How To Coordinate Colors For Quilting?

Could you give us some pointers on how to select the appropriate color of fabric so that it has that extra punch?

What would happen if somebody wanted to use a slightly modified version of one of the color combinations that you selected? Could you elaborate a little bit on that topic please?

Arlene: When people show interest in using our patterns, it never fails to make us happy. Let’s say we’ve done our quilt in pink and green. You don’t like pink and green very much, do you? You should do it in a purple and green color scheme.

That is really amazing. You’ve made it your own by personalizing it through adaptation and modification. If you want to create the look of our quilt but use a different color palette, I believe that paying attention to what I call the “values” of the fabrics, or how light or dark the fabrics are, is the most important thing to do.

To give you an example, we built a house with a dark roof. A roof of a dark green color was used. When you are picking out your fabrics, you should avoid picking out anything that is lavender in color. That won’t read the same and won’t add as much contrast to the background as the dark would if it were placed on a light background. Make an effort to match the value of the fabrics, which refers to how dark or light they are, in the same way that we did in our quilt.

Penny, if you wanted a lavender-purple roof instead of the green one, you would choose a darker purple rather than the light lavender if that was your preference.

Arlene: Because of this, there will be sufficient contrast for everyone to recognize that it is a roof. If it has a value that is too similar to that of the background, it will disappear into the background.

Melissa: We have a high standard of quality. In addition to colors, we place a significant amount of emphasis on patterns. It depends on how meticulous you are in trying to recreate the look of our quilt with your own.

In addition to color, we face significant challenges when it comes to pattern. We take into consideration the size of the scale in comparison to a house as well as whether or not checks and stripes are appropriate. In addition to color, we enjoy experimenting with different patterns.

When you are trying to design your own block or rearrange it in your own color scheme, it is important to keep this in mind as you are working. You don’t want to use only solids or have an overwhelming amount of patterns. Remember to think about your pattern as well.

Penny: For one of the little birds, for instance, you wouldn’t recommend that they go with a floral print, would you?

Arlene: I doubt it very much. It is not impossible. Numerous individuals make use of a variety of tools. Let’s say you’re planning on making a tiny parrot that’s no more than two inches tall. If you use a large scale print that is four inches in size, you will most likely lose some of the definition along the edges of the bird shape. When you use that fabric, it might not look like a bird anymore, but that’s just a guess.

That shape could be defined more precisely with a print that had a more solid appearance. Experiment with it in various ways. During the design process, we try out a wide variety of materials. We test each one, then we cut them out, and we finally place them on the board. We look at it. At other times, we will even take out a camera and look through the lens to confirm that the object in question is indeed a bird. Sometimes it disappears, and you can’t even tell that it was a bird the whole time.

We want our quilts to have what I call “graphic appeal,” which means that it is clear to the viewer that the motifs on the quilts represent things like birds, flowers, and houses. There are some quilters who are opposed to that. They want to achieve an appearance that is more blended. Ours are a little bit more violent in nature. We go to great lengths to ensure that everything stands out.

Contributions from Arlene Stamper, Melissa Harris, and Penny Halgren of the website

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