On the Road with Color . . . and More

by Christine Barnes

. . . That would be the road to Indiana! Last month I spent four delightful days teaching for the Quilter’s Guild of Indianapolis and Appleseed Quilters in Fort Wayne. A big thank you to the ladies who made it all happen so smoothly. I made lots of new quilting friends, and I really enjoyed seeing Indianapolis and the farming country on the way to Fort Wayne, about 90 miles north. Here’s a sampling from our first workshop, “Modern Color”:

“King’s Crown” was our warm-up exercise. (Forgive the blue tape—we used a concrete-like wall for critique, so no pins.) It’s so much fun to see different colors/fabrics for each of the large triangles. And wow, low-volume background fabrics make it so modern. Of course, the block with stripes got extra credit.All Kings blocks copyThe next exercise is one of my favorite star blocks, “Party Hats.” Notice how the dark-value center in the first block blends a bit with the patterned star points on the right and left, making a parallelogram (squint to see it more). As usual, “Value does all of the the work . . . .” Love the aboriginal prints and semi-solids.Indy star 2In the example below the black-and-white fabric anchors the block, and the star points are beautifully balanced. I wish I had a bolt of the swirly fabric these ladies used in the background—it’s fabulous.Indy star 4As they say in the informercials, “But wait, there’s more!” In the “X and Plus” block below, the “plus” is strong because the solids and the black are strong, but to my eye, the ‘X” is even stronger because the pieces are larger and the colors more intense. I really like that the solids don’t have to match the print.Indy 5 smallerBelow, the “plus” comes forward and is dominant because the colors and prints are hot and intense, while the “X” is lighter and cooler. How can two blocks look so different? Fabric magic.Indy 7 smallerOn the second day, we made my “Luminaria” pattern. I’ve taught this class many times, but I never get tired of seeing what you do. Look how luminous the warm, intense centers are when surrounded by the cooler, darker, duller colors. This quilt will be stunning.Indy lumiosityAnd now, a sincere apology to the Appleseed Quilters: We had so much fun making “Elegant Circles” that I forgot to take pictures. So sorry! I’ll just have to come back, OK? Send me photos of your completed quilts, and I’ll show them in a future post.

Shifting gears, I have a few notes for students in my “Transparency” workshop at Zephyr:

Here are fabrics from another line that works well for parent/child or layered transparency, “Grunge” by Moda. I got these recently from the Fat Quarter Shop (http://www.fatquartershop.com)  and Fabric Depot (http://www.fabricdepot.com/). As I’ve said in my recent emails to you, I’ll have modest amounts of these and other fabrics for you to use in the mock-block exercises. If you want to use them in your project quilt, you should plan to acquire some of your own. From either shop, the smallest amount sold is 1/2 yard—frustrating, but that’s the case with many online stores.grunge groupingAnd here’s a block I made from three values of blue-green Grunge. The ethereal quality of these fabrics makes them ideal for transparencies.Teal circle blockI’ll bring some new toys for you to play with, two circle cutters by Martha Stewart, available at JoAnn. These are GREAT for cutting freezer-paper circles for either “Transparent Circles” (see the Gallery on my website) or “Serene Circles” (above). BTW, Serene Circles is for precision piecers—those seams must match up to “fool the eye.” I’ll be there to help.Martha circle cuttersAgain, many thanks to the ladies of Indiana—my time with you was one of my favorite gigs, and now I know, firsthand, about Hoosier Hospitality and Sweet Tea. (It’s very sweet.)

Stay cool. Keep quilting.












3 thoughts on “On the Road with Color . . . and More

    • Hi Belinda, I’m afraid there isn’t a way to ID the colors because some I’ve had for a while, and some are new. Also, there are probably six or seven different blue-greens in Grunge. Sigh, almost too much of a good thing! I suggest you do what I did—I went online to two sites, Fabric Depot (fabricdepot.com) and the Fat Quarter Shop (fatquartershop.com). They have some of the same colors, and some different ones. Fabric Depot will sell 1/4 yard cuts. Im not sure about the Fat Quarter Shop because they were on sale and I had to buy 1/2 yard. If only they would put the color names on the selvages!!! I am so glad I took the plunge and bought lots because the colors are fabulous. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

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