Thoughts on Color & Composition

I got sucked into Anna Maria Horner’s blog the other day as I do when the VIMH#1 wants to come out to play. I was reading about the death of her mother, then her latest pregnancy and found a post about composing a quilt for one of her daughters. She writes

That particular Kokka piece on the right above not only captured almost the entire palette of the quilt, but the print itself feels like a patchwork so I left it in large whole blocks.  I considered the direction I would orient the piece for a while though, in other words, what colored edge of the piece would be adjacent to what other piece of the quilt.  When you have a single piece that varies so much within the print, this becomes pretty important, and that decision can really take the whole composition in various directions.

I am especially interested in the line where she writes “I considered the direction I would orient the piece for a while though, in other words, what colored edge of the piece would be adjacent to what other piece of the quilt. ” I agree that this is important and she says it so well. This concept or idea has been on my mind since I began working on those tiny 4″ Sawtooth Star blocks. I wrote about it in an early Star Sampler blog post. I wrote “I want the stars to be crisp and I don’t want the colors of the fabric in the stars to bleed into the background.” It is the same idea, though AMH takes it a bit farther in that she is using larger pieces and going with the way the fabric is colored in informing her composition.

While this may be a small thing, I find it often important to think about whether fabrics are bleeding into the background and whether I want that look. If your composition wants the fabrics to merge, you can get a soft, smudgy look. It is easier to blend fabrics into each other when they are already merging into one another.

If you want a crisp look, it is important to make the background very different from the foreground pieces. The forethought will make the piece look crisp and defined.

 

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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