Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Color Workshop

Yesterday was the first Monday of the month, which means it was the monthly meeting of AA. Anything Art, not Alcoholics Anonymous! We decided to focus on "color" this month- a great topic for a cold winter day.
We all produced our books and tools on color theory. This is a huge advantage of a group of dedicated art quilters- sharing our resources, looking at some of them before purchasing, learning what works for others.

My favorite color book is Color Magic for Quilters, by Ann Seely and Joyce Stewart.

It has all the information about color schemes, with illustrations of quilt blocks using the various combinations.

I also love the whimsical illustrations in this book, which remind me of a child's picture book (remember I am an old elementary school teacher!)

Going through my stuff, I found that I own two color wheels in addition to the ones in books. One is a print of a Judy Martin fabric color wheel from 1985, published by Quilters' Newsletter Magazine. It is on a piece of glossy card stock, so perhaps it was a gift for renewing my subscription. This one is not as useful to me because of all the muted colors from the grayed calicoes. We sure have better fabric selections nowadays!

Actually, in this photo the colors are much brighter and clearer than in actuality.

I also have a handy, six-inch purchased color wheel with a spinning triangle pointer, and a range of seven tints for each of the twelve colors on the wheel. I think I got this at Michael's Craft Store, and it is made by K1C2, LLC.

I also made a fabric color wheel using a template in the Color Magic book. It was fun searching my stash for representative colors. The colors are not true in this photo, as the Violet came out looking blue instead of deep purple. These fabrics are just mounted on card stock with glue stick.

We had a bit of show-and-tell. Ruth-Ellen showed a quilt she made from a Thimbleberries pattern, which normally are made in country tones of browns, greens, deep reds, and golds. She gave it her own spin with jewel tones and a sky blue background.

Here is another quilt of Ruth-Ellen's which is a perfect example of cool tones with a bit of warm accent color. I love this one!

Tama provided us with an interesting color activity. We each got a baggy with crayons or markers and a pad of paper. She called out seven words, and we had about ten seconds each to draw or color our reaction to the words. It was quite interesting that many of us responded in very similar fashion. Can you see the boxes and squares for the word "control," and the jagged lines for "anger?"
After lunch, we snipped fabrics and mounted them with glue-stick to a block pattern that Margaret provided. We started with a Monochromatic color scheme. Doesn't the same pattern look vastly different in each interpretation?

Then we did Analogous schemes. These are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Our "design wall" was Margaret's refrigerator!

Some of us also got around to a third combination, the Complementary Scheme, which uses colors opposite from each other on the color wheel. This one is mine.

It was a fun day to spend with fabric and friends, and a good reminder of some basics about color theory.

And for all those who read my last post, my Dear Sweet Husband turned out to be a pretty good sewing machine technician, although he has no experience in servicing sewing machines. He just seems to understand how things go together and how they work. He was able to remove the entire hook assembly, which on the Gammill is under the machine and requires you to crouch on the floor and peer through metal bars to access. Here is what it looks like with everything removed.

So, with the whole bobbin assembly in his hands, we still could not get the ribbon out, so he had to take the entire hook assembly apart. It contains the world's teeniest, tiniest screws. Here is the culprit: a tiny speck of pink silk ribbon that jammed up the works.

And while Charlie was available with his strong fingers and Allen wrenches, he replaced the checkspring on my rotary tension that broke off last month. And I had an extra pair of felt pads available to put on each side of the tension disk. They are supposed to be white...do you think mine were ready to replace?

A huge thank you to my husband for being my personal mechanic.


Maria Peagler said...

Jean - congrats to your art quilt group for studying color. You did some wonderful exercises with your own fabrics, and that's so important. Making your own color wheel tells you volumes about what you already have and what you like. And how eye-opening when you did the mock-up blocks using different color harmonies.

How will you be taking these studies one step further into action? A challege, perhaps?

Na Na said...

Ooo... that sounds like fun. Wish I could have been there learning about color wheels too.

Unknown said...

thanks so much for visiting my blog...I am glad I found you...your art quilts are really beautiful...it is always good to work with the color wheels and go back to basics.....Melinda

Michelle said...

so glad you got your machine fixed! looks like you gals had a great play date!!

Erika Mulvenna said...

You are so lucky to have a handy husband!

I am a total color wheel nerd and have been since art school. Have you looked at the Itten color star wheels? Fun stuff.