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Christine's Color Connection

A newsletter for quilters in love with color

April 2015    

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The Quilter's Color Club has lots of info on every aspect of color. You can find my book on my website  
A few weeks ago I visited the Mendocino Botanical Gardens. It was a bit early, but I still found plenty of breathtaking color. The plant below (I've forgotten the name) inspired another Japanese X Plus block. I love the Kaffe Fassett fabrics, but really, can any of us improve on nature?

"When Color and Gray Get Together"
First, my apologies to those of you who also follow our Artistic Alchemy blog. I have been SO busy lately that I'm repeating much of what appeared in my last blog post. Because I've written about the following solid/plaid blocks in an earlier newsletter, I thought the rest of you would like to see what became of them. (If you've already seen this, please still check out the new teaching gigs in my Schedule, at the end.)

My blocks sat in a pile for some time because I couldn't decide how to set them. "Low-volume" gray sashing seemed like a good idea, and I have plenty of grays in my stash, but which gray? As I looked at my options, I thought, Why not use them all? Below are the eight I chose. I was fine with different undertones because I wanted the fabrics to read as subtly different.

I started by adding short pieced sashing between blocks, followed by long horizontal sashing between rows. For the outer sashing all around, I cut swatches and pinned them to the edges to help with value and pattern placement.

Next I pieced and labeled the outer strips. (It's so easy to mix them up!) This shot is looking down on my design wall and the top of my IKEA storage unit. The surface makes a handy shelf for blocks or sections of quilts in progress.

With all the strips attached, I gave the top a final pressing. I'm including the image below because it's a good example of metamerism, a light phenomenon where colors look different under different light sources. The blocks hanging down are more intense (and their color more accurate) because natural light from the windows is falling on them, while the blocks on top of the ironing board look less intense (and less accurate) under the room's ambient light.

Below I've isolated four blocks to illustrate my strategy for using the grays:

* Vary the length of the gray pieces for a random look.

* Try for contrasts in value (some lighter, some darker) and pattern (stripes, dots, circles, squiggles).

* Make sure the sashing seams don't fall on block seams.

* Distribute the different grays as equally as possible . . . but don't make yourself crazy in the process. (Easier said than done!)

Below is the finished top, yet to be quilted. Some of the gray pieces stand out, while others blend, but overall the "color melody" is in the blocks. For those of you in my Transparency workshop at Zephyr, you can see the illusion of transparency in the upper left block, thanks to the pattern in the woven plaid. I love, love the shimmery look of woven plaids! The buffalo plaids are Peppered Cottons; the others are from my stash.

Speaking of transparency, the new issue of Modern Patchwork includes my "Transparent Squares" quilt. I really enjoy this magazine for its unique projects and sleek design. See Quilting Daily for a list of projects and ordering info.

And finally, a note about the Zephyr retreat in September: my transparency workshop is full, but I'm keeping a waiting list. If you're interested, do get in touch.
Lecture and Workshop Schedule 


May 11-12, San Luis Obispo, CA, "Magic Fabrics, Special Effects" lecture, "Sassy Circles II" workshop, San Luis Obispo Quilters Guild


May 13-14, Santa Maria, CA, "Magic Fabrics, Special Effects" lecture (a.m.), "Color Camp" workshop (May 14), Santa Maria Valley Quilt Guild


May 13, Santa Maria, CA, "Color, Color, Color!" lecture (p.m.), All-America City Quilters 


June 11-13, Indianapolis, IN, "Color!" lecture, "Modern Color" and "Luminosity" workshops, Quilter's Guild of Indianapoli


June 14, Monroeville, IN, "Elegant Circles" workshop, Appleseed Quilter's Guild 


July 23 and 25, Manteca, CA, "Buying Fabric with Color in Mind" lecture, "Elegant Circles" workshop, Manteca Quilters  


August 10-11, Sonora, CA, "Color!" lecture, "Color Camp" workshop, Sierra Quilt Guild of Tuolumne Count


September 26, Roseville, CA, "Color" lecture, Sacramento Chapter of the American Sewing Guild 


October 21-22, Torrance CA, "Buying Fabric with Color in Mind" lecture, "Elegant Circles" workshop, South Bay Quilters Guild


November 11, Laguna Woods, CA, workshop TBD, Crazy Quilters Guild



April 15-17, Durango, CO, lecture and workshop TBD, Four Corners Quilt Gathering

May 5-7, Sammamish, WA, lecture and two workshops TBD, Block Party Quilters

June 11-12, Susanville, CA,  two workshops TBD, Susanville Quilt Guild

September 27-28, St. Louis, MO, lecture and workshop TBD, Bits 'n' Pieces quilt guild

October 20-22, Las Vegas, NV, "Color!" lecture, "Modern Color," and "Sassy Circles II" workshops, Desert Quilters of Nevada

About This Newsletter   

If you've received this newsletter, you may have attended one of my workshops or bought one of my books, patterns, or color wheels. It's easy to opt out, below, but I hope you'll stick around to see what's in store. It's all about color, using it, enjoying it, and sharing it with other quilters.


Thank you! 

Contact Info

Christine Barnes