August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday; Color Choices

My primary WIP of the week is to get everything ready for a workshop I'm taking this Saturday taught by Latifah Saafir. It's called Perfect Puddles and is a lovely sampler quilt based on inset circles. Inset circles is something I've wanted to learn for awhile now so this is the perfect opportunity.

Photo from Latifah's Pinterest Board.

She gave us a great handout with instructions on several different patchwork designs to choose from for the circle centers. Each circle uses a different patchwork method and the finished quilt becomes a patchwork sampler. In my usual way, I wanted to do something a bit different and Latifah was very ok with my plan. Rather than a patchwork sampler, I decided to use a single fabric for each circle and turn the project into a free-motion sampler. I can use all the practice I can get with my free-motion skills and the simplicity of the design seemed like the perfect place for some practice. Here's my plan.


Selecting fabrics is usually the fun part, but of course can also be the challenging part, of designing any quilt. I first considered using an assortment of dotted/striped fabrics from my stash. I thought it would be a fun play on the circle theme. But instead, I decided to stick with solids so I would better see the free-motion quilting I hope to try in each circle and background area. Pulling a good mix of greens was a challenge though. I love green and have several green solids but once I starting pulling colors it became obvious I needed more. Can you believe I found an excuse to buy more fabric?

Here are the colors I plan to take to the workshop. Something to keep in mind when making color choices, especially solids, is that your perception of each color is relative to the other colors surrounding it. There was a point in my selection process when I felt like I didn't have a single green that was green. Of course that wasn't really the case but when you put several greens together they take on all degrees of green interpretation. Some will seem blue, some yellow, some not green at all. I'm taking more colors than I think I'll need and will create pairs of circle/background colors once the circle/rings are done.


Another problem when choosing colors is not pushing the values enough. It's easy to settle into the middle value range but the end result can be flat and mushy. This is totally fine if it's the effect you're after but quite often a quilt will be improved when the values are pushed more. We're comfortable in the middle range and don't notice the lack of contrast until the quilt is done and then feels flat or dull.

For my concept, I plan to keep the rings all the same blue color and I'm quite tempted to use the first blue shown above simply because I like the underlying slight green color. But I don't think it's as dark as it should be to really give the final blocks some punch and contrast. Here's another option that would probably be better. Again I'm going to take both and decide when I start. What do you think?


This will be the first workshop sponsored by our Boulder Modern Quilt Guild and should be a fun time. Latfah will be doing a show and tell and talk afterwards that is open to anyone for a small fee. Check out the guild Facebook page for more info.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.