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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Colour Blog series: aqua + teal

Almost a year ago, I was asked by Michelle Wilkie to join her Colour Blog series as a guest and share my process for choosing colour palettes.

After an overwhelming response to what people want to know about designing modern quilts, Michelle has decided to run a blog series on colour. It runs throughout 2016 with a different colour focused each month. Her goal was to teach colour theory in a more practical approach for quilters with the posts that include:
     fabric pulls,
    general tips to try (Inspiration Color board, Using focus prints to pull a color palette, using nature to draw inspiration, looking at other art mediums/other works, using paint chips...etc.)
    links to various general resources (Books, magazines, color palette websites, classes available, Pinterest, galleries/artists...etc.)
    Tasks + link-ups for those that are interested.

My task was to talk about my favourite color and to answer some questions like: “How I choose color?” and “Where do I get color palette inspiration?”
So, let’s get started;)

My favourite colous are teal (aqua) and purple. Teal or aqua, as shades of blue are the most beautiful and inspiring colour tones. 
I was very flattered to be Pat Sloan’s guest at Aurifilbuzz last month, as the Designer of the Month of September and I also had the task to choose my favourite shades of blue and put a collage with those hues.

If I could, I would place aqua tones in each fabric collection, because I never get bored of it as colour. It’s the most beautiful colour of the sea and a colour that looks so live, intense and refreshing.

You can see the block I made inspired with aqua tones (created with my fabrics) and also download a free block.

For this occasion, I made this collage with my own aqua/teal fabrics, released with Art Gallery fabrics, in the past 3 years.

  And while creating it, I realized that actually each of my fabric collections had some shade of aqua/teal/turquoise included. Only in my latest “InBlue” fabric collection(it will be introduced at the Quilt Market later this month), I didn’t include it, because I wanted to move a bit from my “comfort zone” and make a fabric collection featuring more cobalt tones and primary shade of blue, that is more tricky to blend with other tones.

So going back to the questions:  “How do I choose color?” and “Where do I get color palette inspiration?”, my answer would be that all starts with the theme or inspiration.
So, once I decide and know what my design theme is going to be, I think about the best colours to depict it. I create the color palette, choosing from the Pantone (Fashion+Home) colour cards and finding the best shades within the existing Pure elements by Art Gallery fabrics. So, it’s basically the theme or the use of the fabrics that determine the tones that I will use.  If I design something that will be more suitable for the little ones, my colour palette will tend to soften a bit from my usual bold tendency.

When designing quilt patterns, as I usually have the certain Fabric collection which should be featured and shown in the best way through a quilt pattern, I like to play with different type of contrasts. I also like combining strong, saturated colours with some subtle and non-coloured tones, like white, grey and black. I like the combination of low valued prints with very bold ones, like I tried to do with my Avantgarde fabric collection and prints.

Mock-up for the Flux quilt featuring Avantgarde fabrics

  Rastrum quilt featuring Indelible fabrics

  Mock-up for the quilt featuring Pandalicious fabrics

Maybe here I can step aside and try to include some basic colour theories that may be very interesting for modern quilters, if they didn’t have a way to hear about them in some art classes.

  Paul Klee / Small Regatta, 1922.

Paul Klee / Tomb in Three parts 1923.

And if more interested about the colour theory, you can try to find the book “The elements of Color” by Johannes Itten, which served as some kind of Bible to me, when first studying about colour theory.
Itten, was an artist and a teacher in Bauhaus school and from his work and work by other Bauhaus teachers and students, you can get a lot of inspiration for the quilts as well ( for example: Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Gunta Stölzl etc.)

Johannes Itten made a color sphere comprised of twelve colours (three primary, three secondary, and six tertiary) that shows the relationship among colors, as well as gradations of saturation. Itten’s concept was based on seven different methods of contrast:  contrast of saturation, of light and dark, of extension, complementary contrast, simultaneous contrast, contrast of hue, and contrast between warm and cool colors. He was absorbed by the work of the old masters and he was also a vital participant in modern art movements. Itten has been the first to associate color palettes with four types of people. He began by splitting colours into 2 sections: WARM (yellow based) and COOL (blue based). These were then divided again into LIGHT or DARK. The result was 4 harmonized groups of colours that he called after the 4 seasons of the year. (spring = warm + light, autumn = warm + dark, summer = cool + light, winter = cool = dark).
I hope that some of this was inspiring read for modern quilters and can’t wait to read all the posts from this series and here is the list of all the participants:

Michelle Wilkie http://factotum-of-arts.com
Melanie Tuazon http://melintheattic.com
Daisy Aschehoug http://antstosugar.com
Anne Sullivan http://play-crafts.com
Heather Jones http://www.heatherjonesstudio.com/blog
Sandi Sawa Hazlewood http://craftyplanner.com

Alyce Blyth http://blossomheartquilts.com
Christa Watson http://christaquilts.com
Katarina Roccella http://likeflowersandbutterflies.com
Nicole Daksiewicz http://modernhandcraft.com
Nydia Kehnle http://www.nydiakehnle.com/


Michelle, thank you so much for having me,


Sunday, 16 October 2016


Art Gallery fabrics have just made the introduction to the newest, Fall collections and my Blithe should be available within the next couple of days.
With this collection, I have probably moved on from where I left my first, Indelible collection, changing the palette, making it more winterish and more cozy and comfort in a way. Maybe even a bit Holidays appropriate, as there are touches of metallics in a few prints.

 I love how this quote explains and describes perfectly some prints:  “I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

And the official description: "Nature’s landscape transitions in hues as snow kisses the forest with its white blanket. Creature change their attire while colors shift from warm golds to dazzling whites and misty blues.."

Those are just the strike offs, but can't wait to show you the real fabrics very soon ;)
xx, Katarina