Tag Archives: color

Cheerful 

Cheerful is not a natural state for me.  I actually wonder if it is for anyone. But maybe because it’s almost Easter… Maybe because it got above 60 degrees for the first time in forever… Maybe because I can almost see the ground in the backyard again and I bought pansies today — I am going to add sun rays to the orb on this quilt. Exactly as if I were in second grade and coloring!

Jewel tones and white

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New England quilters have been known to gravitate toward jewel tones this time of year. I know why! This little House Quilt arose from scraps left behind while finishing Middle Passage II yesterday. Sometimes these ‘cast off quilts’ are my favorite. There is a spontaneity to them that can get lost with other designs.

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Here is part of Middle Passage Two. This one focuses on the shape of the sails. I will not back the panel — just edge it and supply tabs on top so that it can hang like a curtain.IMG_7934
My daily pages are filled with snippets of learning that I eventually will share about the Middle Passage. For now, the quiet is good. Oh so good!! The incubation of this snow is making words seem far away. Appointments still being cancelled (though on account of the DOG, not the SNOW).
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It is blessedly quiet here today (school children on vacation; roof clearing crews done for the time being; snow-moving trucks beeping away elsewhere). Why fill this rare, rare quiet with some of the most disturbing history there is?

house evolving

A muggy and grey day with a visit to the periodontist slated early (have no fear — only stitch-removal!)

The Trayvon Martin quilt (blogged earlier here) — “White House of Privilege” — and its intended background have both changed enough that they no longer partner well together. More on that later, but for now — how the house is evolving . . .

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early stages of White House of Privilege

I added more strips of blue flanking the house, to make it stand out more. White pickets were added to the foreground later.

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more detail on the house

Glitches, patience, and white as an attitude

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Please notice that I am not ranting.  I am not. Even though the tree and fence above could be a visual for me and our technology problems of late. Think: “Upgrade”.

The Black Screen of Death, which was not the Black Screen of Death really, but more like a Coma Interlude, occurred multiple times yesterday. Eventually the system restored itself each time, but not without freaking me out. “Walk away from the screen, Ma’am!  Walk AWAY from the screen!”  What choice did I have? Days of not posting here or for my online class have me feeling a tad crazed.  And now the taxes are REALLY, really due.

The good news? Scary glitches and slow processing are making learning a few simple tricks on the new Photoshop Elements seem like a piece of cake. And more good news: I managed to finish Schedule C this morning in spite of it all.

Back to quilting.  Less screen time invariably means more sewing, which is also good news, I might add.  Continuing with white, white, white for the Jude Hill class I’m taking over at Spirit Cloth has been productive. Interesting. Lots of white to share. But not now.  I took a small intermission from white to construct the little row of houses below.

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The formulaic nature of this design means they are relaxing to make. And yet, each set is different enough from every other to stay interesting.

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The tiniest chips of fabric can be employed for this project (“Oh-oh!” you say with dismay. “You mean I can’t throw them out?!!”)

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This drawing came after the cloth construction. It gave me this fun idea of a multitude of paths running to and from the doors.

The original impulse for ground and sky fabrics lies just above the drawing, and here is where I want to suggest that this project — though full of pink, blue, rose, lavender, rust, and indigo — bears a relationship to white. If you can stand to — keep reading!

The ground is that wool challis I’ve talked about before. The sky is a piece of a vintage silk from a deconstructed handmade bodice.  The colors worked and they were the very first I chose. They were the INITIAL IMPULSE. The circuitous route back to the original choice got me thinking about white as a process or a state of mind.  Specifically, about white as pure expression.

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I fiddled.  A Lonni Rossi broccoli fabric had potential but was rejected for being too literal and for adding visual clutter.

indigo-skyThis shibori sky, suggestive of aurora borealis, was also too much.  Stars, also too literal.

floor-and-basketThis started the return back to the original choice.

penultimkateHere, I shrunk the scale and added a moon. The moon stayed, but the scale was revised back to original premise.

strips-silk-torso-moonHere I am back to the original sky, only now with the moon, and a much too busy foreground.  Departing miles from the original feel, it looked like I was trying way too hard and furthermore, the woven-strip foreground would have prevented stitching all those paths, and they intrigue me.

garment-and-moon-3  Now, almost there.

round-right-at-end And back.

So, what if “WHITE” is purity? What if ‘white’ is an original impulse? The original set of colors? The original thought? I’m not suggesting that refining ideas and radically departing from an initial idea are not essential and exciting ways to create.  I AM suggesting that there may be times when sticking with that First Thought (in this case a pairing of challis and silk) might be just right.  A way to honor an intuitive and spontaneous creation.

You can find more of these row house quilts here.

ask a child about COLOR

quilt designed by third grader

My experience with children and color is that they will knock your socks off with their choices.

I have also noticed that even children with absolutely NO experience with fiber, fabric or sewing have a great nose for the BEST fabrics (another reason not to set foot in JoAnn’s again).

This quilt was designed by an 8 or 9 year old.  She laid it out.  I pieced, quilted, and bound it.  She won the collaboration and quilt in a fundraiser for her school.

Collage Journals — YoYo Brooch

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This page celebrates brown tones and rust colors and reminds me I have been meaning to make some fabric yo-yo’s (i.e. puckered disks of fabric) — above, clustered in a decorative pin on what look like linen overalls!

Here’s a site worth a visit in any case, but if you want to know how to make yo-yo’s, Heather Bailey‘s tutorial is clear and easy to follow.

Collage Journals

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I have close to a dozen, now, collage journals where I play with color and form.  I think they started as wish-books — a place to put images of things I wanted.  But soon & invariably, they became something else — I couldn’t help cutting, rearranging, interrupting an image… Occasionally I drift into social commentary, but mostly it is pure play.

I’ve decided to post a few now and then.  I am choosing not to worry about copyright.  My love of textiles will be obvious.  That I am attending to color might be clear.  My obsession with house motifs and doorways will be apparent, too.

Most images come from catalogs and old magazines — a boxload of old Smithsonians, National Geographic, and some designer magazines (Living, House Beautiful, Country Living) … I have three whole books devoted to Christmas.

So Collage Page #1 features —

  • Venice bridge arches
  • country doorways
  • bucket of wood
  • Alicia Silverstone’s  hand and knee creases
  • feet of a J. Jill model
  • flowers and I don’t know what those blue disks are.

Here I am looking at a very soft palette.  This at odds with the colors I generally choose in quiltmaking, which tend to be very saturated colors.

There is an intentional social comment here, about the commercialization of beauty and the price it exacts from women.  We fall prey to the glossy images and are invited to view ourselves in bits and pieces (e.g. “I like my breasts, but I hate my ass” ).  The desire for something ELSE, something deeper than the skin, is referenced by those bridges and doors, which represent transport, openings, mystery….

Not that I wouldn’t like to own that J.Jill skirt, mind…