Saturday, September 17, 2011

Learning about colour

Playing with my palette

I have been playing with my palette - I tend to think of this palette as "grown up" or "sophisticated". I first built this palette for my Love of Solids [a modern swap] items. It was inspired by my partner Natalie at Threaded Mess's photos (she has her package now so I can say) and by my beach. Since the swap is over, I have joined Lynne from Lily's Quilts in her Dead Simple QAL because I want to play with this palette more.

I cut up a bunch of 1.5" squares. Many people are using software and colour swatches, which is very techy and cool but I am having more fun doing this hands on.

Laying out a coaster

I wish I knew if there was a right way to get the randomized pixel-like, sun shattered look. My approach is to make sure I include at least one or more of the "colours" - blue, aqua or gold. Then I just pull out other squares in the "neutral" shades, and put them down on the table, quickly arranging as I go and trying to use mostly different shades.  I give myself about 10 seconds to change anything that bugs me. Then I sew.

Maybe more coasters?

I sew quickly because I am more of a controlling, logic type of person than a creative, artsy person and I fear that with any time at all I will start arranging these into some kind of discernable pattern - my math brain really wants to do that.

Playing with my palette - some coasters

Here are a couple completed coasters I made last week. These have already been given away.

FTLOS - small items

Here are the 8 I sent my partner in the swap. Each has a different colour layout, and I find I like every single one. I am coming to the conclusion that my few "rules" seems to lead to a result that pleases me all the time. It is also interesting to notice how even slight differences in the light actually change the colours, although they continue to work well together.

Longer strip

This is three of the small 16 patch units sewn together. Next, I am going to try to lay out this many squares before I sew them together. I want to see whether the grouping I end up with it is still reasonably random and if I like it.

I have lots to learn about colour and this palette is so much fun to play with. I have some pillows and placemats and coasters and at least one wall quilt (click here to see the mini quilt I made for the swap) to make for me from it, I think. And I have some coasters to make for a friend in a private swap. I am still not sure I want a whole large quilt, but who knows.

I hope you are enjoying the weekend, I am hoping to do little but sew.

ps. I have linked this post up to {Sew} Modern Monday. I hope you have a chance to visit the wonderful projects over there.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

One more link, to the Needle and Thread Network.




  1. your rules are perfect, make so much sense and leave no time for waffling .. i was not going to do this QAL but ...

  2. Great post, I'm still loving your palate! You're quite right, the colours do look different in the photos with different lights, its gorgeous. Very subtle. Definitely a grown up palate!

  3. What fun! Love the coasters & the different quilting you did! Glad you are doing it 'by hand'....very fun.

  4. I would say you are a natural at putting colours together! These blocks are lovely. Jxo

  5. The palette you have used is stunning - he needs techy geeky stuff!

  6. I adore this palette- it is so calm and cool

  7. This is like, the 23rd time I have tried to comment, and my comment keeps getting erased. I really like your post, but I'm not going to try 24 times....

    So, I see your first photo and I think, 'OMG, all those squares, that is awesome!' then I read that they are 1.5" and I think 'OMG, she is insane! those are so tiny! how can she even see them?' I'm thinking my eyes are way worse than yours, I like a big honking 2.5". This I see your sweet little coasters, and I think 'Oh, those are luscious, she did so well with the tiny'.

    Then I went and drank wine from the stress of trying to get this to post.

  8. Awesome! You are brave to give yourself only ten seconds. I'm a planner too.

  9. I have a class that I teach - it's a one block quilt that gives good cutting practice & is brill for showing the effects of placing colour values in different places - my sample palette on the handoput I use is pretty much yours, inspired by a Caribbean beach I tell works so well. I find it interesting to see how small your squares are - if you hadn't said we would never guess, you can fool about with scale in pics can't you?

  10. Love your colour palette so peaceful and it really evokes the feeling of beach, and weathered wood. Love the way you have made the coasters and quilted each one differently.

  11. It looks like you are having great fun. I am really enjoying just watching. Thanks for sharing.

  12. These are so beautiful! Love your "grownup" palette! Thanks for sharing your process.

  13. Those coasters ROCK! :) Thanks for linking up to {Sew} Modern Monday and have a great week!

  14. those are fanastic! The stitchs are perfect!

  15. LOVE your palette system & those colours are GORGEOUS. Those coasters are all FABULOUS & I'm sure will be well LOVED!
    THANK YOU for posting to the Needle & Thread Network.

  16. Ooh! This is such a simply stunning arrangemnet of coloured squares. terrific

  17. Great color palette, love this idea!

  18. thanks for sharing a peek into your process :)

  19. I am really happy to be the one to inspire you to use this palate with my mosaic! I so love the items you've made me and they are already in use :)

    Thanks again Leanne!

  20. Great,I love your palette!!The coaster are wonderful !!

  21. I absolutely love the coasters. The colours are just perfect and go so well together.


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