Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Designing with nature

I love colour, I love strong and bright colours and because of this tend I to use bright colours most of the time.  But I have to remember when making things for others or for sale that not everyone has the same taste as me. And some rooms, such as bedrooms, need "calmer" colours,  This is important when making quilts. 
I want to make a new quilt and would like it to use more natural colours than I would normally pick. So I use a technique that I have spoken about before, taking photos of nature and breaking down the colours.
I was by the lake last week and was attracted by a view of a marshy area against the sky and lake.

A marshy area by the lake

The next thing to do is to pixelise the photo to break down the colours. I use a picture editing program called IrfanView to do this but many free programs are available, most digital cameras come with free software of you can download an App.

I decided I didn't want all of this and zoomed in on an area with the colours I felt worked best.
The next stage is to find fabrics in these colourways so I went to to search for fabrics. I searched for Blenders by colour. Blenders are fabrics that have one main colourway over printed with a similar colour or pattern. I find plain fabrics too "flat" and use blenders a lot. And it can be easier to match them than multi colours or prints.  Remember the purpose of this exercise for me was too use less colour and be more natural.  One of the features of is that you can add fabrics to a design board, this means you can put them alongside each other to see if they match well.  I searched  for blues, greens, beiges and browns and came up with the following fabrics.
A selection of blender fabrics
The next step is to buy the fabrics and design a quilt.  I like simple shapes, just random squares cut out and sewn back together.  But the point of the exercise is not to replicate the pixelised picture above but to use the colour and the saturation of each colour in the quilt.
Now to get started.

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