Today I’m sharing a little bit about a new book, A Modern Twist: Create Quilts with a Colorful Spinby Natalie Barnes. Back in 2010 (where does time fly?) I was part of a Bee with a group of talented quilters – most of whom I had never met in person. Natalie was one of them. A couple of years later I meet Natalie randomly at quilt market and after chatting for a minute, put two and two together and realized we had both been part of that same Bee. It’s always so fun to make a connection like that with someone in real life!
Natalie is an avid quilter and pattern designer and now has this new book, A Modern Twist, with quilting design tips contributed by Angela Walters. Natalie asked if I would be interested in sharing some thoughts about her book.
Natalie as a strong personal style as well as design aesthetic honed by working for years as a professional interior decorator. She shares a lot of great tips for developing your own style by looking at the fundamentals of COLOR, COMPOSITION, and CONTRAST.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the us of CONTRAST in quilt design.
For me the use of Contrast is fundamental to creating a well-designed quilt. There are three areas where I feel like Contrast makes a difference: Color, scale, and texture.
I love playing with color in my quilts. Since I love a scrappy style, I often employ a solid unifying color (most often white) to give the eye a place to rest and to create some contrast for the busy prints and colors. Here’s an example from A Modern Twist – the light background provides a great contrast for the colors of the circles. Also, having different shades of the same colors creates visual interest.
In the photo of the table runner above, the purple solid provides a nice contrast with the other prints, adding to the design motif.
Scale can also create contrast. Sometimes you may want to use a similar color palette for one quilt. By getting a variety of scales of prints, you’ll have more visual interest as the contrast between the different scales will best show off the prints. The fabrics in the above picture on the left, are all different, but the scale of their design motifs is very similar. It’s hard to see any contrast in those blocks. On the right, two of the blocks are placed in a similar four-patch layout with two contrasting colors – in this case the tan – which helps the design motifs in the prints really show off.
In this example from the book, there are a few high-contrast colors included, but most of the colors in the quilt are monochromatic. The scales of the prints however, is what brings interest and contrast.
Another form of contrast is texture. This pile of fabrics is all in very similar colors/tones. But the thing that makes it interesting is the variety of textures included. Such as the chenille, the linen fabrics, etc. There are also a few different scales of prints.
Employing contrast in design, is totally personal. It doesn’t mean it has to be high-contrast. Sometimes minimal contrast can make something more subtly interesting. It is fun to play with and be aware of the contrast in our quilts to make them interesting.
Feel free to visit any of these other designers to hear more about Color, Contrast, and Composition or for chances to win a copy of A Modern Twist.
Generation Q Magazine