Category Archives: Colour Blog Series

Grey: Guest Posts {Nydia Kehnle + Nicole Daksiewicz}

This month’s color is Grey. We have two amazing guests this month. I am so excited for you to read their posts.

First up, is Nydia Kehnle. I met Nydia during Quiltcon 2015 and have always loved her work. Her improvisation quilt that included both machine quilting and hand quilting, won an award that year.  She is an amazing designer, and photographer. I have been so excited to see her quilt pattern/design collaboration with Alison Glass, her releases of embroidery designs and experimentation with improvisation. Recently, she has been teaching some of her techniques at Glamp Stitchalot and next year at Quiltcon. Check out her thoughts on photography and how it influences her use of Grey.

Instagram: @nydiak

Nicole, from Modern Handcraft, was one of the first people I met in this virtual crafting world. If you don’t know her, she has a great sense for modern design and craft beers/ciders. You might know her from her Hexie projects but she has recently been releasing some amazing new quilt patterns. Grey is one of her favorite neutrals. Find out how she uses grey in her projects and in naming her son ;-).

Blog: @modernhandcraft


Aqua + Teal: A Colour Blog Series

I love using aqua and teal in quilts, though aqua tends to be more common. There is so much variation in fabrics on the market today with these particular colors. I use them  often to add a pop of color, as a great intermediate color or to add more depth to a blue color palette.

Aqua + Teal with Blue

This quilt, that I recently finished for my son, is an example of adding a little more depth and variation to this very blue color palette. The use of teal and aqua helps the eye to continue to move over the quilt.


Aqua + Teal as a focal point

I used aqua with these improv. blocks originally just as a filler. As the blocks came together the aqua provided a focal point and pulls the viewer in.


Likewise, with this warm color palette the aqua stripes provide a focal point for the eye to rest within strong and busy prints.


Aqua + Teal balancing color

I use aqua and teal as a balancing color a lot. This first quilt, Moorish Pyramids, is made using Imprint line from Katarina Roccella. I love this line and for this quilt I was using the greys, whites and navy as neutrals.  The aqua and mustard provide the focus and balance for this quilt.


Another line from Katarina, Wonderland, is such a great girls line. As I was playing with the pinks and browns, I realized I needed something to balance this warm palette. The aqua print was perfect for adding the balance. And who would not like those great girl characters in this print.


The aqua and teal within Jungle Ave Tapa, provides a balance to the hot pink and the starkness of the white, without taking over the other colors. IMG_0406

Lastly, the aqua and teal in Phased Circles quilt, is a great intermediate color that worked alongside of the 3 warm colors; mustard, orange and hot pink. I do not think the blue or green would work as well with these. PhasedCirclesComplete

Aqua and Teal for Christmas

I like to use aqua, red and grey as an alternative to the traditional green and red palette for Christmas.  It’s one of my favorite combinations and used here for my Christmas Stocking.

Winner – Giveaway

The winner for this month, the $50 Fat Quarter Shop Gift Card and Fabric Bundle of Katarina Roccella’s Art Gallery Prints is Cathy W. Congratulations!! I will email you shortly for your details.

Aqua + Teal: Guest Post {Katarina Roccella} + Giveaway

This month is focused on Aqua and Teal. The fabulous Katarina Roccella, does an amazing job introducing the color for this month over on her blog today. She has used various shades of aqua/teal in each of her fabric collections. Her collections also have great complementary color palettes.

Left – Right: 1+2. Avant Garde; 3+4. Imprint; 5+6. Lavish.


To say thank you to all of you for following along on the color blog series, the above bundle of Katarina Roccella’s fabrics (provided by Art Gallery Fabrics) is up for grabs + a $50 gift card from Fat Quarter Shop.

All you need to do is leave a comment below on your favorite color and how you want to use it. I will post a winner October 30th at 6pm, along with my post for Aqua + Teal.

Black + White: A Colour Blog Series

This month past month (September), Christa (@christaquilts) showed some amazing examples of her use of black and white. To close out September, here are some of the projects I have used black and white.

Making a Statement with Stark Contrasts

I love the use of black and white as a statement. These first two examples are using the whole quilt as a statement. Both the back and front of a quilt,  used to show contrast/differences.

Phased Circles

This quilt was designed using all Carolyn Friedlander prints (Botanics and Architexture). The front of this quilt plays with color and saturation.


The back though, I wanted to show take out the play of color completely from the quilt. I used black, grey and white on the back for a stark comparison.
Phased Circles Block1 Quilted Back

Sunday Best

Sunday Best quilt is an experiment of using scrap solids, almost blindly, in this improv project.

The introduction of the black and white into the front of this quilt, had a lot of meaning. I added the pieced B&W pieces the week I was feeling down and processing some very sad feelings. I did not feel like color.

