Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Color Limits

Color is a very personal thing... isn't it? In fact if you look at well know fabric designers and quilters work, almost immediately they can be identified, not to mention that they usually have their own "branded" color story that they work with. All too often, you hear stories of artists and crafters who exclaim that there is that one color that they just can't seem to warm up to, they never use, or find it difficult to work it into thier usual color scheme. How is it for you when you are forced to think outside the box, and grab that one color that says "no, not me... not today!"?

On the other side, I think it is important to push ourselves, to try new things, step outside our comfort zone, and attempt to try colors again that have been omitted from our go-to color palette. It's a bit like trying brussel sprouts after not having eaten them in the last seven years... you know, to actually see if we still really hate them as much as we remember.

Recently I stumbled on these fabulous free patterns from Lillyella that I just could not resist since I've been on my mini mini quilt swap kick! It shouldn't be too much of a surprise to anyone who has read my blog, that a bright and colorful palette was the easiest for me to come up with:

But after I had shared pictures of my Mini Mini Sunburst on Instagram, both on the same day, I found something that was quite striking to me: The softer, more muted mini got more likes than the bright one. This was really amazing to me since it was a color scheme that did not come naturally, but forced me to step outside my comfort zone... I really had to think about it a lot more. So once I finished the first butterfly, I knew I wanted to push my color limits again and see the response.

Update: the two Sunbursts are almost tied now since I wrote this, and this time around the bright butterfly is way ahead of the softer one... go figure! I guess if it's not broke, then don't fix it, right?

Oh, and a BIG, BIG BTW... I finished my Swell quilt! You can also see the finished teaser picutre on my Instagram feed. Taking a good picture this time of year, with enough good daylight, and when my tall quilt holder (aka husband) are all available at the same time is almost like waiting for the sun, moon, and stars to all come in perfect alignment... let's just say that it's coming!

Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social


  1. That is a really interesting observation, but you are so right! Colour IS personal. I just claim all of them for my own (except brown. Brown, you can keep). :) I love the butterflies. I am thinking I'm going to need to create a few teeny fpp patterns for some mini minis. You've inspired me!

  2. Very pretty! Like you, I'm drawn to the bright colours and I think it's because I do most of my quilting in the winter months when we need to add colour to our lives. I'm off to click over to the patterns. Thanks.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on colour. I totally agree that when we push ourselves to choose a palette that is not within our norm, sometimes the results can be outstanding. I had a stack of not so great Kona colours and used them in a new design for my WoW-E! quilt and the results were astounding. All your mini mini quilts are so pretty, Allison. It's been fun to see them popping up on my instagram feed. Can't wait to see more of your Swell quilt!

  4. I really like the way you thought about trying out colors we haven't "liked" in a while. Be open to our tastes changing...very inspiring. And I like all of your blocks combined. I think the muted plays well with the bold and it's that kind of contrast that helps to give quilts more depth. :)

  5. I love bright and bold colors. Using a soft color palette is so hard! A few days ago I actually threw caution to the wind...soft pastel-ish! Low and behold I really love it!

    You and your mini mini's!! Every time I see them I smile! Your's in in the mail...let me know when you get it!!

  6. Love the mini minis! Have enjoyed seeing them over on IG and lovely to hear about your experiences making them. Looking forward to that perfect alignment happening some time soon!!

  7. That is so interesting - I suppose it has to do with the subject matter. Butterflies should be brighter. I love that butterfly - darling design.

  8. I have been seeing these in the hashtag for the mini mini quilts, they all really cute!

  9. I think that I haven't really developed "my go to colors" because most of my quilting is done for others, so I sew with the recipient in mind, choosing *their* colors, and not my own. Or choosing x because it goes with y.....
    That said, bright colors probably catch my eye, more than muted. But I can appreciate the quiet beauty of the muted, too. Interesting to think about...
    I like all of those mini minis, but the purples are my fav (which I am sure will make you chuckle after you've rad my email ;-)
    I wonder if it's a contrast thing, more than a color thing??
    Huge congrats on your swell finish!! Looking forward to the big reveal

  10. Both of your minis are wonderful! I have enjoyed seeing them on Instagram as well!

  11. I think both are beautiful! Came by way of Sew Fresh Quilts and am new to your blog. Will be sure to come back!

  12. I especially like the new quilting you tried on the mini minis :)

  13. I love these mini blocks, so cute! I've just popped over and downloaded the pattern, thanks for sharing and the inspiration!


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