|(the coaster was given to me by Patti Bowers of 'A Quilter's Lumberyard'|
The Reds in the Fabric Stand Out when beside something Red
|The Yellows in the Fabric are more Prominent|
On Monday, I enjoyed meeting with a group of Quilters to facilitate a talk about color. Everyone has had experiences with color and it was an opportunity to share what we know. We used Joen Wolfrom's Color Tool http://joenwolfrom.com/color-design-tools/ and Color Wheels to explore several colour schemes that would work with printed fabrics the group brought that day.
Firstly, we tried a monochromatic color scheme. One color was selected from the print fabric and using the colour tool or wheel the groups identified its exact color. Solid colors or those that read as one color were selected from fabric scraps that were provided. Shades (with black), tints (with white) and tones (with grey) of that selected color were added to provide varied values within a monochromatic color scheme. Weren't we surprised to realize that a shade of yellow is actually olive green?
Here it was a good opportunity to discuss how color and value are a part of Design Elements. Other design elements that could also be present in a quilt are shape, size, line and texture. One thing we didn't talk about was how having one design element dominant helps to create a pleasing composition.
For the harmonious or analogous color scheme, the group selected the same or another print fabric and again chose one colour from it. Then 3 or 5 colors were selected close to it on the color wheel. Several values of these colors were chosen to accomplish the harmonious color scheme. We discussed the very common use of this type of color scheme in quilting, home decorating and clothing. We also talked about when using pure colours in quilts and how introducing one toned fabric of that colour would likely not work.
Group members shared their tricks for identifying value. One member photocopies her fabric to black and white, one showed the use of a red or green transparency and I suggested squinting to eliminate color.
For a triadic color scheme we started the same way be selecting a dominant color within a print and identifying the three colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel (including their selected print color). We were able to identify that some of the prints themselves were of a triadic color scheme. Amounts of colours in a triad scheme were discussed. Equal amounts could result in a busy quilt (sometimes that may be wanted for a child's quilt) whereas using a large amount of one color, a medium amount of the other color and a small amount of the third color is usually visually comfortable. As a memory aid we referred to the amounts as Pappa Bear, Momma Bear and Baby Bear.
At some time in the morning we also got discussing neutrals. We talked of how adding black throughout a quilt can unify it. We talked of white and grey as neutrals and when they might be used in quilting. "What is brown?", was one question asked and when we looked at the colour tool we could see many shades of brown under the oranges.
Complementary color schemes, one of the members identified was a color scheme that they were told would be pleasing in a quilt. It was interesting to see the red and green complementary colors in the decorations around the room. We discussed the need to have one color dominant in the this scheme unless you wanted a very strong, quilt. One member mentioned how having a little amount of the one color provides some dazzle to quilts. So true. When one group identified that the complement of turquoise is red orange, they weren't sure how this would look but one lady told us of her necklace that was turquoise with orange red accents and how beautiful it was. Excellent example. One member also showed a wall hanging using aqua blue and toned orange red (terra cotta) fabrics. It looked wonderful.
By this time, all this talk of color schemes although very exciting was also challenging, so we were getting tired and hungry for the wonderful lunch that was prepared for us. To finish up we talked briefly about split complementary and polychromatic color schemes. I think having the terms to using in discussing color can help quilters when they are making their color choices. Interactive group participation is such a fun way to learn! I thank the group for the opportunity to explore color with you.