Monday, March 17, 2014


It is very cold outside and the snow is flying. Where the heck is Spring? Well while it is cold outside at least the sky is a clear bright blue an inside there is colour in the solarium because the clivia is blooming! Snow outside and fleurs inside!

Isn't the colour glorious?

There's also a phalaenopsis orchid blooming out there!

Colour! It is wonderful but it can be challenging for a quilt maker. When I made my quilt Stars in the Loft all I had to go by was a black and white photo of an antique quilt . I loved the design and was not influenced by the colour choices of the original. This was very liberating and it allowed me to work with the colours I love and that were in my stash. What I focused on was value.

What do I mean by value? It is the lightness or darkness of a fabric relative to another. Light blue next to bright white reads as a medium. In this block there are two blues. The pale blue is light relative to the dark blue but it is a medium relative to the white background. While colour is important, value is equally if not more important.

Two fabrics that are similar in value will seem to bleed together even if they are different colours. So here's my tip for today: if you have a picture of a quilt that you would like to make print it in black and white and work from that print. It will allow you to focus on value first and then colour! Alternatively you can view the quilt or block through a piece of red cellophane. The red will remove the colour and what you will instead see is value.

Here is a closeup of the original quilt in the book.

And here are some of my blocks in Stars in the Loft. By focusing on value I was able to make a quilt that was pleasing to my eye (and really that is the eye that I want to please) and each block was made from fabrics I loved and that were in my stash.

Value will be the focus of my next quilt along (QAL) which is a hexagon quilt inspired by an antique quilt. We will be working with value, rather than colour! So what is my QAL called? Well that's easy.....Value Proposition!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. Sounds interesting Karen! I'm sure it will be fun!

  2. In 26 years of shop keeping and 35 years of teaching, I agree, Karen. In traditional quilts especially value is more important than color. Looking forward to your hexie QAL!

  3. I will be very interested to see how this develops, I love the play of colour value in a quilt, but never absolutly sure i achieve it successfully. I tend to rely more on colour contrast, although lately i have been useing my "Ruby beholder" a little more

  4. A wonderful tip...thank you!!!!! Hmmm be watching for that QAL.

  5. this is something I have always found difficult. I get distracted and confused by colour and especially pattern, where I can't decide which is the most prominent colour. I find if I photograph my quilt and put it on my blog, my mistakes show up clearly ha ha

  6. Im like kath lol I get confused by colour and pattern but can see clearly mistakes once Ive posted pics to the blog !!
    I had run off some blk and white pics recently and hadnt understood what it was that had caught my eye about them .........youve just explained it to me!
    Duhhh <<<
    Im definately game for another challenge and will no doubt be behind like I am with my soupcons but count me in do : )

  7. OOO! that orange flower is so pretty.
    Looking forward to your lessons on value. I am sure I will learn a lot.

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  9. Your blooming flowers are gorgeous. I really like what you've done so far on your Stars in the Loft quilt.

  10. how special to have blooming flowers indoors while there is snow and cold outdoors-and I love that orange-anxious to see your upcoming quilt along

  11. Thank you for sharing the flowers. They brightened this cold, spring day. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with Value Proposition.