Monday, April 29, 2013

Limiting Color - Design Wall Monday


I remember that day where Elizabeth Barton told me that I should be limiting my color choices when doing a project.  My first reaction was WHAT???  Why in the World would I want to chose 4 colors for a piece when there are thousands of them out there?  I thought maybe she was just being mean.



But of course, she wasn't.  Limiting a palette for a piece makes your life easier and your piece stronger.  That's a lesson that has come back into play with this lily piece.  Its still odd for me doing this piece - planning as I go.  Normally the palette would have been chosen wayyyyy earlier - the fabrics laid out - threads pulled.  I like the structure of working that way  - plus with those decisions made it just makes the process go faster.  This week - it was pointed out to me why.  I mean every time I went to make a color choice - I would start looking at all  the colors in my crayon fabric box.  And as you suspect - that was not helpful.  Too many colors, too many values, too many saturations - too much frustration.


Finally  - the light bulb went off and Elizabeth's words came back to mind.  I pinched one of Tessa's notecards  to write myself a note:


Do you think that is plain enough for me?? I pinned it up to my board to remind myself to stop reaching for colors that are NOT on that card.  They are a lot like french fries right now.  Even though I love them, crave them, reach for them - they are not good for me. Sighhhhhhhh

So I continued to follow my rule as I chose the colors for the cattails and the rocks.  The threadpainting is going well.  I found I don't need a hoop when making the appliques.  The felt, tear-away stabilizer is plenty stable enough - there is very little puckering.  Its much easier to sew anyways without the hoop.  Its amazing how fast the time goes though when you're doing this kind of work.  Spent 4 hrs in my studio yesterday and the only reason I stopped was because my stomach was getting louder than my machine!

See more great traditional design walls at Judy's Patchworks.

10 comments:

Rhonda said...

LOL, I may have to take a page from your notes, limit myself because it's so hard to not go crazy when working on a project. Thank you for sharing your idea. I love your project and the color choices. Can't wait to see more. If you get a chance, please visit my blog and lend words of advice on my barn project.

Gari in AL said...

I think art, of any kind, is a process of learning and then relearning. I tend to fall back on old habits because they are comfortable. But I must say that your relearned lesson about color is working very well for you.

Rhonda R. said...

Interesting. I tend to use a million colors in a project too. I'll try to just use four and see what I think. Your lily project is lovely--it's working for you.

Chris said...

Your project is just gorgeous. I don't know that there is any correct number of colors as long as it works.

QuiltSwissy said...

This is looking really nice. Good job!

You spoke about felt in the post. It brought to my mind that the people in my small fiber group have begun to use Army Blankets from the Surplus store as the base on which to put their art quilts. They say it is supple without being stiff, strong, easy to work with, cheap to purchase and available. They come in beige-ish and a nice green.

Alyx Patterson said...

Wow! This is turning out so beautifully. That is great advice. Often times it looks as if the color gods came down and threw up all over my quilts, I can't help it, I just love color!

Juanita said...

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about what to use to back a new piece for free motion. When I used cotton batting alone it shed from handling. I thought "why not use felt?" Then I read your post....and confirmed my decision:) Good advice about the colours too.

ANudge said...

Very interesting! Love how it is turning out.

landscapelady said...

good point! as we quilters, we love fabric so we of course want to use all of it. glad I read this to remind me to hold back. I love this piece - the rock in the close up is great. and yes the time goes by because you are "in the zone" - a very good place to be. enjoying following the journey of the lily quilt

Julianne said...

I think your project is looking good.. It seems like I design as I go...way to often but it is comfortable for me. I think that is because I start and stop a project so often.. I do usually have a plan but I almost never stick to the plan..