Once I added these sections I liked the look of them, and decided to also add some stripey B&W fabric as filler and to help balance the small B&W inserts.


For the back of this quilt, I made the decision again to add that stark difference between color and non-color by adding very graphical B&W prints with the various B&W stripes. I used some of the left over string/strip pieces blocks from the front to add those pop of colors and tie the two sides together.


Making a Statement with Pops of Color

The other way I use B&W, is with quilts that are predominantly neutral but then a pop of color adds interest and somewhere for the eye to settle on.

Cheri D’Amour

One of my favorite quilts is Cheri D’Amour. This is made with Frances Newcombe’s Cherie fabric line. The play with the B&W fabrics highlights dark vs light, also brings the industrial feel / structured feel to the quilt.This industrial look is important as it was inspired by a building/warehouse. The pops of pink and blue, I feel, brings so much to this quilt to bring a focal point into the quilt.

Cheri DAmour

Scrappy Pin Cushion

This pin cushion is another example of adding interest with a pop of color. Using the B&W scrap pack from Umbrella Prints with the lime green print of Alison Glass Handmade adds interest to this simple pin cushion and provides that place for the eye to focus on.B&WPinCushionPleatedPocket

Making a Statement with Monotone Quilts

Lastly, the use of graduating non-colors – Black, White and Grey, are one of my favorite things to experiment with. It is very easy to show how color gradients show movement or to play with saturation levels (high vs. low).

Lunar Lines

Lunar Lines is playing with both of these, gradients and saturation’s. I loved playing with various prints from my stash for this quilt. I believe that prints can be used in a modern quilt, and this limited palette helps keep that modern aesthetic.

Tip: When playing with saturation and/or gradients use black and white photographs (using digital filters) to play with placements and see of it reads the way you think it reads. I used this technique in this quilt and it helped a lot.

patchwork projects shot in the studio

Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting

Negative Crosswalks

The last project I have to share, is one that highlights minimalism. I loved the idea of a crosswalk in which I inverted like a photo negative (the old photographs, before digital). I keep the palette simple, Black, White and Greys in line with the minimal design. Again, I played with the gradient possibilities in this solids only quilt. I do not think that if this was in other colors it would look as simple, minimal as it does in B&W.


Getting started with Black and White: Fabric Lines

First off, it’s not hard to find black and white prints but it is important to note that there are underlying tonal colors that impact how black and grey’s play with each other. The blacks/greys tend to be in a blue or a brown family. It is not easy to recognize when purchasing fabric, you will need to place them side by side, and assess, and remove them if they don’t fit.

Where to start from fabric selections….

Solids: My favorite  solid line for B&W (and Grey) is based on the variety of selections at the moment: Robert Kaufman Kona Solids. Take a look at Pepper, a blue black….amazing!! I bought a bolt.

B&W Fabric Lines, some of my favorites include:


Anyway, that catches us up on the Colour Blog Series. Next week, I will post the October Color and a giveaway for all. Stay tuned.





Pink: Guest Post {Alyce Blyth}


This month’s guest post for the Colour Blog Series is Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts. I originally met Alyce at QuiltCon 2014, after following her for a while in this virtual realm of blossing.  It was one of my highlights of my conference. I love reading about her adventures in quilting, fabrics, quilt design and her travels in Japan & Australia life.

Alyce is probably best known for hosting Sew Cute Tuesday and her e-book DIY Block Design. On her blog today, she talks to us about how she categorizes pink fabrics and the associated colors. She has some great pink bundles, as examples.

Monthly Challenge

To get back into the flow of things, the challenge this month is to provide two palettes;

  1. exploring fabrics with various shades of pink
  2. exploring fabric palettes with pink and at least two other colors.

Prize this month is a $20 gift card from the Fat Quarter Shop. I will email the winner September 1st.

(Note: I use Big Labs Mosaic Tool to create the mosaic. To get the image URL right-click on the image and “Copy Image Location” and paste it into the tool).


Pink: A Colour Blog Series


I think of pink and shudder. I know there are a lot of pink lover’s out there, I’m just not one of them. Lately though, I have found it’s really about the shade of pink or the saturation of the color that matters. There are so many variations. As an example, this quilt top is based on strip piecing pinks together. I found very early on that I needed to add a lot more paler pinks to balance out the more saturated/ higher value pinks.


So I think it matters a lot with pink, which pink you actually like. I have found combinations that I really like and will use frequently like Shocking Pink and Orange. Here’s how I have used it in my quilts and where I like it.

Shocking Pink + Orange

I find I love the Shocking/neon pink with an equally shocking/bright orange. These first two I use white and grey to balance those bright and saturated colors down.

[Photo Credit: Love Patchwork and Quilting]


This last one in one of my latest WiPs which is using the pink as a secondary color with Orange being the main focus. Instead of Grey and white to add balance I have this pop of aqua which adds a focal point to the pink and orange circles.


