Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Value discussion, more triangle blocks


I promised to talk a little more about value and I got sidetracked by life.  For my log cabin quilt (which is where the discussion started) I needed darks on one side of the block and lights on the other.  The samples in this photo show the extreme light and dark.  Most people don't even buy fabrics that dark (but I do).
When I am choosing my fabrics I try to have variations in color, scale, and texture.  I could just use one light and one dark and it wouldn't look much different from the first photo.  By using different scale (size) of print and choosing fabrics that give a feeling of texture you make a quilt interesting.  I realize not everyone uses 100 or more fabrics in a quilt like I do.  Even if you were limiting yourself to 12 fabrics, you need the variety within your value ranges so the quilt doesn't have a 'flat' look.  So it isn't about color.  Every color can be in the light values and every color can be in the dark values.  It is the value range that is important. 

 Here is a lesson I gave on blending the values from light to dark.  If you want to see more samples on that subject click on Colorwash in the Labels list on my right side bar.

This is the new group of blocks I made for my ongoing triangle quilt project.  I am using just 2 values in each block but I am varying the value ranges from block to block.







Here is one block of each of the 16 that I have made so far.  In some of them the contrast between the 2 fabrics is high and in some it is low.  I think that gives more interest to a quilt than having just high (or low) contrast in every block.

23 comments:

Sewing Junkie said...

Good post. Color is a hard concept for many to understand. I am going to go tto the paint store one of these days and see if I can find a color chip book. The one with all the colors in it. I think that would help also. Chris

Meerkat said...

Thanks, this is a very interesting post, very helpful and I will keep it in mind when choosing fabrics next time. Like the idea of lots of contrast but to mix it with not so much contrast for interest !

Maja said...

Very good explonation!
I´ll tell my quilting ladies to read your post.
Thanks Maja

hetty said...

Wow! Three more triangle blocks and a wonderfully informative post on colour values. Thanks Wanda. This is really helpful!

The Calico Cat said...

"By using different scale (size) of print and choosing fabrics that give a feeling of texture you make a quilt interesting."

Yes, but... The Amish & many modern quilters are doing a lot with solids...
City Quilts - http://lizzyhouse.typepad.com/cherry_house_quilts/city-quilts/
&
Fun Quilts - http://www.funquilts.com/index.html

Are 2 that come to mind...

Not arguing or debating - I 100% agree with your post & normally use 100 prints rather than 1. (My current piecing project has almost 100 different Black & white prints as a case in point.)

Stray Stitches said...

I recently learned an easy way to judge value in fabric - scan an assortment of fabrics on your scanner and then print it out in gray scale. I was amazed at what I thought was a lighter fabric than another really had the same value. Of course, when using as many fabrics as you do in a quilt, this method would be rather difficult. I love your triangle quilt blocks!

Stray Stitches said...

I recently learned an easy way to judge value in fabric - scan an assortment of fabrics on your scanner and then print it out in gray scale. I was amazed at what I thought was a lighter fabric than another really had the same value. Of course, when using as many fabrics as you do in a quilt, this method would be rather difficult. I love your triangle quilt blocks!

HollyM said...

I think the high and low contrast blocks are what gives this quilt its sparkle. I like your colors.

karenfae said...

Interesting! A couple years ago I did a log cabin (my 4th or 5th) and it was the first one though that I did with a variety of colors as you did - I loved how it turned out.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Sequana said...

I agree with Stray Stitches. Lay out your choices, look at your choices. gray scale. If you have too many to scan (or don't have a scanner), take a pic of them and print it out with gray scale on your printer. It's amazing how that changes how you thot they were in value.

With so many different shades of one color in solids, I'd think it would help you with those choices too.

btw....I nominate yesterday (Wed) as our summer's worst.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wanda, Thanks for yet another wonderful lesson
about value. This is where the artist (in you) comes
out! Thanks,Thanks,jmh

Stormy Days said...

Thank you, that was interesting. The pictures really made me see it. I'm rethinking a batik log cabin I'm making.

Needled Mom said...

Very interesting, Wanda. One can certainly see the delight in values.

Dolly said...

Nice lesson, E.C........thanks for taking the time to help us all with this. You give BEAUTIFUL examples, too.

Vivian said...

Teaching with clear explanations and plenty of examples -- you're the best at doing that. Thanks, Wanda.

QuiltNCards said...

You are so good to us, Wanda.
I love your quilts and blog.
Terri

Anonymous said...

Thank you AGAIN for a great tutorial on value. To take time to share your expertise in your field has always impressed me.

J~MT

Vicky F said...

Hi Wanda,
Thank you for explaining what you probably do without having to think.
I wonder if some people have more trouble with this than others. I have a couple of friends who prefer to use a whole line from one designer in one quilt, and sometimes the result strikes me as a "flat" look. I prefer to mix it up a bit.
Love the batik block from yesterday's post now that I see it with the others. It NEEDS to be there.
Take care.
Vicky F

catielee said...

Wanda, I am loving your triangles! Your choices are really beautiful. I can't wait to see the log cabin come together.

Kristin said...

Thanks for the lesson on value! I love the new quilt.

Kristin F. in SC

Rhonda said...

Great post....I love log cabins and love playing with fabrics from dark to light. When I first started piecing quilts value was, for me, hard to understand but once I got it, my world opened up.

True Blue Nana said...

Thank you so much for the mini lesson. I will look at my fabrics differently from now on. I have steered away from large prints but I have noticed that you don't. Thanks again for a great post.

Cheryl Arkison said...

This is one of the most valuable lessons to learn when picking your own fabric. I still remember the moment when I 'got it' while buying fabric with a much more experienced quilter. My quilts were never the same, and always better!