Conquer the Basics of Color in Quilts
Has this ever happened to you? You see a fabric and know that it must have been designed for you.
It’s like someone read your mind and said, “I know what she wants. She wants this!”
That’s how I felt when I saw Alison Glass’s Chroma* fabric and accompanying pattern collection. It felt like Alison had seen my thoughts and then turned them into fabrics and quilts. (*affiliate)
What’s With All These Colors?
Several months ago I had this revelation that I lacked a real understanding of color theory and it was affecting the outcome of my quilts. This deficiency would reveal itself when it came to choosing colors for a quilt.
About this time Alison Glass launched her Chroma line of fabrics and I swooned. These fabrics are traditionally-dyed batiks with all sorts of irregularities. And they sang to me when I saw them.
Because I wanted to work with these colors, I chose to make a Chroma Patchwork Quilt with one change. I made my blocks 12″ rather than the 8″ size in the pattern. Normally, I would’ve followed the pattern, but my granddaughter (and family) were staying with us while transitioning back to the US. She needed a bed quilt and this seemed the fastest way to make a quilt with a 4-year-old by my side.
Like me, my granddaughter loved these fabrics and claimed the future quilt for her new bedroom. Every day, we would work on the quilt. I would add blocks to the design wall and she would comment and approve.
Beauty in Simplicity
Choosing a simple patchwork pattern really allowed me to wrap my head around the colors. Instead of focusing on piecing, I was able to focus on layout. The pattern includes color lessons which helped me move forward with understanding color theory in a quilt.
That’s the beauty of this pattern when combined with a colorful collection of fabrics.
My Chat with the Designer
This year at Quilt Market, I had the privilege of chatting with Alison Glass over lunch. I shared my love of this fabric and how much it helped with my color theory challenges. Getting to visit with the fabric designer and hear her share thoughts about the fabric line was so special. Alison explained some of the complexities of the batik process and how it limited the actual amount of available fabric for this collection. Knowing this makes the quilt that much more special and a detail I will share with my granddaughter when she’s older.
For this quilt, I purchased half-yard pieces in almost every color available. While I cut out 12.5″ blocks, there was still a lot left over. I decided to use the remaining fabrics for the back, with a few additional scraps to fill in the rest. The best place to find these Alison Glass fabrics is Etsy.
After it was all said and done, the remaining scraps were so few, I couldn’t make a potholder.
I went with a simple wavy stitch for my quilting and did this on my Grace SR2 Frame with my Juki TL-2010Q. (affiliate) Because of the square grid created from the patchwork design, I was easily able to keep my stitching aligned and follow the grid.
Once the quilt was finished, my granddaughter couldn’t claim it fast enough. She occasionally wears the quilt as if it were the Royal Robes.
For me, it’s all about the memories and moments.
The fabric was the original inspiration. However, when I see this quilt spread across my granddaughter’s bed, I remember the quality time we spent in my sewing room. That’s the real value of this project.
To learn more about color in quilts I recommend this class: Master Color & Grow Your Unique Quilt-Maker Style.
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