So - what did I do?
I made a colour resource; I didn't call it that - I just had a book with bits and pieces inside of all the activities I did. But, that is what it has become. If you are wanting to learn to take control of colour then I can recommend this method of bringing together all you know and learn about into one place. When I see it all as I turn the pages everything seems to fall into place - plus I don't end up losing scraps of paper or samples of fabrics!
Over the next few weeks, whilst I am travelling and may not have much in the way of fabric and facilities to stitch, I am going to blog about creating a colour resource. Today I start with an old chestnut......
When I started making quilts about 9 years ago I made pieced quilts. I wasn't very accurate in the beginning, but I stuck at it and now (well, most of the time!), when I do piece fabrics into traditional quilt blocks, I am able to do a good job. My points match and my seams lie nicely. Learning this skill took time. It is the same with colour. Instead of always letting someone else lead the way with my colour choices I began to apply the knowledge I was learning and got on with it myself. In the beginning it took me hours - pulling bolts of fabric from the shop shelves and making huge piles. De at Midsomer Quilting was very patient with me. Fortunately now, the piles I make are much smaller and the whole process much quicker!
I bought lots of books, did lots of exercises and went on lots of courses. Over time I began to understand how colour works, the relationships between colours and how to put nice combinations together.
Here a few of the better books I have read...
Given that you can buy a nice colour wheel like this you may think my next suggestion is a bit stupid, but bear with me. Spend the time to make a selection of colour wheels from fabrics. Yes - go to the fabric shop and seek out a full colour wheel of fabrics. Start with pure hues and buy the smallest strips of fabric you can. Scraps are perfect - but it is important that you look through the whole stock. To coin an old phrase, you need to see the wood for the trees! You are looking for pure colours that do not have any white, grey or black mixed in with them. They are the colours that look clean and bright.
What do you do when you can't do something? You go and learn!
You can piece them, applique them, fuse them or just glue them onto paper if you wish. The outcome isn't really all that important, but what is important is the process you will go through in sorting through mountains of fabric and really looking at colour. I mean REALLY look.
I appliqued mine and keep them in a drawer for old time's sake. I don't refer to it, but it taught me such a lot.
I would love to hear from you if you do make one, what you think of this as an idea, and how it turns out if you do.
I will move on to tints and shades.