Hi! Welcome back to my block of the week sew-along! We are now on to block 6 in the series. You can still join in on the fun. Here are the links to the previous weeks: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5. The patterns are all free and you can download them all from those previous blog posts. As I did in the other week’s posts, I will share some tips. This week, color choice and color contrast. Now on to block 6!
2022 BOW Block 6 – Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
The instructions to make this block can be found here: 2022 BOW Block 6.
Most versions of Robbing Peter to Pay Paul are those that have curved seams like this one:
I was only able to find this one version that is pieced from the 1897 LAC (Ladies’ Art Company). This pieced version also has the name “Arizona” given by Nancy Page in 1936. It is thought the name for this block came from a phrase credited to King Edward VI. In his 16th century reign, he actually ordered St. Peter’s church in London to sell land it owned to pay for repairs to St. Paul’s church.
Interesting trivia, King Edward VI was a boy king and mostly a figurehead while those behind the scenes battled to rule. He was 9 years old when he became king and his reign ended at age 15 upon his death. It is thought he died of progressive tuberculosis, although it’s not clear because he also had the measles before that.
Color Choice and Contrast
Well, enough of the history lesson on the renaissance years! Let’s talk color choice. Choosing colors for a block or an entire quilt should not be scary. In fact, if you understand how colors play off of each other based on their shade, tint and how they contrast, choosing color is fairly easy. One of the best tools to use is that simple color wheel we learned about in grade school!
Bring this tool with you to the quilt shop. You can choose general color families you want for before going and then use this tool to hold up to fabric bolts to pick the correct shade. Look at the photo above. On the left, you can tell the colors are “warm” and on the right they are “cool”. You can choose all your fabrics from the left side for a warmer look or from the right side for a calm, cooler look. The closer together colors are on the wheel, the less they will contrast for a calm, quiet look. The opposite is true of the colors are further away from or opposite each other. The contrast will be high and designs will pop more.
Here is a brief description of shade, tint and tone that will also help you in choosing fabrics:
- Shade is taking the pure color, for instance blue, and adding black to it to make it darker, for a dark blue.
- Tint is taking the pure blue and adding white to make it lighter, making a light blue.
- Tone is adding grey to a pure color to make it less intense. Most colors around us in the world are tones of pure color.
Here is a real world example of color choice and contrast. This first stack has fabric very close in shade, so there is little contrast:
When I replace two of the fabrics with the same color, but lighter (tint), look what happens. More contrast!
The two above examples feature cool colors. Now, watch what happens when I take out two of the fabrics and replace those with warm colors:
Look at the contrast now!
Another tip on picking fabric: pick out a bolt that you want for the quilt and then look at the selvage. Yes, I said that!
On most fabrics, you will find a series of “dots” or other marks with the colors that were used in printing the fabric. Use these colors to find bolts of fabric that will coordinate nicely with your already chosen piece. And you don’t even need to stay in the same fabric line.
Once you have fabrics at home in your stash, here’s a simple way to choose what you want for your latest project. Pick out fabrics and lay them out on a table. You can either stand back and look at them all together or take a photo on your phone and look at that. A fabric that doesn’t quite fit in will probably “jump out” at you as you look at the stack. Take that fabric out and replace it with another. Repeat until you get the look you want. I call this “auditioning” the fabric.
Well, that’s it for this week. Come back next week for block 7 and some more tips and techniques.
Remember, comment or ask questions throughout this series. At the end, I will have a grand prize giveaway. This will include my book, two of my newer patterns, some fat quarters and sewing scissors!