Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Is Scrap Quilting Trending?

I notice a lot of quilters talking about the how-to's of scrap quilting. Scrap quilts were my first love and I think there's a lot to be learned from looking at and making them, so this makes me happy.

On the Patchwork Times, Judy is leading a scrap quilting challenge by providing a monthly block pattern, sharing tips and her own experience and results.

Cynthia is sharing the nut and bolts of how she approaches scrap quilting on her blog with the great name, Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

All this scrap quilt-iness in the atmosphere has me pulling out my first and still one of my favorite quilting books, Scrap Quilts, The Art of Making Do, by Roberta Horton.  I grabbed this image from Amazon where I noticed there is now a kindle version of the book for $9.99 today.

One of the things you naturally learn when making scrap quilts, is the value of VALUE. As they say, value is what allows the COLORS to shine.  If you have every told me that you loved the colors in one of my projects, I'm sure I responded with something along the lines of, "it's really about the values."

Value might not matter so much if you're making blocks like this one, where scrappy blues are combined with black and white (as the darkest and lightest fabrics) to define the block pattern.

But if you are making something like the monochromatic broken dishes blocks below, the values are critical for you to see the star points in the design.

I saw a tip in a on-line class on The Quilt Show site that I recently put into use to build a tool for seeing value–I won a TQS membership in a blog give-away during my recent lucky streak (thanks again Laura!)

In Lea McComas' Portrait class, she recommends going to a home improvement store and picking up paint color cards to create your own gray-scale reference.

I started picking up black/gray/white cards, but then thought, since I am planning to use blues for my project (and more blues for the Rainbow Scraps Challenge this month), why not make a blue-scale instead of a gray scale?

I knew I was going to need 6 different values for my project, so chose 6 paint cards.  These are Martha Stewart colors.

The one on the left are the actual color cards.  Because the blues I chose weren't all the same hue–the fourth one especially is the clunker–I converted the image to black and white to double-check that the values were correct.

My work-in-progress for today is selecting blue scraps and sorting them into one of 6 values. The paint color cards makes it so much easier/quicker to sort scraps definitively into a number of values.

I'm joining Esther's WOW (WIPs on Wednesday) and WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

I'd LOVE to share my round robin center for the Cotton Robin (which really is my current WIP), but it's a secret ... and going into the mail to Julie today. There is still time to participate if you're interested.  I keep playing because I love the challenge of adding to or quilting these little group quilts.


Scrapatches said...

Thanks, Sophie, for this interesting and informative post on choosing colors and values for scrap quilts ... :) Pat

Michelle Bartholomew said...

Very cool tip on value. Thanks for sharing... off to the hardware store! :)

Kim @ TiesThatBindQuilting said...

This is a great tip! I'll have to try this if I do a monochromatic quilt.

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I use the paint chips and I convert to a black and white photo, but I have never done them together! Go figure, it was a DUH! Moment for me when I read you today.

I must have missed the post to send in the cotton robin block. My goal this year is to be very creative with the pieces.

Thanks for the post today!

Wonky Girl said...

Thanks for going over this subject. Wish I had understood about values when first starting the quilting hobby. Using paint cards is new to me, I'll try it.
I have that book by R. Horton and will give it another look.

Jasmine said...

Thank you for the tip. I am also working on blue projects this month. I think the paint chips are a great idea. I will have to keep that in mind.

Andra Gayle said...

Your Blue Blocks are gorgeous!!!!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

A wonderful post on scraps and color! Thanks for referencing my scrap series. I have lots more to share so I hope everyone stops in to check it out.

Anonymous said...

The paint chips are an especially good tip for the monochromatic quilts. I'll have to remember that! It certainly works for YOUR blue blocks!

Barbara said...

That's interesting, Sophie. Thanks!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

Love your paint chip idea. Choosing the right values isn't always as easy as it might seem.

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