October 25, 2012
Playing with value and color
A couple of years ago, I made a baby quilt from a pattern called "Spectrum" by Judy Turner, from her book with Margaret Rolfe, Successful Scrap Quilts from Simple Rectangles.
I really enjoyed making this quilt, for which I used a range of shot cottons. It was both relaxing and engaging to make the choices of color and value. The quilt is made up of many rectangles, all cut 2"x3.5". They are arranged into squares, with either two light rectangles as the center, or two dark. My sister liked the quilt as well, and I agreed to make a larger one for her. She stood me to a collection of about 50 1/4-yard cuts of shot cotton, out of which I am getting a lap-quilt for her, and something else for me as well. It was a great treat to get this huge variety of shot cotton. I ordered it from http://www.gloriouscolor.com/, but they don't seem to have this big collection anymore. Anyway, the blocks at the top of the page are the ones I've just finished up for my sister's quilt; I've been working on the blocks on and off for about five months--a nice project to have on the side, doing a few blocks when I need a break from something else.
When I had all the blocks done, I separated them into two piles, light and dark centers, and then just put them up on the design wall in the order of the pile. Every once in a while, if I noticed two in my hand that looked too similar, I chose another in the pile, but that's it. I expected to then do a lot of tweaking, moving blocks around to get a good arrangement of color and value. But I think I might leave it just as it is! I could tweak endlessly, but this is pleasing now, so maybe I can restrain myself and leave it alone.
I also checked the value distribution by taking the photo in black and white as well. Digital cameras are a real boon to quilters!