What question about color do you get most often from quiltmakers and what is your response?
The questions may differ in style, but they almost always relate to the same subject: "How do I choose colors and fabrics for my quilt?"
I believe using nature as a color guide is one of the best ways to ensure visual success and beauty in one's quilts. Nature shows us gentle subtleties, exciting drama, and a wide range of beautiful colorings. She is our most profound teacher of color. The most common of these natural colorings is monochromatic, analogous, complementary, and split complementary. You can see these colorings in the sky, in flowers, deserts, forests, and waterways. If a quilter uses one of these plans with her favorite color, she can be confident that her quilt will be visually successful.
If you could offer one piece of advice for quiltmakers today, what would it be?
As I travel to different quilting engagements, it strikes me that so many quilters are burdening themselves with quilting projects that they have outgrown. They feel they must finish these projects before they start on quilts that truly excite them. It's best for us to remember that there is no rule or law that says we must finish every quilt that we start.
We should make it a habit to work with projects that interest us. We all learn best when our souls are engaged. The excitement energizes us and allows our right brains to create at a higher level than when not engaged.
So, go through your UFOs and keep only those that excite or truly interest you. Wrap the remaining projects smartly in individual gift boxes and give them away to your favorite charities or to someone in your guild who gazes at them fondly.
Joen Wolfrom is an internationally known quiltmaker and teacher from Fox Island, Washington. Her Blazing Tulips pattern and Color Your Quilts Beautifully article appear in the May/June 2004 (#97) issue of Quiltmaker magazine.