Color Intensive, Fabric Pulls and Emotions

I don't know about you, but I've always really loved Rachel's (of Stitched in Color) sense of color. I've been recently contemplating the fact that I seem to work with "obvious" colors - colors that are very saturated, close to the pure hues found on the color wheel.

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{aquas, blues, bright greens, and blacks}

Some of the quilts that I'm drawn to the most color-wise are Rachel's and my friend Lisa's quilts - and I noticed that both of these women tend to use less "obvious" colors. They use grayed down, or muddied, or odd colors.

Let me describe it in another way - My color choices are simple and easy to name: red, aqua, pink, etc. Their colors? They're much harder to name. Things like: gray with a purple overcast, teal but darker and muddier, undersaturated dusty rose... To me, having troubles naming or describing a color is a good indicator that they aren't "obvious" colors. After studying their quilts, I noticed that these colors are absent in my projects.

So I thought I would try to stretch outside my comfort zone and learn how to use these other colors better. I chatted with Lisa about this the last time I saw her and I always try to really look at how she pulls fabrics and colors together (maybe I'll start taking some photos of her work on the sly to have as a reference!). I bought a fat 1/4 stack of Anna Maria Horner prints and participated in an AMH charm swap (a go-to designer for Rachel and definitely out of my usual fabric choices!). And I signed up for Rachel's class, Color Intensive.

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Her assignment on Friday was to 1) think of a few different emotions, 2) create a Kona color story to reflect said emotions, and then 3) to pull fabric to bring this color story to life.

Well, I didn't do that - but I did do something similar!

I have a few fabric bundles I've been loving lately and thought I would identify the emotion I see in these bundles. Backwards, but oh well :)

My first bundle reflects the emotion Joy. Actually, the greenish wall color is part of this color story and why I really love the bundle so much. It's a bit greener and more intense looking than in the picture, but it's really hard to photograph. We painted the wall with our fireplace this beautiful jade color at Thanksgiving. I absolutely love it and love to just sit and look at it (I know, I'm a weirdo!). When I popped this fabric stack up on top of the mantle to keep it away from tiny fingers, I simply adored the way the fabrics looked with the wall color. I think I need to invest in a bolt of fabric that color!

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If I started with the word "joy" and had to come up with a color story to match it, I definitely would not have come up with whites, grays, and jade. But I feel full of joy when I look at this scene, so there you have it!

Next is a bundle that reflects Tranquility. I look at this bundle and it just says calm to me. I used three Kaffe Fassett shot cottons and think they exude a softness that regular solids could not.

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Lastly, a bundle that reflects Exuberance. I saw these two orange-y solids in my sewing room and immediately thought of a pair of baby quilts, a boy version (with the brighter orange solid) and a girl version (with the cheddar-y yellow solid) with cute little babies rolling around on them and giggling. I'm not sure what word captures that perfectly, but "exuberance" seemed the most fitting.

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Well, now that I've talked way too long about fabric and color, I hope you take some time to photograph a few of your favorite fabric bundles. It's not quite as fulfilling as having a finished project made out of them, but it sure is faster!!

StashingAmy Garro