C&T Publishing has a wonderful new book out that will help you "Unlock the secrets of fabric selection for dynamic quilts." It's Colorific, by Pam Goecke Dinndorf, and the really fun part is that she applies this knowledge to traditional quilts rather than "art quilts". Now you all know that I don't make traditional quilts, but I do think there's a lot to be learned from them, and Pam makes such a great case for exploring traditional blocks...well, we'll see.
Whatever your own leanings, part one covers the secrets of selection, taking into account both color and print: color relationships, guidelines for selection, evaluating after the initial selection, and validating your choices. Pam writes:
I have discovered a shortcut to achieving a solid, awe-inspiring color scheme. It is still necessary to try out many different possibilities and aim for variety in value, hue, and print; however, there are certain fabrics that speed up the process. I refer to these as adhesives or validators. They are prints that pull together two or more of the disparate colors present in other fabrics in the quilt. They validate the pairing of those other colors by combining them in one print. Below are some examples of these validators, which can be dots, stripes, geometrics, and so on. (p 20)
Pam moves on in part two to exploring color schemes that work, like monochromatic, analogous, complementary, etc; using focus fabrics, and telling a story with color. She cautions us to remember to vary the value and print when creating a monochromatic scheme to avoid having it end up flat and dull, with no story to tell. Part three covers frequently asked questions about color selection, and I found this section particularly helpful. Here is one of Pam's tips:
Q - How do I decide how much of a particular color to use?
A - It all depends on how that color is playing with the other colors. If your eye is drawn repeatedly to a certain color and you don’t want it to be, either eliminate the color or scatter small amounts of it in at least three fairly widely spaced places, in a somewhat random manner. Scattered in this way, it will keep the viewer’s eye moving around the quilt. It is usually high-intensity hues, warm colors, or drastically different values that advance and catch the eye. Be mindful of them and apportion them appropriately. Simply speaking, use smaller amounts of eye-catching colors. (p 33)
The book then turns to six complete quilt projects that you can use to try out different color combinations if you'd like, or you can make them exactly as Pam suggests. The final section covers the basics of quilting, including finishing a quilt. Even though these are just overviews, it's helpful to have all the information in one volume.
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