Color. It is a word often on our mind and our lips as we examine, evaluate, experiment and enjoy the effects. No matter what the color the essence of each shade, hint, hue creates a reaction. Love, hate, joy, jealousy, happy, sad...you see it and you feel it all in one. I am in love with color...every single one from brown to cerise and even most recently I have recovered from my angst driven reaction to yellow and learned to use it. In a world full of wonderful choices why be limited? Like Joni Mitchel says, happiness and sadness...its all the same...
As a shop owner I look at fabric options all the time. Designer ranges go past my eye regularly in large quantities. Trends in shapes and styles become evident and movement through the color scale changes with the calendar. I LOVE this part of my job. There seems to be an endless arrary of choice for a quilt shop owner. I am always looking for the exciting fabrics...the ones that make an impact, the ones that have potential to react with other fabrics in a variety of ways...the fabrics that just plain scream, "USE ME!" It used to be that the choices I was looking for were rare but more and more now they are becoming available.
Recently I got shown this card....True Colors by FreeSpirit Fabrics. I am well familiar with the designers under this heading. Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey and Jenean Morrison and more are regular players on our shelves, in our classes and have helped to shape the image of Material Obsession. For a decade it is designers like these that have given us the textiles to set our creative spirit free! So it was with great delight that I opened the pages of the True Colors cards (I hear you singing...by the way!)and perused the "Basics" on offer!!!!
This was just what I look for to fill the shelves! Basics that aren't basic but rather reflect the nature of the fabrics that I love to use. Strong graphics, color that moves from light to dark, warm to cool and works in and out of the fabulous ranges on offer. This is the kind of fabric range that when it comes in I gather the crew around to examine and effuse the possibilities. We see...we imagine and we dream of when we can get our hands on it and soon we are all doing the fabric dance!!! As if the fairy Gods were reading my mind and watching my reaction with glee I got asked by Westminster to participate in the blog tour...Pick a designer ...clear the design wall...all hands on rotary cutters because here we go...YES PLEASE! A huge box of fabric arrived and for the next four days it was a single minded focus. One might think that it would be hard on the spot to come up with an idea but in fact it was NOT.
Anna Maria Horner has long been one of my favourite designers. She uses color in her fabric designs the way I like to see it. High, intense, bright color brought back to reality with subtle use of earthy tones. As she says in her intro and I always say to myself, bright colours are the sky but we have to stand somewhere on earth to give them the credit they need. Bright is blinding without shadow. For example, look at a tree. If all the leaves were the same it would look like a cartoon. Instead we see the bright light yellow green that reflects the sun mixed with the dark blue green of the shadows as well as everything in between. That gives us the line, shape and form that we need to understand what we are looking at.
So I got busy with my idea. I used my Chance ruler which is a 45 degree on point shape with two sizes. I drew up a basic design of how the quilt might work with these shapes and then I got busy cutting.
The first thing I did virtually without thinking was to cut the basic prints into small triangles and then to sew them together into big triangles that made these gorgeous elongated stars. Easy.
Because the full range of each color is exercised in dynamic patterns they just sparkle. From here it was all about filling in the gap with the big print fabrics from Anna's Dowry range.
Cutting one shape is easy and then leaves working with the color and pattern for the design wall. I used two sizes of the same shape. The small triangles were for the True Colors and the large were for the Dowry fabrics. I played with my shapes for four days! Up and down the step stool with the words, "what if I move this one?" in my mind. Up the step, then step back, up the step, move a piece...back down over and over and over again loving every minute of it as the colors played their tune in harmony or discord.
It was, for me, the perfect activity as I love the possiblities and then the analysis of how the colors are playing together. There is a point when the pattern and the color sit perfectly beside each other so that you look, and then look again to see more...to uncover the details to feel the melody of the color working together and as individuals...music to my eyes. The range, True Colors for me revealed my true color to myself in the process...moving from high to low, light to dark, warm to cool...all points of contrast working together in harmony.
We all have our own style that we exercise in our quilts and that defines us. For me, I like to blend the traditional with the contemporary...that has always been my goal. I want to connect with the quilters of the past as I work with what is at my finger tips now. True Colors is a great concept for just that. The designers work in the now and these blender style fabrics extend the reach of their line, allow for a bit of indivual interpretation and give us a lasting tool we can use to tweak and fine tune our desired outcome. As an encore and just for fun I am putting Anna Maria's funky animal print on the back!!!!!!!
Plan a symphony or a pop song with some True Color soul! Comment and on 1 February we'll draw 3 names out and post you one of the jelly rolls or the fat quarter pack! Looking forward to hearing from you and then seeing how true colors work for you! Enjoy your true colors...and good luck in the draw!
For more ideas about what to do with these great fabrics and the lines from the other designers check out these fab blogs...
1/21 Stitchery Dickory Dock
1/22 I'm A Ginger Monkey
1/23 The Sewing Loft
1/24 Ellison Lane
1/27 Dairy of A Quilter
1/28 Material Obsession
1/30 Stitched in Color
1/31 Craft Buds
2/3 Jaybird Quilts
2/4 Melissa Peda
ps don't forget there are more chances to win over at http://www.creativebug.com/blog/ Be in it to win it!!!