(See the article “Using Contrast to Add Depth to Your Scrap Quilt”)
I just wanted to let you know a little trick I use to improve the layouts of my quilts. My wonderful husband made me a design wall with Home Depot foam insulation which I covered with flannel fabric. Whenever I get an idea for a quilt layout, I throw it up on the wall. In the case of this quilt, I sorted my 4” squares of fabric into light, medium and dark values. I knew that I wanted to start with reds, because I have so many of them. That’s it, no fancy calculations, just hmmmmm, I have a lot of this burgundy/brick red, let’s go with that. I picked out reds from each of the value piles and started creating the pattern from the upper left. I worked my way around the quilt in a counter clockwise manner. I had an idea what I wanted but didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about exact placement.
Once I had all the squares on the wall, I stood back and started moving fabric. I look for something I don’t like and pull it off the wall, then I look at my pile of squares and replace them with ones I like better. Rinse and repeat. The first round of modifications was done using color, then I pulled out my phone and looked at the arrangement on my camera using the monochrome (black and white) setting. This is where the magic comes in. My eye isn’t perfect at discerning absolute value with colored blocks, but the camera filter takes out all the guesswork. Here is an example of a change that I made.
Look at the upper right deep orange squares in the layout above. It turns out that they are a much darker value than I thought when I was putting it on the wall.
I replaced those four deep orange fabrics with lighter orange plaid squares.
Notice that the diagonal dark stripe is now more pronounced.
I will make a change, then step back and see if there is anything else I would like to change. I stop when I am either satisfied with how it looks or I get bored.
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