Virtual Challenge September 2020

This month the challenge is more about use of colour and contrast, and particularly using the colour you like least. Yes, you will be using Electric Quilt to play with colour, but it is getting the colour right is way more important.

My least favourite colour is blue, and I find it hard to put together nice looking designs in blue, but when wandering around quilt exhibitions I sometimes fall in love with a blue quilt. Something I have learned about design is that colour gets the credit, but contrast does the work. It is not the colours you use which is important, it is getting the contrast in the right place, which is what the makers of those wonderful blue quilts have done.

However, blue is not the only colour I used to dislike. Back in the eighties I was horrified when I decided to make a quilt for my parents, and asked Mum what colour she would like, and she said purple. I had never used, or worn, or lived in a house, with any purple … but like a good daughter I started shopping for purple fabric. I didn’t have Electric Quilt to try out the colour placement, so had to cut up fabric to see how it would work.

How can we learn to get a design to work in a colour we find ugly? The first thing to remember is that Electric Quilt can save the agony of cutting up fabric. The next thing to do is find a design you have done with colour you love, and that really works for you. Save the design as a picture and save it in greyscale so that you are not distracted by the colours.

Now go to the fabric library and find a heap of fabrics in your least favourite colour. Make sure you have a selection of bright and dull, light and dark, big and small prints, and some muted design fabric.

Now start playing, referring to the grey scale version rather than the colour version of your quilt. By the time I had completed the quilt for my parents I had learned that purple was a very useful colour to have around. It mixes well with blues, greens, and pinks, and many of my quilts since then have had a few scraps of purple here and there.

Then try to find a colour to use with that colour you don’t like, but maybe you might be starting to like it a little bit more now. I have since tried using  orange, yellow, pinks of many hues, greens, creams and grey … even some blue … with purple, and some of the combinations I love.

The quilt I made for Mum and Dad is what I call a Sampler Album Quilt. All the blocks were chosen to represent something in my parents life together. The church they got married in, farm, house, their interests, family holidays, children … and some blocks are ones I designed and added their names to the block title. It features a lot of memories for them and for me. It was used on their bed for about ten years before the photo above was taken, and stayed on the bed right up until Dad moved into a nursing home before he died.

When you have something to show after having fun, you can share your results in Virtual Quilt Challenges, a closed Face Book group for members only. You will have to answer three questions so I can decide if you can join.

If you add photos to the Facebook group you may get some project files to play with, or some new blocks to add to your library. The more photos you share, the more chances you have of being selected to receive the offer of the month … starting next month.


About Virtual Quilter

I am a quilter who designs many more quilts than I will ever make, and I am sharing one quilt design every day in Virtual Quilter. I also share my completed projects in Stuff-Ups, and Christmas decorations in Christmas Everyday of the Year.
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4 Responses to Virtual Challenge September 2020

  1. Laura says:

    A good challenge, Judy. I have never been fond of pink, but in my color journey, I have learned it has importance. Particularly, when an elderly friend pointed out some fantastic sunsets of orange and pink (orange being a fav color of mine). So when I saw an orange and pink teddy bear while out and about one day, I had to buy it for her. 🙂


    • Laura says:

      I love the story of the purple quilt! It is a wonderful treasure of memories!


    • Laura,

      Orange is not at the top of my favourite list of colours, but there are a lot of orange flowers, and fruit, along with sunrise and sunset views around the world which makes it a colour I won’t avoid.

      Having said that, I have never made an orange quilt, just little bits of orange in several quilts! Every quilt I have made has a touch of green, though sometimes it is just a small embroidered plant, and the plant usually has flowers to match the rest of the quilt.

      Love the story of the teddy bear!

      Judy B

      Liked by 1 person

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