Thursday, July 28, 2011

color choices... tutorialish...

Apparently, I'm not as lousy a caregiver as I thought. BOH (Beloved Other Half) gave me an iPad! Have gone crazy over this gadget and thought I'd share some apps that I've found that are helping me design stuff as well as some more low tech ways to create interesting colorways.

MyPantone is fantastic for developing color palettes. You take a photo and then the app pulls out matching swatches from the fandeck or formula guide. Use these swatches to pull fabric, yarn or embroidery floss from your stash. You can buy formula guides or chip sets at Pantone but also cheaper ones on Ebay . The accuracy is not perfect for print professionals but the palettes the app creates are a great starting point for us textile people. Above is a picture of yet another tile and the colors suggested to replicate it. Shots of flowers from magazines such as Martha Stewart Living also generate gorgeous arrangements. In the app department, I'm also loving Sketchbook for jotting down ideas and inspiration and am learning to use Robert Kaufman's Quilt Calculator to improve my fabric acquisition and execution skills (just a fancy way of saying buying and using)...

The old fashioned but no less effective way to create colorways is to use paint chips. This is the palette I chose pre-iPad for my Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along project using the Benjamin Moore range. Fandecks can be bought inexpensively at any paint or DIY store. They will often give discontinued ones away. Incidentally, Benjamin Moore also has an app that while meant for home decor can also apply to textile work.

Lastly, one of my favorite resources is Mix magazine

You can get this publication at newsstands and bookstores in larger cities. The subscription is not inexpensive but it is a fantastic and inspiring mag for color trend watching as well as other facets of the design world. The art direction is stunning. This is a small sampling of aids I use to choose color for all my fiber work. I'd love to hear how you make your choices and what inspires you...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

loulouthi progress report

First off, I drafted my source tile into basically a nine patch grid. If you draw vertical and horizontal lines everywhere there is an intersection it is very easy to turn a geometric image into a sewable block pattern of squares and 1/2 square triangles or in this case squares and 1/4 square triangles. After much deliberation, I decided to turn the blocks on point because doing so made the stars spin and look more dynamic.

Here is one block unsewn up on the design wall. The greatest part of the delay on this project was waiting for new background fabric to arrive. I really struggled to find the right color to fall in love with. I tried Avocado green which made some fabrics sing and looked horrific with others. Auditioned in no particular order Espresso brown, Ivory and Sky blue which all made everything go a bit flat. Snow white was a safe and obvious choice but it seemed like a cop out. Finally, I chose an icy pink which looks far more pale and subtle than in the photo above called Pearl. It creates enough of a contrast with and yet enhances all the fabrics in the Loulouthi line. Am hoping that the combination of the bold blocks and intended geometric quilting kills any "sweetness" in the finished look of the quilt. Now am going to sew like mad and get this baby done!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

i'm in...

Thanks to Andie and what seemed like a benign suggestion to meet more of the online quilting community, I've joined the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Quilt Along. Typically, I signed up before truly checking out what was involved. Am going through a period of Patchwork ADD with many projects on the go and an inability to concentrate and finish a single one. Hopefully it will be easier to complete many small blocks even if there are 111 of them!!!