Become a Color-Savvy Quilter, Part 1: Expand Each Color
There are things you can do to become a color-savvy quilter.
This series will help to expand your color skills so you can make more beautiful, more interesting and more successful quilts.
A color-savvy quilter knows that she must expand her definition of what any particular color looks like.
Just above is what I call fire engine red. It’s the most basic red out there.
But red is so much more than just fire engine! Red is also deep, dark maroon.
And on the other end, red is the softest baby pink.
Tweak it a little more, and red is mauve.
Red is also hot pink!
Add a little yellow and red is the color of old-fashioned bricks.
The trick for a quilter is to use all of these reds together in the same quilt. If you can be courageous enough to do that, you’ll have a dynamite quilt.
Love Letters does it, and is better for it. Try to imagine this quilt if all the reds were the same. It wouldn’t be very interesting.
The swatches just above show the look you get if all the reds are similar. Even though there is variety in the prints, it’s not captivating. There just isn’t much going on.
But look what happens when you expand your definition of red and use all of the variations together. So much better! More to look at, more to wonder about. More interest all around!
Here’s a slightly different arrangement.
I took full advantage of red when I made Scarlet Spin. Some close-up photos tell the story:
I edited the reds very carefully. It took a while to decide which ones to use and which ones to eliminate.
The reds vary from hot pink to brick to maroon, with a lot of fire engine to hold everything together.
Your Stash Bandit takeaway:
Expand your idea of what each color is, and combine the variations bravely in the same quilt.
Tags: color for quilters, fabric savvy, how-tos, red, scarlet spin, scrap quilts
One of the first lessons I learned from Mary Ellen Hopkins in 1983. It was the hardest to “teach” to my students. Great quilts!!
You’re right Bev! It’s a hard concept to grasp, which makes it a challenge to teach. I’m so glad you visited Stash Bandit!
Totally agree! It was a hard concept for me to grasp as I wanted everything matchy-matchy! But adding other reds in made my quilt sparkle!