Quilting and Value
The value of a color is nothing more
than the intensity of a color from light to dark. Lavender and plum are
both shades of purple, but lavender is light, and plum is a lot darker.
Value is used for contrast, and is
considered more important than the actual colors used in a quilting block.
Light colors make dark colors stand out. If you are constructing a
and using white for the background, you must use a medium to dark color is you
want the star to stand out.
If you were to make the
star in a
soft beige, and use an off-white background, the two would blend together and
your design would be almost lost.
There are times when you want a soft
look to your quilt. In that case, you may want to keep the value of the
colors the same. However,
piecing is a lot of precise work, and in most
cases you want your work to show.
There are also some blocks that are
all about value. In the traditional
log cabin block, one half of it is
light, and one half of it is dark. It is a play on value.
You may also have some blocks where
the color gets darker and darker as you go toward the bottom of the block.
In that case, you need to be aware of the value of the fabrics you use so that
you do not put in a piece that looks out of place.
Value can be hard to determine.
There are tools you can look through. However, there are other ways that
are frugal and don't cost money or need tools.
On way is to scan the fabrics that
you plan to use, and then make the scan black and white or grayscale. This
will show you the value. Then you can number the fabrics so you don't
In the sample at the top of the
page, I randomly pulled out some solid fabrics from my stash. I used my
eyes to try and line them up from dark to light from the top to the bottom.
Then I took them to the scanner.
As you can see from the picture, I did not put them in the correct order.
Value doesn't always have to be
precise, but it is important to understand that it is a very important aspect of
your quilting design.
In the same way that it doesn't cost
any more money to use color wisely, it doesn't cost any more money to use value
in a creative and appealing way.