Pinks + Grey (Neutral)

This example is showing how the same color but in a variety of shades, adds depth. The grey acting just as a background neutral (which I prefer more than white with pink) and then the yellow to bring in a point of focus.


Pinks + Warm Colors

This is one of my favorite quilts, all warm colors and each represented well for balance. I love how the pinks bring in those lighter shades than and balances the darker purples. Without the pink and the yellow in the corner, I think it would be very flat (all the same level of saturation).


This handmade portable ironing board is made from a warm palette of selvedges, but again exhibits the balance pink brings to the warm palette.Selvedge_Ironing_Board

Pinks + Blues

I am all for adding that pop of color to add interest to a quilt or block. I love the addition of this orange/pink Lizzie House print to the predominantly blue palette. It adds a great contrast.


Monthly Tip

Color Paint Chips from a hardware store are a great way to play around with value. You can use them as is or cut them up and rearrange them yourself. Also many of the paint chips will have example/design cards on how to use those colors with other colors around your house etc. Why not use those palettes as a starting point for your quilt?

Monthly Resource

Playing with color and its variety are fun to play with. Try using quilty adult coloring books to explore a color or a palette.

Also look at the emotional / psychological response of a color.  Here is a link for Pink specifically, does this ring true for you?

Monthly Challenge

To get back into the flow of things, the challenge this month is to provide two palettes;

  1. exploring fabrics with various shades of pink
  2. exploring fabric palettes with pink and at least two other colors.

Prize this month is a $20 gift card from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Link up will be next week, August 24th and will be open for a week.

(Note: I use Big Labs Mosaic Tool to create the mosaic. To get the image URL right-click on the image and “Copy Image Location” and paste it into the tool).






Brown: A Colour Blog Series

IMG_6764Brown is not an obvious color choice when it comes to modern quilting. It could be though. Brown has a lot of variations to consider, from chocolate to marsala to tan to bronze. Through Quilt Design a Day and the spark color palettes, I have been given several palettes with brown in them that I initially think, oh (flat sounding tone in my voice). Each design has surprised me, in a good way.

Designs: Brown + Neutrals

02_May_2016 29Jan_2016(2) Jan15_2016

Designs: Brown + Warm Palettes

 QDAD_29JUL2015  QDAD_01May2015 QDAD_02FEB

Design: Brown + Cooler Palettes


Quilt Projects: Brown + Cooler Palettes

This was my first project using browns. The chocolate-colored background is the perfect neutral for this succulent inspired design. I love its interaction with the warmer coral and the cooler green, aqua and mint colors, it’s gives it a richer appearance.


This predominantly brown palette was based on a QDAD spark palette. It was not my usual palette but what tied it together for me was that thumb print design from C+S. It has blues and pinks included in the palette. That lead to me adding those pops of bright blue to the quilt in the back and the binding. I think it adds the interesting factor to the quilt otherwise it could be a little flat/boring.

ItTakesAVillage_Front ItTakesAVillage_Back

Umbrella Prints (Fabric) really led to the fabric choices I made for this Bjorn Bear I made from Tartankiwi’s Big bear pattern. The dark brown was positioned specifically at the back, to reflect the shading I imaged for this design. This was the darkest color I had. While the neutral on his face was the lightest color – where I imagined the light would hit on the bear.  Both browns play well with the vibrant green, mint and light blue.BjornTheBear

Quilts: Brown + Warmer Palettes

While many folks were adverse to the marsala color of the year, last year….I was excited. I found that the marsala (in the brown family) complement the warmer color palette of yellows,  oranges and deep reds. I was inspired with that color palette using Oakshott Cottons, this Ranger’s Station quilt. Rangers Station Quilt Top

This palette and center block was chosen by Renee over at Quilts of a Feather. It was not a color palette in my wheel house and I was terrified of it. As I worked on the first border design though, it was interesting the variations with the various purples and the great use of the brown as a background color. I loved how this center block and first border turned out.IMG_4231

Monthly Tip

Have you ever considered creating an inspiration board around the colors you are interested in? You see it a lot for weddings, graphic designers and fabric designers. I love the idea when you are exploring a color. Here are links for some examples:

Light Blue and Brown

Brown, Champagne, Nude, Purple

Autumn/Fall Inspired

Yellow, Brown Mood board

If you ever are working with brown’s in your projects and posting on IG (instagram), use #sewingwithbrowns

Monthly Resource

Here is an article that is an interesting read about Working Walls and design thinking.

Monthly Challenge

Using the color brown, create your own design/inspiration/mood board. Think about what other colors would work with brown and then investigate images, print out on paper or use a mosaic tool online to pull your board together.

Next week, I will post the link up (with a prize), and post some fabric options that will support working with brown.