January 12, 2019

Color Theory: Value

I'm joining the BoulderMQG in a year long color theory study. It will be similar to normal block of the month programs but rather than a different quilt block each month we will be given a color theory challenge to apply to our chosen block.

I decided to go literal with my fabric choices by going with all solids that match as closely as I can to the color wheel. It's a departure from my usual prints but I want to explore the color in as pure a form as possible.

color theory, color study, fabric color wheel, rainbow colors

My chosen colors are Kona Cotton Solids. Starting with yellow going clockwise the colors are; Citrus, Lime, Clover, Ultra Marine, Pacific, Deep Blue, Tulip, Cerise, Poppy, Tangerine, Orange, and Papaya. It was hard to capture the color differences in the red/orange range but it's there.

As far as blocks go, I've always wanted to do one of those circle-a-day quilts so decided I will use divided circles for my color study quilt blocks. I'm excited about the concept and may even try to work in some quilt-as-you-go techniques from my QAYG presentation last year. You see more about that here.

The challenge for January is value. This can be explored in a number of ways. Value within a single color, referred to as a monochromatic color scheme. Value as it pertains to the entire color wheel. Or value in a gray scale form. I think I will be doing the gray scale as the rest of the quilt will be loaded with color.

The photo below shows my fabrics arranged in color wheel order and how they appear when stripped of color so only the value is evident. As you can see, value order does not coincide with color order.

color theory, color study, fabric color wheel, rainbow colors

The order is more apparent in the photo below.

color theory, color study, fabric color wheel, rainbow colors

The next photo shows the reordered fabrics based on value. I found the orange and yellow/green were hard to sequence. It appears as though the orange is darker in value than the yellow/green but when I switched them it looked the same. Notice that most of the colors fall in the mid value range.

color theory, color study, fabric color wheel, rainbow colors

When I choose fabrics for my quilts, I am often guilty of relying more on color than value. Most of the fabrics in my stash are mid value, pure hue colors. I have built up a fair collection of lighter values in the form of low volume prints but am lacking when it comes to darker values. Darker colors have just never appealed to me as much as the pure hues do. Even the idea for this quilt will be strongly based on pure hue as I want to really see the various color combinations that are possible. Maybe another time I will explore the color/value side of things in more depth.

This isn't the first time I've explored color but it is the first time I've focused specifically on color and fabric together. See my Color Inspiration series for the previous color explorations. I'm thinking about adding new colors to the series this year.

If you'd like to learn more about the BoulderMQG Color Theory Quilt go here. You're welcome to join us even if you aren't a member. Stay up to date by following BoulderMQG on Instagram. If you play along be sure to use #bouldermqgcolorstudy19 so we can see your work.

I'll post each month about the color challenge and my progress on my Instagram as well as progress posts here from time to time.

Hope your 2019 is off to a good start.