Category Archives: color

Scrap Dive – Study no. 3 {a finish}

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Idea

A couple of years ago I discovered the Lisson Gallery in New York as I went to see a Carmen Herrera exhibit there. The next show, was Stanley Whitney. I had never heard of him. He is African American artist, and I was fascinated how he played with blocks of color in a very vertical/horizontal grid like fashion. They are such amazing compositions, maximalist with color but minimalist in shapes.

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Design | Create

His pieces are just amazing!! My mind, after seeing this work, could not let go of how to do the same color play in textiles. Around the same time, friends and I were talking about how to use larger scraps of fabric up.

What is a scrap you might ask?
I store most of my fabric, that is a fat quarter or larger, wrapped around comic book boards. Smaller scraps are stored in the white bins you see below. So to me, I consider a large scrap a fat eighth, a scrap that I can still fold nicely but won’t fit around a board.

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Pulling out these larger scraps, I realized they would be perfect to explore color play in a similar way that Stanley Whitney’s pieces speak to me.

I have done three studies exploring color with my scraps. Whitney was the first and I explored this using a similar composition to Stanley Whitney pieces. Stanley, the second exploring more the lack of color with neutral colored scraps and using other fabrics like denim, linens and feed sacks. The third is Scrap Dive – Study no.3.

I always start making each piece by putting the scraps I have on the design wall.  I edit placement and what stays or goes directly on the design wall. The initial pull and layout of Study no. 3 still had the bands of vertical color. It evolved as I wanted to play more with my own layout and explored a quadrant-like composition using a linen scrap to put up the boundaries.

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While this layout you could see the movement from warms to colds, I wanted to really show the movement more around the quilt, almost like a color wheel. I moved things around so each quadrant took on different colors – Reds/Oranges, Reds and Yellows, Greens, and Blues (ROYGBIV). The other thing I found difficult was what to put in the center. I tried adding a variety of prints until I decided on my strip piecing from a class sample I was using.
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The last design decision was the binding. I tried 20-30 different solids and prints to see what would work. Nothing. Then I was looking at recently purchased backing fabric and realized that this crazy colorful Melody Miller print from Ruby Star Society would be perfect.

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Quilt

I put the quilt top away for a while as I had no clue how I was going to quilt it.  Finally deciding on straight lines, I decided to start with a grid of 1/2″ line for the center.
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Each quadrant was then quilted with alternating vertical and horizontal straight lines. The other detail that might be hard to see is within the boundary lines, around the gridded center the lines in the boundaries are just vertical or horizontal. The boundary lines are then gridded where the two color sections are against each other.

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Details

Name : Scrap Dive – Study No. 3
Design:
 Original Design
Fabric: Variety of solid scraps
Backing: Frolic Wide-back, Tula Pink (green)
Binding: Social Bird on a wire, Melody Miller, Ruby Star Society (navy)
Dimensions:
58 x 82 in.
Quilted: 1/2″ Straight line and gridded quilting using Aurifil white #2021(center), cream #2310 (quadrants)

Playing with Color

Have you ever played with re-coloring your design or a pattern from another designer. I love playing with color and finding new color combinations. I recently had to do this for two designs.

This first one, was designed based on an image from Design Seeds via @thebungalow22 of a striped beach umbrella.

I loved how the original design came out. The color palette landed up being an unusual and unique palette.

When playing with color combinations for this design, I wanted to make sure that I kept this uniqueness and the combination of cold and warm color balance.

The first playing with oranges, blues and grey, which I think maintains the freshness.

The second, a more reserved palette with teal, green and peach.

A third version, using peach-pink, green and greys.

With these striped designs, I am thinking of making prints or fabric wall hangings, to see them side by side – it would make an interesting color study I think.

The second design was based on an old gas lamp at the Mannheim water tower (Wasserturm), a picture captured while visiting family. The color palette was created using the Palette Builder tool from Play Crafts.

The original design, definitely with this color palette, gives an air of Art Deco (1930s). I like it but knew if I made it I would need to re-color it.

I first tried a black, white and grey version, which I think I need as a floor (tiles).

I played with some bright colors, and had fun with mixing pink + orange with some aqua + greens.

Keeping with bold colors, used a warm palette here with pinks + oranges + purples, using the white to make the colors pop.

Wanted to play with more muted tones, so added some pastel based colors to this purple + yellow based palette.

Liking the white but wanting to give it some freshness in this one. I went back to the warm + cold palette with this one. A mix of green + pink + peach and using the pastel versions of the green + peach, and again the white to add to the brightness and contrast.

Lastly, I wanted to  play with some prints, my go to Carolyn Friedlander prints. I like the variations in her blue prints and love the lilac prints that are in her collections. (color: blue + lilac + mustard and cream).

Do you play around with color in your designs or patterns? What are your favorite combinations?

Please Note: If you would like to make or use one of my designs, please email me (ml_wilkie(at)hotmail(dot)com) or leave a comment below. I am happy to talk with you on options and provide the relevant measurements etc. or have you test out a pattern. Also, if you use one of my designs, please use the following text to credit me the design: “Designed by Michelle Wilkie @ Factotum of Arts”.