I LOVE talking about blocks, studying blocks, and playing with them in Photoshop... I am always on a quest for great blocks and trying to figure out what makes them so great ... So I started this companion blog that will be devoted to this quest. But also check out my regular blog at http://olderrose.blogspot.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Color Comfort - Tricks and Guidelines - Part 1

Picking your feathers.....is there a bird here that reflects your color comfort zone? Most people are fairly secure with their color comfort zone but I can tell from work I see that there are a lot who struggle with color.  If you have or  are starting a inspiration file pay special attention to recurrent colors that have attracted you..  PICK NO MORE THAN THREE.  That is the place to start...  Now here I am talking about a successful block for yourself.... The key in the beginning is limit, limit and limit... It is so easy to be overwhelmed by a pile of fabric stash and go a little crazy... It doesn't matter if the colors are intense or subdued... just pick three of your favorite.

In this case I have chosen three muted shades of pink, green and beige.(my personal comfort zone). Gathering your color choices as threads and fabric is the first step... The fabrics can vary in texture but keep any patterns VERY small or muted. I can't emphasize that enough at this stage. Patterns can be very distracting for beginning exercises.. Make a block!

Now start laying your threads on the block matching the colors as close as possible. If you want to use ribbons or braids add them with the same guideline.  Match as closely as possible. Using all the same color of thread and trims may seem boring but I guarantee that you will end with a block you will love. Carefully pick your threads and STICK TO YOUR choices... Do not start bringing in other colors later... There are lots of ways to add more interest with buttons, lace and motifs, etc... But stick to your original choice of colors and your block will have (my favorite word) harmony.... The next post will show some fantastic examples of just this technique of limited color.

But when you know your own comfort zone what happens when you  want to stretch a bit or get wild and crazy?  There are tricks for that also that I'll cover  in another post.

And then what happens when you join a round robin and get a block of colors that make you gasp?  This person has picked  those colors because they loved them and you are part of a team who all want this RR to be a success.  Again there are some tricks to do this and I will share.


  1. So much wonderful advice...Thanks Debbie K

  2. Makes perfect sense! Thank you,Gerry.

    Judy in MS

  3. Can hardly wait to get out to the LooneyBin and piece a block using your wonderful advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach.

  4. That is great advice. Especially for me, that goes about things sometimes much like a magpie. If it's bright and glittery, I grab it. Doesn't make for a nice result in many cases. If I were to jump on board the project, my personal challenge would be to stay in the taupe range - ala the Japanese fabrics that are so lovely. I might add in subdued greens, teals, and dark salmon colors.