Wandaful Quilts

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A lesson on Value

A lot of readers mentioned that they wanted to know more about working with value.  Here is the way that I teach it:

Choose your assortment of fabrics.



Move the light fabrics to the left and the dark fabrics to the right.  All of the ones left down the middle are medium tones.






Now divide the mediums into lights and darks and keep them together at the bottom of your area.








Now this picture is what you don't want to do.  You don't want your lightest lights with the darkest darks because that leaves all of the mediums together and they will not contrast with each other.








This is what you do want to do, move the lightest darks up to match with the lightest lights.

Move the darkest darks to match up with the darkest lights.

As I am working I will make some low contrast pairs and a few high contrast pairs too so that I have movement in my design.  Mostly you want the contrast between the light value and dark value to be easily seen.  If you go back to the post with the triangle quilt on the design wall I think you will be able to pick out the blocks with the low contrast triangles.

I have the first 7 rows sewn together on the first triangle quilt so I'm half way there sewing the vertical seams.

38 comments:

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Well, Wanda, you made that so clear and simple! Thank you.

Pat said...

I"m taking a color class at the AQS show in Lancaster at the end of the month....hoping it gives me some useful information, too. Thanks for the "lesson" here today.

Jackie said...

Great post on value!! You know I just love the fabrics that you used in this quilt!

Jill said...

Thank you for making that so clear, and the photos were a great tool as well!

Sewing Junkie said...

I sold Fabric for years and this is a lesson most people don't understand, but you have a great way of showing everyone the facts. Seeing is believing. Scrap quilts that are eye catchers have a talented quilter behind them. Chris

Gene Black said...

Thanks Wanda, in quilting, like all art forms, contrast is a valuable design tool.

Pat Deck said...

So simple! Great teachers make things simple like that. Thanks for the "ah ha!" moment!

Debbie said...

It just gets better and better, Wanda. Such a valuable (pun intended) and simple hint! Wish I lived where I could go to one of your classes!

jovaliquilts said...

Such a great lesson, thank you! I love the tip about how to pair the lights and darks.

julia said...

I'm not a quilter, but I enjoyed your tip anyway. I do sometimes make outfits with coordinating fabrics. This should help then.

patstudio said...

thanks, i really enjoyed your description of color selection /process. very interesting. and of course, your outcomes are always great.

karenfae said...

thanks on the class! you have a lot of information and thanks for sharing it! What size triangles are you using in your quilt?
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

elle said...

This is great, Wanda. Sorting right off the start and assigning those mediums to their place is gonna do the trick of solving my "is it or isn't it" problem. Thanks hugely!

SarahVee said...

Great lesson. Love the visuals to go with it. Using Kaffe fabrics was great too because such dense prints can be hard to see as light/dark/medium. I will be linking this post from my blog. Thanks Wanda for sharing so much colour joy!

Vicky F said...

Hi Wanda,
Great lesson on value. I went back and looked at your triangle quilt on the design wall, and those low contrast blocks do add a spark of interest.

I also liked your old calendar tip for keeping the rows lined up for sewing.

Aren't you feeling a hint of spring in the air? I am, even though my yard is still covered with snow and it's getting into the teens at night.

Vicky F

Duff said...

Succinct--exquisite!
And perfect timing--I am just about to cut up some Kaffe prints.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Perfect ... short, sweet, and to the point (not to mention easy to follow and well illustrated).

I've printed this one for my reference notebook.

Thanks!!

Needled Mom said...

No wonder you are such a good teacher. THAT was perfectly clear.

Rebel said...

That's a great tip. Usually I just eyeball it.

Jane Moxey said...

Thanks for the great value lesson! Those great photos were such a help to be able to see clearly!

imquilternity said...

Wonderful lesson on value, and so easy to understand!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wanda,

You are a jewel to the quilting blog world. I learn so much from your blog! Thanks for sharing your talent with the rest of us.
The value lesson will be a big help in my quilting projects from now on.
Thanks again!
Have a wonderful quilting day!

Kay in Kansas

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial! But then again so are you !

J~MT

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being so generous with your knowledge. This should be helpful to so many of us.

Marken

Sharon said...

Excellent description, value is one of the hardest things for people to grasp. And a great quilt is all about value, not color!

Apple Avenue Quilts said...

Nice! That makes everything so clear and simple.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wanda, Thanks for the great lesson on
value today!!!jmh

Cathi said...

Fabulous lesson on value -- you make it so easy to grasp!!

Yuki said...

Great lesson!!!

ttfn :) Yuki

hetty said...

Thanks for explaining that so clearly. I try to do what you said, but sometimes I can't tell which group my a certain fabric falls into.

Leslie said...

Thank you - that really clarified the process for me. Makes so much sense now that I read it. And it gives my eye and brain something else to focus on in terms of noticing what creates movement. Cool!
:-)

Muddling Through said...

You make it look so easy! Maybe I'll get that good one of these days. :)

Cherie said...

Thanks so much for the lesson. It was timely for me as I've been trying to sort into lights and dark but it works SO MUCH easier when you do the medium pile first!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

I am usually squeezing my eyes shut or taking black and white photos....this is just too simple and that is what I love about it.

Jeri Niksich said...

Thank you for making that so much clearer than it was in my little mind.
Jeri oldtisme@aol.com

Kate said...

Thank you for this valuable lesson - now, if I can only remember it when I need to. :)

Michelle said...

This is what I've learned while working on a tiny triangle flying geese border...you put it into words so well.

Vandana Varma said...

I am a beginner quilter and have been trying to figure out the logic behind getting the optimum layout of colours. Your post has just shown me the way. A big puzzle solved. It makes so much sense.

Thank you.