Creating with Solids #2: It’s All About Colour!

In Creating with Solids #1, I remarked upon how working with solid fabrics reveals the full expressiveness of our own personal lines and marks. Today it’s all about colour.

Whether you use commercially produced solids or dye your own, solid-coloured fabrics offer a veritable rainbow of shades, values and hues. Robert Kaufman recently expanded their Kona Cotton Solids range to 243 colours:
Kona Cotton Solids Card
Other fabric lines offering an extensive range of solids include: Free Spirit – Designer Solids; Moda – Bella Solids; and RJR Cotton Supreme.

The more you work with solid coloured fabrics, the more you learn about how colours interact. An important part of this interaction is value – the difference you see between light and dark. So often we are drawn to medium-value fabrics but compositions using only mid-tones will be flat and lifeless. It is not enough to simply change colours. Value changes are required to create lines, shapes and pattern.

I made my Neapolitan Quilt mostly out of grey, pink and purple solids. The small amount of blue adds some freshnewss but, as shown by this gray-scale comparison, it is the mix of values that gives this design its movement.
Neapolitan-Greyscale

If you use Electric Quilt software to design your quilts, check out Kevin Kosbab’s article The Benefits of Designing with Solids in EQ7. You can also download the EQ7 Solid Fabrics library with swatches of solid fabrics downloaded from more than 10 manufacturers’ websites. This allows you to design with actual fabric colours rather than generic screen colours.

My Ripples Quilt Design shows you just some of the colours in Kona Cotton Solids.
Ripples Quilt Pattern by Serendipity Patchwork & Quilting

Related posts:

Look out for my forthcoming Quilters Companion DVD – Modern Quilts: Improvising Using Stacks of Solids. Out on 12 December!
Improvising Using Stacks of Solids

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