Sunday, January 01, 2017

Play Time/Work Time with Weeks

In my last post, you'll recall that I mentioned I was looking at some new approaches to my work in this new year.  Well...this weekend I began to work on this in earnest.

Shortly after Christmas, Craftsy had a very good sale (50% off or something like that).  I took advantage of this opportunity to look for classes in designing and/or creating "Modern" quilts.  I found two of particular interest.  Deciding to focus on one at a time, I bought "Designing Modern Quilts" with Weeks Ringle.  To date, I've watched it through once, and selective sections at least twice more.

Accompanying the class is a series of assignments, which Ms. Ringle calls "Explorations".  The first has to do with breaking out of one's comfort zone, as far as one's colour palette is concerned.  I decided that I would explore this from the assumption that my 'usual' palette is based on my Prairie landscapes, and that I would use a fair-sized collection of charm squares (5" squares) I'd collected and left languishing for several years.

Here's #1 - My "Preferred" Palette:

Prairie Palette

Next up: fabrics I like (colour, scale) but haven't considered for Prairie landscapes:

Third: fabrics in colours I like, but which I wouldn't consider for artwork or home decor (based on my present colour schemes, such as  they are)...Notice there are more 'novelty' prints and some larger scale prints in the mix at this point:

Last: again, fabrics in colours I like but which would be at the bottom of my consideration for artwork (thus far) and home decor...Note again the abundance of 'novelty' and large-scale prints.  (Also note...I was running out of squares, so this sample is rectangular, rather than square!)

As for the blocks -- Exploration #3 -- first, one from the small-scale prints:

Finished @ 8 1/2" square

And from the large-scale prints (Kaffe Fassett-like but not his actual fabric line):

Finished at 12" square

What have I learned from all this?

  • Bonnie Hunter is right: there's no fabric so 'ugly' that it won't look better if cut small enough;
  • That value is key to good contrast in traditional blocks, no matter the hue; 
  • That I've spent enough years doing this that I can 'read' colours and prints more accurately than I first thought;
  • That even fabrics you don't like that much can look good when you take time to combine them appropriately re: hue, scale, and value; and
  • That this exercise is easy but not necessarily simple.  One needs to be prepared to spend some time if one wants one's selections to be artful and attractive!


Kate said...

I took a class on colour value once. We made blocks based on their value rather than their tone. Scary, but all of us were very happy with our resulting quilt top.
Have fun!

Judy Warner said...

Way to go, Margaret. Are you planning to make a 'modern' quilt as part of your new approach? I was interested to see which of your rectangles most appealed to me. It was those with the most contrast so I appreciate your observation about the value of 'value'.
You are off to a great start on the year.

Bethany Garner said...

Love Weeks Ringle and her quilter/designer hubby Bill Kerr they are at Vermont Quilt Festival each year when I go and I always bring home one of their new kits and their newest pattern collections (magazine/booklets that they publish several times a year. I have been a fan for almost 20 years and have made many of their designs - from the "MODERN Studio" - they were 'mod' before anyone else jumped on the bandwagon. Like Jean Wells, another Modern Quilt pioneer... they ROCK! Great Choices for your classes!

elle said...

I'm expanding my comfort zone this year as well. This will be great, Margaret!

Margaret said...

It's fun to expand our boundaries and try something new, creatively. - Jo Ferguson.
(Republished by the blog owner who went to click 'publish' and hit 'delete' by mistake! :-( Oops!)