Tag Archives: color

Colors, Winning, and Stashing

I haven’t kept count so I can’t calculate the odds, but I’ve commented (and jumped through other hoops) on many a give-away. Well, blow me away, I finally won one! The give-away was at Susan’s Desertsky blog back in early May. Having more restraint than usual, I didn’t shop with my coupon till last week; I wanted to wait till I had an idea. And after my trip through eastern Washington on the way to Wisconsin, I had the beginnings of a color plan from the high desert.

So  a few color palette exercises later, and I was off to the Dakota Cabin site to order from their selection of Moda Bella Solids. No suspense, here are the fabrics I chose.

fabric selection

The top one, peach, appeared on several of my palette exercises; the other three just looked like what I thought I was seeing. I’ll have to keep shopping for the in-between values, but that will keep till I have a better idea of what I want to do.

Here are a couple more color palettes from my travel photos.

first palette

This one gave me a nice selection of the peachy hues. The darks are the inside of the train–not really part of the scene. But I almost always like at least a wee bit of dark, so I kept them.

I tried this one for more greens.

palette trying for greens

I see so much green here, so many tints, tones, and shades. Yet when I move the circle to try to capture one of them, the color is often a variation of brown/peach. I’m thinking I need a close up with a larger area of each green; otherwise it seems the color selected is some sort of composite.  At least I have a start. (I’ll just have to do a repeat trip. 🙂    )

Back when I started to play with Palette Builder, I tried to remember who had led me to it. I’d saved the URL, but not the blogger who introduced me.  Today when I read this color inspiration post, I figured Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter must have been my source. Palette Builder is a great toy, though I’d not rely on it fully for color decisions.

Linking with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash

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Color Play Again

As I mentioned before, these photos are not art. 🙂 There is no way I can do composition with my camera from a moving train window.  But it was the color–mostly of the high dessert sage, but also grass and olive trees and pinkish ground–wet and dry terrainthat fascinated me, after all.  So I tried, using PlayCrafts’ palette builder 2.1.

Here the green of the wet area blended with the green of the dry area, perhaps because it was natural.  I remember a previous trip where the bright green of irrigated crops clashed. You can see I learned from comments on a previous post that I can add colors and force different colors than the program defaults to. AND I saw the box to click to get the list of Moda fabrics.

I’m happy with those capabilities. However, if I move the dot I lose the color it originally marked. Some I don’t mind losing. Others I do.  I’m thinking I’ll solve that with multiple color selections.  One reason I need to move the dot is that I saw a greater variety of greens and peaches and tans than I have been able to capture. However, on the photo they are so close together that I am getting fabrics for blends instead of varieties. That would be fine if I were doing a landscape.

I don’t plan a landscape, but something abstract. Actually I have no design to go with the colors yet. I don’t even know if I want to emphasize green or peach. So for the time being, off to try other photos, enlargements, and selections of colors.

If all else fails, I’ll work from memory.

Linking with Creative Goodness, where most people have progressed to actual sewing. You might like to explore and get some inspiration of your own.

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Color Play

Lately I’ve been seeing posts deriving palettes from photos through various programs, Palette Builder 2.1 being one of them.

I decided to play too.

photo plus palette

While I might have fun playing with this palette, the first thing I notice is what is missing, the reds and yellows. Does that mean Moda doesn’t have a match for these? I’d be surprised if that were true. Is it related to amounts of color, and the tool goes for larger percentages? Maybe.

Let’s try another with more accent colors.

Second paletteWhere are the white and reds? Does the algorithm “assume” that I can see these accent colors for myself and need help only with the more subtle ones? Maybe.

Well, let’s try one where there is no accent color, just for fun.

Landboat palette

This one is to say, yes, these are from my most recent Lan Su Chinese Garden visit. And yes the red rose is blooming again. And here is the ritual landboat shot.  I missed the new ritual bridge shot. Gotta get into that habit. But about color: no accents to lose, so no disappointment. Benefit of the palette builder here is the blue, second from the right. I’d not seen that in the photo.

Just one more. It is a bit addictive, I must admit.

more color

I tried a more colorful photo. Can you believe that that one pink (I’ve already forgotten its Moda Bella name) is the only reddish color from that photo? It is obviously not a selection based on amount of a color in the photo.[ETA: Since looking at the tutorial mentioned in the comments, I see that the program does work from volume of a color. I’ll have to study why that doesn’t appear to be the largest amount of a shade of pink to my eye.] I would also appreciate if the “save” feature produced the names of the Kona Bella solids along with the squares. You get the names when you upload the photo; they just don’t save.

A while back I took a class with Jean Wells Keenan when she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame. She too advises getting a color palette from photos. However, she emphasized maintaining the proportions of colors in the photo. Now wouldn’t a tool be lovely if it did that proportion math? Of course I’m using a free app; maybe one exists out there that does what I want for a fee.

I’ll be linking with Creative Goodness on Friday, link in sidebar.

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Quilty Reading

Color Harmony for Quilts: A Quiltmaker's Guide to Exploring ColorColor Harmony for Quilts: A Quiltmaker’s Guide to Exploring Color by Bill Kerr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a good book for quilters (and I suppose other crafters who deal with color) who want to get beyond discussions of the color wheel, complementary colors, related colors, and split complementary…etc. A multitude of quilts are shown with artist statement and author analysis, then a few at the end with only the artist statement. Would make for a good teaching tool to use the end as exercises to see how much from the first section could be applied.

I appreciated the premise that instead of looking for predefined color combinations, we should look at what a color combination accomplishes and judge by how that furthers the idea of the quilt. (While I can appreciate all the authors’ points about the big idea, I find it hard to create that way. Worth pursuing.) I am not convinced that color alone established the mood they ascribed to a quilt (and I am not sure they would claim it does either, though sometimes it sounded that way). Two in particular (Cosmopolitan and Ethereal) needed shapes in addition to color.

They do use a color wheel to show the range of hue and value in the quilts they discuss. And especially helpful is the graph showing proportions of colors along with the swatches of the colors to show how proportion affects the look. Another helpful feature is showing the color palette on a different traditional quilt design and varying it by adding and subtracting hues and values and discussing the changed effects. I would have appreciated if they had kept the design more constant in this part so that I could register more the color changes, though I assume they were trying to show each color change to its best effect.

And finally they suggest exercises to become more conscious of color, exercises for individuals and groups. Some of the exercises could be interesting guild meeting programs (with a little adaptation)

View all my reviews

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Color and Language

This information about color probably won’t change how I design, but it makes an interesting read. Off to read part 2

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June 26, 2012 · 11:24 am