Rachel Hauser has been using her book, ‘The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’ as the backdrop to a series of blog posts and challenges encouraging us to explore colour. I’ve been following the posts and delving into my copy of the book whilst using the colour swatches to play with my fabric
All Colors In! Rachel Hauser’s latest Quilter’s Color Quest challenge is all about creating fabric rainbows. Using the swatches provided with her book, The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color, the challenge is in three parts. First organise colours of the rainbow into four ‘families’: classic pure hues; pastel tints; dusty tones; and jewel shades. Hum! Hues, tints, tones and shades? I had to flick through the book to find an explanation of what these words actually mean…
Hue = a pure colour
Shade = hue + black
Tone = hue + grey
Tint = hue + white
Here are my swatch rainbows:
The second part of the challenge: choose one of the rainbows and expand it to twelve swatches in order to practice creating smooth transitions between colours. I decided to stay in my comfort zone and worked with ‘dusty tones’.
I’ve always been drawn to ‘dusty tones’ when choosing clothes or home decor. After ten years of patchwork quilting I realise I do enjoy playing with jewel shades too. Autumn is definitely my colour season though, so I guess that explains my ‘dusty tones’ preference. However, there are some deep ‘jewel’ colours associated with Autumn: I’m thinking berries, dramatic leaves and intense sunsets.
The final part of this challenge: to translate the swatches into fabrics and make the next batch of Bear Paw blocks.
Not surprisingly, I found a good supply of dusty tones in my scrap and stash bins! Although I couldn’t find a dark blue/purple fabric to match the ‘Midnight’ swatch card I’d chosen (bottom left of photo). Again, not surprisingly it was the purple scrap bin that provided me with the least choice of suitable fabrics (purple rarely features in my colour schemes!).
I’m learning so much through these challenges. As Rachel writes, ‘Color is about self-discovery. There is no ‘wrong’ – there’s just your personal preference’. I think being able to understand and articulate our color preferences using hands on experience along with accurate use of the language of colour has got to be an advantage when it comes to selecting fabrics and creating quilts that rest easy with ourselves or the recipient.