Saturday, January 7, 2012

Choosing Colours for Sedona Star

You may be wondering, when I keep talking about how inspired I was by my hand-coloured copy of the blank Sedona Star pdf that took me two days to do, why I have not posted this work of art yet!  I admit that I am hoping to create a bit of mystery about my design.  But I will talk about how I chose the colours.

I had two main principles in mind when I started.  The first, from various art classes over the years, was to put high contrast around the features that you want to stand out.  The second, and more important one, from interior designer Ray Staples, who always tells it like it is, that not every piece in the room (or in this case, quilt) can be the star.  She compares it to a Broadway show, with one or two stars, one or two supporting actors, and the chorus.

I was very struck by this when I heard it, because until then my philosophy had always been "more is more" -- more fabrics, more patterns, more colours.  I realized that too much noise can reduce the clarity of the message, and I wanted my Sedona Star to have a strong message.

I sat down with the uncoloured page and asked myself what the story was here.  What elements do I want to make stand out?  For me, it was the heart appliques first, and the nine Mariner's Compass blocks second.  So, the heart appliques will all be the same fabric, and that will be the only place I use that fabric.  To tie them all together so they tell a consistent story, my plan now is to do the Mariner's Compass blocks with just a few fabrics in a high contrast palette.  I say "my plan now," because this the area where I have the most doubt at the moment.  Will it be too boring?  The only way to know for sure will be to stick to my guns until the end.  I'll try to be strong!

Everything else followed on from that start.  I noticed the repetition of "nines" throughout the quilt.  I know nine is a significant number in many mystical traditions, so I'm hoping designer Sarah Vedeler will share more background on her inspiration.  I usually think of the nine planets in the solar system (if you still count Pluto). If you are a science nerd (which I kind of am), you know that the number nine has many interesting properties. Are there nine energy vortices around Sedona? 

This colour-enhanced image of the moon is not my palette, but it is kind of pretty, isn't it?  Anyway, most of the features on my quilt will be done with solid colours, a combination of Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons and Kaufman Kona Solids.  The parts that I want to blend together will be prints.

I can't wait to show you my fabrics and get started!  If only they would get here!

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