QuiltCon 2015 and Class with Weeks Ringle

QuiltCon 2015 was an amazing event, and we had an incredible time. I’m excited to be able to share it with you. 

I took an all day workshop about working with, and choosing eclectic fabrics with Weeks Ringle. No one wanted to sew. (Not kidding). We had the opportunity, but in the afternoon, everyone just wanted to continue auditioning fabrics with Weeks. Why? The class agreed we could all sew at home, but not spend all this time on fabric play and experimentation. I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly learned I need to pay more attention to that part of the quilt process on a regular basis.

Weeks is an enthusiastic teacher who really wanted us finish the day with a solid understanding about why a group of fabric choices work together, or not. 

We discussed hues, values, saturation, the scale of prints and other factors that go into selecting fabrics that will make a quilt fun, yet elegant. To begin the process we decided on a constraint, not a focus fabric. (A constraint could be working with fabrics that have a similar sized print in them). Then we built a large stack of fabrics that we thought would work together with it, and edited out the fabrics that didn’t work. 

See the center of this photo above with the solids; Cream, Khaki, Teal, Brown and Black. They look drab at first glance. If you were to look at them on a bolt in a store, they probably wouldn’t be the ones you’d gravitate too. However, when used as the background to all the beautiful colors and patterns you see in the finished quilt in this photo, it works perfectly.

We looked at more quilts made by Weeks and Bill Kerr, her husband, and talked about how each one told a story. And of course, how the background fabric, pulls it all together and in this example,makes the braids the stars of the show.

A braided quilt has been on my “to make” list for years. This one is nothing short of spectacular. It is about to come out in issue 10 of their magazine, Modern Quilts Illustrated. 

These squares in the photo above, may seem busy, but the white space leaves places for the eye to rest. Notice how the squares are in the same value range?

This quilt (above) works so well because the end of each triangle’s edge lies next to another fabric that creates contrast. The inner triangles create contrast too employing this same technique. I am suddenly noticing in quilts and art this concept, which is something completely new to me.

With the above grouping (which in this case is on the carpet), the fabrics play well together, except the white one at the end. The prints don’t overshadow each other and the colors are mainly analogous,orange and yellow, and complimentary, blue orange. 

Below is a good example. The constraint was to use all blue fabrics. The orange and yellow would have worked nicely as the sashing, but….

this fabric choice looked even better. (Sorry about the blurriness in the back of the photo).

In the end, this was the better choice.
This workshop taught me so much. I am still playing around with swatches and now see fabric options in a different way.

Thanks to Weeks Ringle for a fabulous day.

Happy Quilting!! Generally I e-mail my responses and answers directly to those who leave a comment in the comment box. If it’s a question about what I learned at this workshop, I will also leave a reply so all readers will benefit. 

Quilts and Color Exhibition at The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

This past weekend we had a great time visiting family in Boston. We also made a trip on Saturday afternoon to The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the Quilts and Color Exhibition, The Pilgrim/Roy Quilt Collection,

Does the word “Wow” describe the collection?  You bet it does. 

Artists, Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy collected 59 quilts that were made from the per-revolutionary war period to the early 1900’s. The focus of the exhibit was on the use of color, variations, values, color vibrations and how this body of work parallels the “work of mid-20th century Abstract Expressionist and Op Artists.” (Quote from the web site), http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/quilts-and-color  There were many fascinating references to the color wheel throughout the exhibit in the I.D. labels below the quilts.

This basket quilt was made with cotton silk fabric.

When I looked at it from different angles, some of the white squares took on a gray sheen. This illusion is from how the light hits the silky fabric, and from wherever the viewer is looking at it. Pretty cool, huh?

The red star in the quilt below seems to vibrate, when the viewer looks at it.


The Carpenter’s Wheel Quilt, below;

This quilt uses yellow, green and red fabric all of the same value.

Simple use of primary and secondary colors were used in many of the quilts in the exhibit that are beautiful and inspiring.

In my post http://www.hudsonvalleyquilts.com/2014/06/welcome-to-new-bloggers-blog-hop-2014.html   Welcome to the New Blogger’s Blog Hop -2014, I discussed two of my favorite quilting tips. One of them was; a mistake is not a mistake. It is an opportunity to learn something new and be creative. 

The quilter who made the quilt below did not seem to be concerned when her flying geese triangles did not match up perfectly.

Nor did the quilter below seem to worry when she ran out of fabric. In the quilt below see the border. The green strip that is fourth from the bottom uses two different greens. The quilter made it work. Another strip of closely colored fabric was added. These “imperfections or mistakes” that we often attribute to our own quilts today, actually adds that unexpected detail. The result makes each of these pieces more interesting, and provides them with character. 

At first I thought maybe it was a mistake on purpose. Many quilters back then, and some still do today, make a mistake on purpose for religious or spiritual reasons. I have no idea if that is the case with any of the quilts in this collection. And I don’t why I think that is not the case with quilt above.

Resources were just not as abundant to quilters then, as they are today. I
thought a lot about that as I was looking at the dates of when these quilts were made. Our foremothers made do.

There was another big detail missing that I noticed in a few of the quilts; something I’ve never seen before. Some left off the top border. Why we thought?  We assumed it was because that top went under the pillow, when the bed was made, and it didn’t show, making it unnecessary. If you have any hypotheses about that, please share in the comments box.

The exhibit runs through July 27, 2014. I don’t think you will  be disappointed in this show at all. It’s a lot to take in, and I was inclined to go back and view it again, but there wasn’t enough time.

On a completely different note, there is still time to enter the give-a-way for a $25 gift certificate, from Fort Worth Fabric Studio in honor of my first blogaversary.

