Color and contrast, part 2

As I researched for the previous post, I decided that I wanted to run some of my quilts through the process to see if I had selected my values well and if my quilts reflected all three values, dark, medium and light.

Here's my triple irish chain. I made this quilt about three years ago and it is based on a pattern in a Fons and Porter magazine. Here's the black and white. You can clearly see the white, then a grey and a darker grey and a black. That's exactly what I was going for.

And, here it is in color. At the time, I was working with the three greens as what I considered to be the perfect three greens for quilting. Throw in a great yellow and it was complete.

This was the first kit I ever bought. In fact, it might be the only kit I ever bought, although I've been gifted a couple. Now, when I think of this quilt, I don't think of good contrast. I think that all the blocks just kind of merge into one another and the quilt, made of batiks and hand dyes reads as a batik or hand dye. The kit is Hip to be Square and I got it from Keepsake Quilting in about 2007. It was supposed to be pieced blocks alternating with solid blocks, but we didn't care for the solid blocks and made the whole thing of pieced blocks. (Yes, Rob is a part of my quilting and helps me to think through a lot of things.)

Now that I've seen it in black and white, I can see the contrast more in the actual quilt.

Here's my Storm in my Garden quilt, named because it is mostly green and brown. Look at it without color and you can clearly see the pattern, with all the accompanying circles and ribbons.

Put the color back in and the pattern kind of sinks back into the mishmash of colors used. This was a well planned quilt, meant to reflect the colors in my garden, including the spring blooms. Unfortunately, it didn't end up as well as I had hoped.

The last quilt is my Card Trick, Deal Me In 2. This is one of a pair of quilts. While I was selecting fabrics for it, my mentor sent me a box from her stash. I secretly cut from her stash and sent it back and then started making the two quilts, one from her stash and one from mine. Both were made to start in the center with the medium fabrics and move to the outside and darker fabrics. Both have the mock prarie point border and they are quilted just alike.

See how one of those center fabrics blends in with the background? That doesn't happen when you get to the color photo.

Here is the actual quilt. When I showed her my quilt, it was in a pile of quilts I had taken to show her. She just ooh'ed and aah'ed over it, and I flipped to the next quilt, which had the label corner turned up and she could see that the quilt was made for her. Brought a tear to her eye. That's a happy memory. It hung at her office for several months.

Okay, so that's a review of what I've learned about color and contrast. Thanks to my Mentor and to all the authors of books that I've read on the subject. Thanks to Rob for keeping a watchful eye and helping keep me away from all dark quilts. And, thanks to value because it keeps doing all the work, even though color gets all the credit.

Take care and have a great Thursday. Lane


Momma Made This said...

This was absolutely fascinating! I think I'll put mine through a black and white "test" too... I tend to just squint to check for contrast.

~ Ronda

Becky said...

Wonderful post, Lane! I need to pay more attention to contrast in the future. Thanks so much!

Quilting in My Pyjamas said...

I have never even thought about colour and contrast. I just whack stuff togther and if I like it ,and it pleases my eye, I go with it. I loved reading both these posts, because it gave me something else to think about with my fabric selections.

lw said...

I just love these quilts-- and the post. I do have a sheet of ruby lith that I use when I'm choosing fabrics, and I try for a least nine shades from white to black.

I'm not sure what the storm at sea was trying to do, but I really like what it turned out to be. And I totally want to do a card trick quilt now.

Elizabeth said...

Your Triple Irish Chain is gorgeous. Love the others too. You do such nice work. I found all your research on value really interesting and wonder if I should start looking at all my quilts in B&W (lol). Thanks again for sharing.

xo -E

Vesuviusmama said...

Now I want to go photgraph all my quilts in b & w, too! Very cool - thanks for sharing!