I realized the other day that quilting is a lot like baking cookies. (I may have been a little hungry at the time.) To bake cookies, you have many ingredients that you gather together sometimes lining them all up before you even get started mixing. Imagine the disaster if you used the exact same measurements of flour, butter, salt, baking soda, etc. What makes your cookies taste good is the amount of each of those ingredients you use.
When looking at a palette of colors such as the one shown here, you might think there is too much red, or maybe you don’t like so much purple. Keep in mind that you are seeing equal amounts of each of the colors.
A quilt will look very different depending how much of each color is used. To illustrate this, I have used the Carnival fabric collection to update our popular quilts “Night and Day.” The blocks of the quilts are made with sets of fabric that are strip pieced. Once the strips are sewn, then identical triangles are cut.
When I first designed “Day” I wasn’t planning on making two quilts but I realized that the leftover triangles (B) could be used in another quilt. The only extra fabric needed would be the background. We changed our kits to include all the fabric needed to make two quilts, a “Night” and a “Day.” I decided to use a light background for “Day” and a dark background for “Night.” “Day” has so much more orange showing and “Night” has more purple.
The background can also affect how the colors look. This time I went one step further and swapped the backgrounds of Night and Day and created two new quilts called Dusk and Dawn.
Getting back to those cookies again, the ingredients you choose and the amounts you use is how you create a finished product which suits you. Whether you like your cookies chewy or cakelike or whether you like the colors orange or purple, it is all a matter of taste. But at the same time, don’t be afraid to tweak your recipe, experiment with different ingredients, combinations and amounts. You just might come up with something delicious.