Dreaming in Color - Texture and Color Entwined with Jean Wells

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The arrival of the Entwine line of fabric, by Guicy Guice from Andover Fabrics, gave me the idea to explore textural fabrics in terms of color. These yummy textiles offer an opportunity to add a dimensional quality to quilts that are mostly solid in nature. The first thing I want you to notice is how dimensional the wovens are, and how solid fabrics appear flat. That quality can add interest to a composition. It is another tool for you to use in your journey as a quilter.

You can see the variety in the woven designs, and the color range that Guicy Guice choose. Red and magenta are the dominant colors in the collection, but it ranges from a few neutrals to many other colors.

Note: I found that some of the wovens are a looser weave than others. With these looser fabrics I used a woven fusible interfacing, SF101 Shape Flex from Pellon, to stabilize the fabric before I cut into it.

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In the photo above I have an example of a solid in the top corner and then several wovens surrounding it. Take note of how dark the woven check comes across with the addition of the blue color next to the magenta. You can easily see how the role of the second color darkens the magenta.

Whenever I start working up a new color palette the vocabulary words I use to describe color come into play. These descriptive words help me to evaluate along the way when I am pulling fabrics for a new project to make sure I have variety that adds interest to the project..

My Color Vocabulary

Value: Light – Dark  

Intensity: Dull – Bright  

Temperature: Warm – Cool

Opposites: across from each other on the color wheel

Most of you are familiar with Josef Albers, an expert on color who died in 1976. He was famous for his study of the interactions of colors and was a leading pioneer of 20th century modernism. He often paid homage to the square. I created some of my own samples inspired by his square series. The larger square always represents the color that you see the most of, and the smaller square the lesser amount of color. Sometimes, a third smaller square is included as the accent color.

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You can easily see how the roll changes for the grey in each of the samples above.

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In this example of four squares, I paired together several different fabrics. At this point, each of the prints is used in equal amount so I would need to decide who will be the leader in the group.

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You can see in the photo above that magenta has taken the lead roll, the strong yellow second, and the blue more of an accent.

Contrast can be deceptive when working with color. In the photo below, the two fabric sets on the left are strong saturated colors, but when you look at them from a distance, they start to run into each other and both colors in the block almost appear the same. You can still use both of them in a quilt, but might think about putting some distance between them. In the second set of more medium tone fabrics there is more contrast between the two colors. All of these with the addition of some neutrals could be very interesting.

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Look at the top left block above, squint and you almost lose the cheddar square. The magenta seems very saturated, but in the block on the right it is less saturated looking. At the bottom the very dull looking deep red block handles the cheddar square just fine. I like to play around with squares of fabric before I settle on a palette for a new project. It gives me the opportunity to “audition” a fabric that might get to join the group.

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This yellow above is so light and pure looking because it is woven with white. Normally we think of yellow as a bright, warm color, but it certainly takes on a different roll with this deep navy fabric and becomes cool in appearance. The light and dark values are evident in both examples.

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With both of the yellow and blue examples above you can see a temperature change. In the left yellow fabric the secondary color in the weave is an olive green, and on the blue sample the second color is a turquoise. The color combinations in this collection are very interesting to study, as you can see, and are giving me all kinds of clues to use when choosing colors for a new project.

Next, is a sample where I tried out the wovens and the solids together. It has all kinds of personality with its variety of textures. The solid pieces appear flat, but feature some texture in the window frame, which will add its own kind of dimension. I haven’t had time yet, but want to do some hand stitching, kind of mending style, with this piece in a Japanese Rice Bag and see what I can come up with.

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For the shop, we ordered a set of Century Solids from Andover that coordinate with all of the textured wovens. Each month, for the next three months, we will receive 25 new solid colors from the collection. It is going to be so fun to play the with color combinations. Below are two examples of the wovens and the solids.

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We are also making new pencil packs from the collection so you can try creating your own color combinations. I choose three new pencil pack combinations from this delivery. Enjoy!


Festive Pencil Pack


Passion Pencil Pack


Sunshine Pencil Pack