Color Gradation

John Ruskin was a leading art critic in England during the Victorian era, and I think perhaps a quilter at heart even if not in real life. He might have been speaking to us quilters, albeit indirectly, when he said: “Everything that you can see in the world around you presents itself to your eyes only as an arrangement of patches of different colors.”  Patches of color! Hello? He’s really speaking my language here.

As I thought about color, and where I’m likely to see gradient color around me, the first thought I had was Mother Nature! Where but in nature might I see the beautiful gradient greens of a forest of fir, spruce and pine? And the sea? From azure to turquoise to indigo, the colors in the sea are infinite. Truly, we need look no further than our spring gardens to find gradient color.

Modern quilters especially love color, and as its popularity has grown, so too has the availability of beautiful solid to near-solid fabrics in an immense range of color. From the lines produced by big manufacturers, to hand-dyed fabrics, the palettes available to today’s quilters are endless! Don’t get me wrong, I love the sweet little prints of the 30’s reproductions, and the over-the-top explosion of color and texture found in Kaffe Fassett collections. However, sometimes nothing will do but the simpler, purer results found with unadulterated color.

It was a short leap in my mind, when thinking about gradient color and quilting, to the newest craze that’s swept the quilting world this last year: Hoffman California Fabric’s Dream Big panel.  On Facebook, InstaGram and in quilt shows everywhere, I’m seeing these panels quilted in most unique ways. Quilt artist Kelly Ashton recently shared her take on this phenomenon. A lovely study in pink, to be sure.

My friend, Megan Best, recently posted this quilt to her Facebook. I love her interpretation of Violet Craft’s quilt pattern Elephant Abstractions.” Her use of a vast range of purple really caught my eye.

As it happens, I’m a particularly visual person. I need to preview pretty much everything before I commit it to fabric. If you’re like me, then lucky us! With the Quilt-Pro Systems software, we can design our quilts with a kaleidoscope of color. With this tool, we’re limited not by our ability to understand value, hue, and saturation, but by our imaginations. If your first choices don’t reach out and grab you as perfect, Quilt-Pro software makes it easy to try again. Here, we can audition as many colors and combinations of color as we wish.

I’ve included in this blog, a tutorial about color grading in Quilt-Pro Systems. Click here to learn how to create your own unique color palettes in Quilt-Pro Systems.

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