Saturday, April 10, 2010

color--mauve, Massamont and spring

It's spring and one might think that a quilt maker's fantasies would turn to the bright yellow of daffodils and forsythia, the fresh green of new grass, the purple of crocuses or even the blue of April skies. But instead this quilt maker is fascinated by mauves and taupes, dirt browns and sage. The colors of rain and earth and grey grey days.

One person called these the colors of rain. Perhaps. I know I recently visited my local fabric store--The Textile Co in Greenfield, worth the drive from any place in western New England. I was going to get some wonderful bright blues, perhaps a cheerful fuschia or rust brown and instead I fell in love--head over heels--with a collection of these colors--and I NEVER shop by collection.

Now I have purchased many of these colors before--it is not just a passing fantasy--I'd even bought a couple of the fabrics--but this time I had to work with them. Almost compulsively. 

First a small piece to explore the potential. Look at the subtle warmth in this piece-- views from the desert.Doesn't it capture the feeling of desert in New Mexico. So many wonderful fabrics that create the effect.

And there is the piece. The complexity and richness in colors of the rain--a quilt so new it hasn't been sewn together yet--as you may well know, this is NOT my favorite part of making a quilt. But I had to create the colors.

So the question in why?  Is it because spring teaches us to look closely at the newly unfolding woodland to see lovely little flowers that seam to spring almost from nowhere.

Or maybe it's the benevolence of Massamont the mountain that looks down on my studio every day and gives me a daily blessing. I must confess I spend more time than I should looking at the hints of red and green on the twigs as spring progresses up the hill. Look at the reds against the roof.

I don't know--do you find yourself compelled to colors in the same way? Do you have a theory? Can you believe that is the view from my sewing machine? What do you think?


  1. This will be beautiful! Many colors of nature, so many palettes from strong and vibrant to quiet and soft. Never ending inspiration.

  2. I thoroughly agree Patrice--just when I get tired of when color combination, another one occurs. Life is great that way.

  3. Ann
    You do live in a beautiful part of the world. One of my oldest friends lives up the pike in Charlemont, was there last summer. Gorgeous.

    By the way, you might enjoy Venetian Red coverage of textiles, especially piece on the quilts Joan Schulze, see

    Keep up the good work,
    Liz Hager

  4. Thanks Liz. I agree I live in a lovely area and will check out the site.