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

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Part Four - Second No-Fail Approach to Color

Remember I started these posts for stitchers who were unsure about choosing colors... I said there were two "NO FAIL" approaches...  The first was limit your color choices.  

Well the second  "NO FAIL"  approach is just the opposite.... USE EVERY COLOR!!!!  This block is an excellent example and was stitched by Cathy LaBath... She adores color but has written me repeatedly that she is horrible at picking out colors...

Yet to appease her thirst for bright colors she uses them with abandon  making dozens of these scrappy quilts..  They work because of the multitude of colors at random... You cannot fail making one of these quilts and the same approach is true applied to crazy quilting...

She's not comfortable choosing and controlling color but she doesn't let that stop her.. Cathy has her colorful scrappy quilts on her blog.

There are some people who have a joyous sense of color gone wild and are able to choose and control it.  I posted awhile back about two such people Lauri Burgesser and Allison Aller.  I keep a special drawer of  intense colors just to use on Lauri's blocks. I admire everything done by them... Their love of color and their use of vibrant colors add energy to everything they create.

 Two other stitchers who consistently make wonderful use of vibrant colors are Lorraine Stobie and Nikki Lee Seavy...  Not only are they skilled stitchers, both have Esty shops where they sell supplies  ablaze with color. Nikki Lee Seavey sells hand dyed laces  and Lorraine sells hand dyed threads. 

One of the newer members of CQI whom I have been watching is Pamela Pincha-Wagener   who picked these colors for her blocks in the Goldwork 3 RR... She wrote that she has never made a pastel block...  I've asked her  if I can work on her last block in this RR just because the colors are so yummy and would be a real challenge for me...

Probably the most famous crazy quilter for using "Color Gone Wild' is Martha Greene of Oklahoma. She refers to herself as using the "roadside carnival" approach..  She has participated in many exhibitions and won numerous awards and has been an Artist-in-residence at Oklahoma State University for 15 years.  I met and watched her work in Colorado a year ago.. She started with a pile of brilliantly-colored scraps and picked them and stitched them completely at random... She often teaches workshops around the country.. Unfortunately I could not find a website nor web address for her...

So if you love color and have been hesitant to plunge ahead, you might want to experiment with this approach... A word of caution would be to start with solid colors or use prints with a very tiny pattern.  This ensures that your fancy stitching will show up.  Then once you have your colorful block sewn, get out your stash of threads and start pulling  lots and lots colors...

If  making a block of every color and working with thread of every color is too much for you on your first color adventure, try using threads of every color on  black blocks. Here is a RR block stitched several years back by Jo Newsham of NZ using lots of intense color on a black background.

Cathy Kizerian's CQJP project is going to be spectacular.  She is using the intense colors in a piece of vintage needlepoint and using them for fancy stitching on black crazy quilted blocks.. It is unassembled at this point and pinned to her wall. She   has just a few more to go...

If these people had a neighborhood, it should look like this!


  1. Nu Mom
    Love this post! You know I gotta have all my colors. I pick the yellow house :)

  2. Oh, I love all of these projects! I too tend to go for the brighter, more cheerful colors but get in a mood sometimes and keep things more subdued. Cathy L's scrappy quilt is just awesome! So much talent!

  3. Oh yummy. These are the colours that speak to my heart. So many times I have gone out specifically to come home with pastels and always I come home with bright, saturated colours. The butterfly is to die for.

  4. Oh yummy. These are the colours that speak to my heart. So many times I have gone out specifically to come home with pastels and always I come home with bright, saturated colours. The butterfly is to die for.

  5. Wonderful examples of colour! Love ALL of the blocks you've posted but then I guess you knew I would! Thank you so much for mentioning my etsy. Am thinking I may just need to put together some black blocks soon as the stitching contrasts beautifully. I would be so delighted to take a class with Martha. AND this neighbourhood - love it!

  6. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

    That neighborhood is even better than the Doors of Dublin.

    I've seen what I think are Martha's blocks on CQJP 2012 and I don't know how anyone can feel down and out after looking at them (or at this post).

    For my CQJP challenge I tried to stick to red and white and it has indeed been a challenge.

    Thanks again for your "lessons".

    I'm going to have to check our Lorraine's threads. I love, love, love variegated.

  7. Love the colors! I just popped over her from your other blog to see what you were up to and my eyes got their share of colored eye candy - thank you! Also, thank you for mentioned me and my Etsy Shop.