Friday, April 6, 2012

green, it's green I say

Oh the color green. How much it surrounds us--how important it is to us. How hard it is to work with. There are so many greens. The olive greens and drab greens. The mint greens of spring and the dark greens of spruces in winter. The bright chartreuse greens of new growth. Such a natural color but so hard to find. So many greens clash with each other. Strange isn't it--since they don't clash in nature? We want our grass green but our rooms are usually celery at best.

But I digress. After all as you may remember I am trying to make a wall hanging based on rainbows of summer. The first time I made this quilt,  I thought the greens should progress from lights to darks just like the reds did. Oh so discouraging when I realized that this was wrong. Wrong. An entire row of blocks that had to be tossed. Ugh!!!  It needed to be a color way progressing in rows not a constant sweep of color. I did not forget this.

A good start but that still did not make it easier. After all, I still needed to get the colors right. Did not want to have to toss another row, if you know what I mean. The bright greens and the yellows. The hints of teal and blue. What is the flow of the colors? What is the feel of the palette? I study the original quilt and pull out the fabrics that I have. Make a test block.

I try to imagine a whole row of this. But it doesn't seem bright enough. The color changes too harsh and dark. I look through my stash again and still don't have the right colors. Instead I tell myself to make what I know. The changes in the pinks and sherberts. The tangerines and roses. How does this affect the greens?

 Still wrong, isn't it? Too dark and yellow.

Time to head off to A Notion to Quilt--you remember that wonderful fabric store on Route 2 in Shelburne only a few miles from my studio. You can check out their website here: They will have some wild bright greens--that I know. I grab what may work. Lots of bright colors. Some interesting designs. Yes, this may work.

A few more test blocks to make sure I understand the palette. It is never as easy as it looks in a blog, is it? Then I piece the row. Doesn't it look better?

Oh so much more to piece. I try not to think about it. But at least it is a start. Nice to have that resolved. And you--how do you work with greens? Are they also a hard color for you? Have you ever made a green quilt?


  1. There is a particular green that I think of as a New Zealand bush green. Hard to find, but worth it when I do. And there is a house paint colour called Karaka, which could be described as dark green - but if I tell someone I like dark green as a colour for a roof, I can tell they are picturing a totally different green from me! And my husband and I argue whether aqua belongs in my blue pile or my green...

    1. Oh I love all these different greens. What great stories they have, don't they? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your process - each piece, each stitch represents hours of work behind the scenes to get to that final piece. At one point I realised that EVERY quilt I made had green and purple in it - not obviously so, but definitely so. I don't know why I love green as I do, but I do....