In order to win, sign-up for the Fort Worth Fabric Studio’s newsletter. Please leave a comment in my comments box, letting us know that you signed up for it, and tell us what is your favorite bundle from their web site.

I will announce the winner in the morning, on Wednesday, June 11th on my blog. Also, please make sure you include your e-mail address, so I can contact the winner directly.

AND, don’t forget to stop by Plum and June’s New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop http://plumandjune.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-new-quilt-blogger-blog-hop-and.htm The button is on my side bar.

Happy Quilting!!

Another Web-Based Color Tool and a Fabric Give-a-Way

Last weel, I wrote about Design Seeds design-seeds.com a great color palette tool for quilting, home dec., etc. There is another web site I often use, that I really like, and want to share with you too, Color Scheme;
Scheme http://colorschemedesigner.com/,
and you can even download it to your iPhone as an app.

On the right of the homepage, it has a color wheel, where the user can set the color choice by moving a dot onto any shade of the color wheel. On the top left menu bar, the user has six choices; monochromatic, (1 color), compliment, (2 colors), triad, (3 colors), tetrad, (4 colors), analogic, (5 colors), accented, (6 colors). Another dot is added on the color wheel, as you chose more colors options, such as the tetrad. The user can manipulate manually those dots on the color wheel, to provide more color options on the color board to the left. Unlimited choices and options are available. It’s very easy to use. Playing with it, will be a lot of fun and useful.

Additionally if the user chooses random palette, on the upper left of the menu bar, the program will provide you with random palettes. Very cool tool.

On another note, our monthly give-a-way, from our very generous sponsor, Cuts of Cotton, is a black and white bundle of fabric. (A little irony for a post on color).  The fabrics are really pretty and of course work well with so many projects. They would be a great compliment with reds, if you are working on something for Valentine’s day.

In order to be eligible to win this bundle, you need to sign-up for the blogs and facebook pages for  http://www.cutsofcotton.com/  and hudsonvalleyquilts.com. Please let me know that you did in my comments box. Also, please leave your e-mail address. This give-a-way ends at 12:01 AM, on Friday, January, 24th. I will announce the winner on Friday morning, right here on the blog. 

If you would like to tell us where you are from, we would love to know. As the Northeast heads into another very cold, and week, and more snow tomorrow, tells us about the weather where you live.

Good luck.

Happy Quilting, and have a great week.

Color Essentials Crisp & Vibrant Quilts by Amanda Murphy

I just finished reading Amanda Murphy’s new book, Color Essentials; Crisp & Vibrant Quilts; 12 Modern Projects Featuring Precut Solids, published by Stash Books, http://www.amandamurphydesign.com/. This impressive book offers quilters an easy to understand learning process about color. Many creative  ways are illustrated when looking at the color wheel, and provide infinite options for making color choices for any quilt project.

The book begins with Amanda presenting the color wheel with the equivalent Kona solids, and makes a smooth and sensible transition to color schemes by featuring photos of warm palettes, cool palettes, and analogues palettes. She then introduces the concept of a “poison color,” to the color schemes, to introduce the idea of movement, and how adding them, can make a quilt look more interesting. I never thought of it that way, and am “wowed” by this. I am looking at projects that I plan to make, in a whole new and exciting way.

Then the reader is introduced to the Kona Sunrise Palette of 42 colors, which consist mostly of hot and warm shades, with a few cool hues. By adding some cooler green shades, it provides the palate with some great ways to create accents and pop to the project. Amanda also suggests 6 background shades that are great choices with this palette.

Three other palettes are introduced following the same format as described above. They include; Kona Sunset Palette, Kona Bright Palette, and Kona Pastel Palette. I have to admit my vision and thinking is bubbling over with so many new ideas. 

We are then introduced to 8 more Robert Kaufman – Kona palettes that are fat quarter bundles. They tend to be a bit more analogous, and includes some neutral hues. All 12 of these bundles are offered for purchase as jelly rolls and charm packs, as well as fat quarter bundles.

Twelve projects,with concise instructions, that are easy to follow are introduced. They are photographed beautifully, and show a quilter how they can make these projects,using their own color schemes. Of course the beauty of this is, it offers the reader confidence building skills by auditioning the palettes with the poison colors, and background suggestions. As I am auditioning with these new schemes, I am discovering unlimited possibilities.

All twelve projects are nothing short of spectacular. My personal favorites are Lollipop, Iridescence, and Confetti. Other projects include, place mats, pillows and table runners. And an outstanding feature is that Amanda displays the projects finished in three other colors schemes.

Two copies of the book are pictured above.  The second one focuses on spools of green and pink thread. It’s not the thread that I’m trying to emphasize here. I learned something about adding pink and green fabric to projects that I never knew, and is very cool.

This is a book that will become a permanent part of my quilting library.  Thanks Amanda!!

Biscuit, Emma and Quilting

Well, what can I say?  These are 2 of my biggest inspirations.  They often follow me around our home, sit on quilts, fabric, and of course Emma’s favorite spot, on top of my sewing box. The handsome cat sprawled across the table is Biscuit, who has a heart of gold.  He has a quilt dedicated to him which I hand quilted while recuperating from hip surgery last year.  Emma’s is “in progress” at the hand quilting stage. The fabric on the back of her quilt is very special. Actually one of the fabrics in his quilt has special significance too.
I will upload them this week.  Right now I am working on the bear kit quilt.

I have to mention another blogger and her amazing blog http://www.incolororder.com/‎
Jeni Baker has done an amazing job of explain the color wheel.